DARWIN’S gay club Throb is has come under fire from sex workers for its new drag show, Star Whores, the Queensland Times has reported.
The show features appearances from characters Luke Streetwalker, Jabba the Slut, and C3P HO.
“You can’t expect to make stigmatising posters appropriating parts of our lives you find funny or entertaining, use slurs and encourage people to dehumanise us, and think that people won’t be upset,” wrote sex worker Ryan Cole on Throb’s Facebook page.
“The problem is not that people are choosing to be offended, the problem is that it IS offensive.
“I am a lesbian and a sex worker and I can’t split myself up into parts and just attend as a lesbian but not a sex worker.”
Sex worker Catherine Gray was equally unhappy about the show.
“I’ve been going to Throb for over 12 years now, but as a queer sex worker I definitely no longer feel safe,” she posted.
“The disrespect shown to sex workers is deplorable and inexcusable—both because of their chosen branding containing slurs/stigmatising language (whore, ho, streetwalker), and because of the performers actively trawling comment sections to fight with sex workers who are rightfully upset about this marketing decision.
“Whore belongs to us, get your own word.”
Performers from the show responded by telling the workers to “grow up” in comments that have since been deleted.
Throb, Darwin’s only gay nightclub, is known for its drag performances. The club has been operating for 17 years and is the home of drag contests including Miss First Nation.
The sex worker rights movement has gained traction in recent years, with workers calling on the community to respect and decriminalise their work, which has long been stigmatised.
Throb Nightclub has been contacted for comment.