By Raven Bowen

 LauraLee

Q: So, what do you do?
A: I’m a sex worker and sex workers’ rights campaigner, board member with Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI), student and proud mammy. 

Q: And your favourite colour?
A:
Blue, there’s something very soothing about it as a colour and I think royal blue is very smart. 

Q: What are you most proud of?
A:
Leading the High Court battle in Northern Ireland against the Nordic model and developing amazing allies along the way. 

Q: What drew you to sex industry related work?
A: 
 I was in university many, many years ago and found myself drowning in debt. I started working in a local massage parlour at weekends and although I’ve left the industry several times, it always called me back. There’s an old saying – “escorts never really retire, they just take long holidays.”

Q: The last thing you laughed about?’
A: I was out with friends in Belfast last night and we were in stitches recalling a man in a bar who asked in all seriousness, “why are all socialist women fat?” Good grief! 

Q: What’s your favourite food?
A: Steak and chips, with béarnaise sauce, mushrooms and onion rings. 

Q: Your current project or pursuit?
A: 
We’re just getting ready for battle in the High Court with dates for the full hearing coming soon, so that’s keeping me busy, plus I’m studying and touring too. 

Q: What’s your biggest regret?
A: 
I really regret not being smarter with money when I was younger and saving for the future, but then, I don’t think many 20-year-olds do that anyway. 

Q: Facebook or Twitter?
A: 
Twitter definitely! It’s the fastest way to keep up with new developments and I love that I can chat to other sex workers around the world too. 

Q: What challenges you the most about your sex work or related work?
A: 
We support a lot of sex workers at SWAI and the rate of violence in Ireland has soared since the introduction of the Nordic model there. So when I’m talking to a sex worker in distress, I sometimes feel very, very angry. 

Q: Favourite Movie?
A
: The Assassin with Bridget Fonda. 

Q: And the last time you cried?
A: SuperVet. Watching people saying goodbye to their beloved pets just ENDS me. 

Q: Cat or dog person?
A: Both. I would dearly love a dog but it just wouldn’t be fair because I’m away so much. Right now I have two moggies and they’re brill. 

Q: Who understands you?
A: 
My closest friends and my family. My partner is ace too, even when I’m stomping around.

Q: What’s the last book or article you read?
A: 
I read a satirical childhood book on how things work, entitled “How it Works: The Mum.” It’s very funny. 

Q: Childhood Fear?
A: 
Electricity and mice and rats! I tried to fix the latter by adopting hamsters but it didn’t work.

Q: What did your last text message say?
A: 
“LOL. Oh dear. Now I really can’t wait.” I was talking to a SWAI colleague who says their karaoke skills are on a par with a cat who has just trapped their tail in the fridge door. 

Q: One thing that your work or existence is aimed to do for the sex industry?
A: To fight for decrim and to get out there and speak to as many people as possible to bust common myths and reduce stigma. 

Q: The meaning of life in one word?
A: Love. 

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: 
I wanted to be a lawyer at first, I also wanted to be a singer, but doing weddings and funerals for friends was the closest I came to that dream. 

Q: Three portable items that you would have with you while stranded on a desert island?
A:
 Hmmmm, tough one. Is there WiFi? Probably not.
1) A fishing net;
2) large knife; and
3) a very large white fermentation bucket so I can make wine!

**Laura was very busy with activism work so we were unable to arrange an interview in time but she kindly provided written responses to the 21 Q’s while commuting. 

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