Robyn Few passed away Sep 13 after a long battle against cancer. Most of my readers probably don’t know her and I can’t say I knew her well. What I did know of her was great. She was one of the biggest points of light in the movement. She was the first activist who remembered my name from one meeting to the next (which were months apart). She loved every sex worker without reservation. That level of acceptance is hard to come by, even in the movement. She is an example to follow.
Beyond the lovefest that was Robyn’s trademark, she was a rabble-rouser. She was tireless as an activist, not afraid to get in anyone’s face over the issues. However, she didn’t seem to pull a stunt just because it was there to be pulled. Whatever she did had a point. I didn’t know her before her cancer diagnosis so perhaps that was the reason for her focus, or perhaps it was just her. I can say that she fought cancer and won several more years than the doctors predicted. Yes, she died younger than she would’ve without cancer. I don’t see her life as a tragedy, though. Her life was something to be proud of. She earned every day she had and I don’t feel she wasted them.
Arguably her biggest accomplishment was designating Dec 17 as the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Last June the Robyn Few Sex Workers’ Resource Center opened in Tuscon, AZ (no website listed yet). Her impact on the movement is profound because of who she was.
I can’t think of enough good things to say about Robyn. I knew when I hugged her bye at the end of the Desiree Alliance conference in 2010 that it would be the last time I would see her and it was. Unfortunately. Reading about her can’t explain the radiance she always carried or the love she freely gave to everyone who met her. She does have her own website if you’d like to know more. It’s very sad knowing she won’t be around anymore. She leaves behind a family and a global network of friends.