'Hooker Teacher' Forced To Resign, Now Can't Find Work

Claire Gordon

Melissa Petro has spent much of her young life writing about the plight of sex workers: The stigma and shame, their treatment as victims or villains. Now Petro has been trampled by the forces she was trying to fight. After writing about her own experience as a sex worker, Petro was forced to resign from her teaching post. With two master's degrees, five years' experience in nonprofit work and three years as a teacher, as well as a litany of published writings, Petro is skipping meals. No one will give her a job.

In a Salon feature, Petro details the catastrophic fallout from a Huffington Post op-ed she wrote back in the fall of 2010. She was criticizing Craigslist's censorship of its "erotic services" section, and because she had made a point of battling the shame of sex work, she confessed that for a handful of months she had sold her own services on the site.