Chezka: A life changing experience.
Chezka, 26, was formerly a sex worker and is now an administrator for a new seafood outlet founded by a renowned actress. Her job scope includes socializing and interacting with the patrons of the outlet. She also comes up with ideas on how to increase the business’s exposure via social media. She is also the one who serves their signature dish. She has been working for them since they opened.
This is my interview with her.
Does being a transgender person affect your work and role as the administrator?
My workplace is not particular about what gender you are or who you are. In fact, I have been accepted because of my personality and my talent. And I never experienced customers that dislike me. My workplace is situated in a family oriented place, I have seen kids, adolescents and adults. They treat me normally.
You were a sex worker before this?
Yes, I’m a former sex worker, only for a year plus. I went there (my sex work place) myself, I started alone. Yes, I work there because of the fast cash. 6 days a week, I can earn a thousand? I stop doing sex work because I don’t feel like I belong there. And also because I’m in a relationship, it can affect it. But after much consideration and a courageous boyfriend to stop me from doing sex work, I eventually start having a day job. Maybe one day I will go back to doing sex work, we will see how.
Can you compare and describe your current job and sex work?
Everyone wants to be their own boss. Nobody wants to be controlled.. No one like to be questioned “Hey what time you come work? End what time?”
But doing something that is high income will actually lead one to spending more. That is when your budget goes haywire and all that. And so this day job allows me to focus on my budget and finances, and I can differentiate my needs and wants. Having a day job, I know how much my income will be. Even when I’m on MC or absent, I will still get paid. These are the benefits compared to sex work. As for sex work, your income is based on ‘luck’. If it happens to rain on that day, you won’t earn much.
You may or may not want to share this. What’s your income like back then and now?
Definitely the previous one is better. More or less it’s a drastic change. But only if you got luck, you will earn more doing sex work. So back then it’s not fixed, comparing to now I know how much my income will be. I can still survive with how much I’m paid. I might consider going back to sex work, if I’m tired of this job. Probably do sex work for a break before starting a new day job.
Do you keep in touch with your clients?
I do save their number. They do text me and ask if I still offer service but I didn’t reply them. Replying to them will distract me for my day job. Distraction cause harm.
You did say your boyfriend is encouraging, in what other areas did he encourage you?
Basically he wants me to respect him. He actually dislike me doing sex work, its like I’m not respecting him and our relationship. He don’t want to be questioned by his friends, if ever his friends know I do sex work.
You don’t mind showing your face in the article… but many sex workers would rather not. Can you share a bit on why you don’t mind sharing?
I am an open-minded individual and there is nothing to be embarrassed about when you are in the sex industry. Well, not many have the courage to be as honest as I am especially when you are telling the world “Hey, I am a sex worker!” I am who i am. After all, I am paid and I earn a living out from it. People may criticize me after reading this but one thing I would like to tell is, please have the audacity to tell straight to my face.
Before we end this interview, any advice for your sex worker friends?
Work smart! And play smart. In my interpretation, you work cause you want to earn money for a living. Don’t just work and be a brat. Meaning you work and get big amounts of money, then next day buy an expensive bag and brag to everyone. Grow up don’t just grow old.
Sherry is the Youth Programme Coordinator at Project X. She is a freelance expert in secret affairs and is very open to any possibilities and chances to upgrade her knowledge. She is currently working on compiling a zine that documents trans lives in Singapore.