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New York’s Black Trans Sex Workers Take To ‘The Stroll’ In Deeply Personal, First-Hand HBO Documentary

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There is a raw, dangerous yet distinctly unapologetic demeanor to the grainy archival footage in the documentary film The Stroll, now streaming on HBO, where transgender sex workers bravely walk the streets of New York City and solicit potential customers cruising by in their cars.

Winner of the Special Jury Award – Clarity of Vision at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, The Stroll is the story of director Kristen Lovell’s experience living on the streets in the ‘90s and making money as a sex worker in the Meatpacking District of lower Manhattan.

When Lovell began her transition in New York in the 1990s she was fired from her job, a common occurrence for transgender women of color.

Lacking other professional opportunities, and to make ends meet, she began doing sex work in an area known as “the stroll.” “It’s where trans women congregated and forged a deep camaraderie to protect each other from harassment and violence” on those lower Manhattan streets at the time, as HBO notes.

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