Family members are a tricky subject, especially when one shows up to your workspace as patron. It’s not totally unusual for family members to be regulars at a strip club and kindly turn their backs for their cousin / daughter / sister’s shows.
But for most of us, our families DO NOT KNOW. That’s one reason why getting busted is so scary. Our family members might find out!
If you are hiding the truth from family members to save the pain you know they’ll feel if they find out, good for you. If you are hiding the truth to save the pain you know you’ll feel if they find out (because of the nasty things they’ll say), that is equally your right and privilege to do so.
However, many of us have discovered that outing ourselves is actually beneficial in the long term. It can prevent embarrassing moments of being outed by accident or being caught in a lie about your life. The truth is ultimately the best prevention for situations like these.
Remember, our families have been exposed to all the myths and rhetoric about who sex workers are and the places where we work. They may believe that sex workers are all victims of trafficking and exploitation, that sex workers are all drug addicts, that sex workers all have HIV and that sex workers are immoral or “home wreckers”.
If you can, try to remain calm and be patient with your family as they navigate the truth about sex work. Show them articles, research or other things which help to dispel they myths they may believe about you!!
Sometimes it takes a few years for family members to get over their initial shock and dismay. But they usually get over it, accept it, and continue to love you unconditionally. If they don’t – well, don’t waste your time. You deserve better than that.