Dear Sisters: A LOVE LETTER

Every year, AF3IRM chapters observe Purple Rose Day in order to honor those impacted by sex trafficking and sexual exploitation and to renew our commitment to the work of ending gender-based violence.  After some setbacks due to weather, we made it out to Aurora on February 17, and placed our memorial at the cross sections of Aurora Ave. N./90th, Aurora Commons outdoor space. We are extremely grateful for the space Aurora Commons hosts and are in awe of their care for the community and thankful they are hosting this memorial to the lives lost on the blade. Also, as a memorial of honor and love for the sisters and survivors in our community. We see you. We love you. And are honored to know you. If you’d like to leave a rose for a survivor at the space, please do. If you’re a survivor, we invite you to take a rose for yourself and your sisters, this beauty is for you.  Till all are liberated and free, we fight.   
  AF3IRM Seattle, [email protected]

Dear sisters,

This installment is to honor those in our community who have lost their lives this year due to the violence they experienced within and as a result of the sex trade. We will continue to grieve them, miss them, remember them, and say their names. These flowers, this beauty, is for them.

This beauty is also for you: those who are currently in or have been in the life, those who have experienced sexual violence, those who live at the intersection of oppression based on race, gender, class, and sexuality, those who are thriving, those who are struggling, and everyone in between. Regardless of what brought you here, to this moment, to this display on this block: if you are in the life, this beauty is for you. Every day, we fight for you, we celebrate you, and we keep you close to our hearts. 

Please take a rose, or several, to share with the women in your life. You are important and you are deserving of so much love. 

Every day women and femmes— particularly our Indigenous, Black, and Brown sisters— face untold levels of discrimination and violence at the hands of individuals and systems of oppression: white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, and misogyny. Our labor and our bodies are treated as commodities that can be exploited and discarded. This community, this city, and this country are built on our backs. We deserve to feel and be safe. We deserve to feel and be free. We deserve more than crumbs at the dinner table; we deserve the whole feast.

This is a love letter to those on Aurora. We see you and we love you.

As survivors of interpersonal and state-sanctioned violence: we stand with you. As transnational feminists, women of color, as mothers, as daughters, as sisters— we are committed to fighting alongside you for true liberation for our collective future.

We feel immense grief for those who have suffered and those who have lost their lives on the blade. But more than anything, we feel rage. We promise to channel that rage into demanding accountability of those in power, working to reduce the stigma and harm experienced by people in the life, and actively fighting towards an end to our collective suffering. ‘Til all people are liberated and free, we fight.

Love the sisterhood,

AF3IRM Seattle