Thierry Schaffauser

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Thierry Schaffauser, gay sex worker, trade unionist and LGBT activist, speaking at Croydon Area Gay Society, South London, May 2010

Thierry Schaffauser is a French sex worker, social activist, writer and actor.

Early life[edit]

Schaffauser was born 1982 in Suresnes, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France.[citation needed]

Social activism[edit]

Schaffauser introduction to activism was as a member of ACT UP-Paris, the French chapter of the international ACT UP movement. In 2006 Schaffauser cofounded Les Putes, a Paris-based group defending sex workers' rights,[1] and, since 8 December 2009, he has been a board member—responsible for international relations—of STRASS, the French sex workers trade union.[2] In 2010 Schaffauser was the president of the GMB- IUSW, Adult Entertainment branch.[3]

Out East[edit]

As part of community group Out East, Schaffauser was one of the organisers of Hackney Pride, a 2010 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) event that attracted 1,000 people in East London, UK. Attendees celebrated all sexualities, genders, races and religions, marching for two hours before gathering for speeches inside a church located in the Shoreditch district of the London Borough of Hackney. Schaffauser spoke with the Hackney Gazette afterward, stating: "I’m so proud of Hackney."[4]

The following year, homophobic stickers appeared in areas of eastern London, including Hackney, and by the end of March 2011, the vast majority were found in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The dissemination of the stickers was described by activists as a "hate campaign" and an apolitical parade, titled "East End Gay Pride", was planned by a group of friends as a response.[5] The event was scheduled for April, but in March 2011, Schaffauser, as Chair of Out East, published an open letter on the Pink News website, calling for the cancellation of East End Gay Pride and was joined by Terry Stewart of the Hackney Community Engagement Board, Denis Fernando of Unite Against Fascism and the Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils. Schaffauser wrote the letter on behalf of Out East, a member of Rainbow Hamlets, the Tower Hamlets LGBT Forum, and highlighted a range of issues, including the potential for Islamophobia, the English Defense League's links with some of the organisers and the need for a political response.[6]

By July 2011, Rainbow Hamlets continued to intensively engage with the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre (ELM),[7] while Out East introduced weekly meetings in mid-2011 to provide a forum in which people could discuss what they would like to occur as a response.[8] An event was eventually organised and, on 24 September, the East London Pride march set off from Hackney Town Hall. In what was a much smaller event than Hackney Pride, participants walked to the Oxford House building on Hackney Road, where the mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, a British-Asian Muslim,[9] addressed the crowd: "I want you to be in no doubt I will fight to ensure there is respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture and rights in the same way I will for all communities."[10]

Writing and acting[edit]

Schaffauser co-authored Fières d'être putes (with Maîtresse Nikita, 2007) and wrote six articles on sex work for the Guardian in the first half of 2010, including a piece titled "Time for porn stars to self-organise".[3] He also appeared in a few pornographic films, produced by Eurocreme and Triga Films, and was the winner of an Erotic Award in 2010.[11] In 2014 Schaffauser published Les luttes des putes with Paris-based publishers éditions La Fabrique.

Personal life[edit]

In September 2010, during the organisation of Hackney Pride, Schaffauser was a resident of the London Fields district of East London, located in the Hackney borough of England, UK.[4] In 2011, Schaffauser continued his involvement with East London LGBT issues.[6]


  1. ^ de Boni, Marc (22 March 2009). "Putes, et fières de l'être" (in French). Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "A new team for STRASS". STRASS. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Thierry Schaffauser". The Guardian. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Hundreds join together in hackney pride". Hackney gazette. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Jessica Green (9 March 2011). "Residents plan East End Gay Pride to combat hate". Pink News. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Open Letter to the organisers of East End Gay pride". Pink News. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Jack Gilbert (12 July 2011). "Could community relations survive a homophobic campaign?". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Hackney Queer Pride March?". Hackney Pride March on Tumblr. Yahoo! Inc. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Lutfur (25 September 2011). "East London Gay Pride". Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Dave Hill (26 September 2011). "Courage and constructiveness distinguish East London Pride march". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "2010 finalists: Sex Worker, male". Erotic Awards. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 

External links[edit]