The Thought Leaders Issue: Sean Ford

The actor on marginalized professions, community connection, and abolishing the police.

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“I think where our voting power can really be applied and felt is in local and congressional elections. If we devote a lot of our energy toward more local political agendas, it can be felt more immediately by people who need to be uplifted in our political system. If politicians aren’t afraid enough of us, things tend to stay the same. So, I think we need to engage in more direct action and confront politicians to their faces.

“I attended some protests with my friend Ty Mitchell, Joey Mills, and Angel Rivera, all of whom are adult performers, like myself. I find that a lot of adult performers have been some of the most outspoken people on this issue. To a degree, adult performance is sex work, which is a marginalized profession. It’s not the same as people who engage in sex work in more risky scenarios. But adult performers do experience the levers of power being used against them and discrimination in their industry, especially if they’re not white. A lot of them are showing solidarity with marginalized communities and workers of all stripes.

“I made a lot of friends at the protests in New York this year. But there are other ways of engaging in direct action if you can’t find a protest to go to. Connect with your community; disrupt the machines of oppression; check on your friends and family. Redistribute wealth to mutual aid funds and groups working for radical change in your own community. I find that people tend to be very strong and I think people will keep fighting, no matter how rough things get. And people will continue to find ways of experiencing joy, which is one of the most revolutionary actions you can take: enjoying life in the face of this onslaught of oppression.

“I believe in down-ballot initiatives and getting progressives elected. That’s how I think we can maximize our gains. Everyone should read more Marxist theory and study revolutionary thinkers like Angela Davis. People said that abolishing slavery and segregation were out of the question at the time, but people did it. So we can abolish police. We can abolish prisons if we collectively decide to do that. I would encourage people to think bigger.”


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