A former stripper in Philadelphia is running for Congress -- and she's not the least bit ashamed of her past. In fact, she's using it as a platform.
When she launched her campaign, 28-year-old Alexandra Hunt was concerned that her steamy past working as a stripper in college would hurt her chances of being elected, noting in an op-ed with Huffington Post, "I stripped to pay bills, but I feared the stigma of this work so much that I kept it a deep secret at the time."
When Hunt decided to share her secret past involvement in sex work, "age-old stigma and bigotry" caused her to lose her job coaching for a local soccer club.
"My story is not unique. So many examples exist that highlight the stigma and job loss that impact individuals, especially women, when their past or current involvement in sex work is revealed," she wrote.
Now, Hunt openly discusses her former gig at campaign stops, and is even selling T-shirts emblazoned with the messages, "Elect Hoes" and, "I may have danced for money but I'm no corporate wh***."
Hunt has also based her platform on human rights, fighting for women who work in the sex industry, calling them one of the most marginalized groups who face stigma, abuse and human rights violations.
"I'm running for Congress on a progressive platform because I believe our politicians should fight for systemic change, ensuring equal opportunity and justice for all," Hunt wrote. "The reality is, in today's economy, more and more individuals are turning to the sex work industry to ensure their ability to pay their bills. Younger people face an intersection of issues of not being able to afford houses, rising rent, student debt, high unemployment and low-paying jobs with very few answers or support coming from our government."
Hunt, who is running for Pennsylvania's 3rd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, suggested that Americans need to reconsider their views on sex and criminalizing sex work.
"Decriminalizing sex work starts with destigmatization and looking both internally at your own bias and at policy that contributes to this stigmatization and marginalization of people who have found a way to own their power," she wrote. "After reflecting on your own enjoyment of sex, doesn’t the criminalization of sex work seem utterly absurd and discriminatory?"
Hunt is campaigning on promises to abolish loitering laws in Philly and decriminalize sex work, which she feels is the first step to criminal justice reform. Her campaign platform also includes education reform, Medicare for all, ending gun violence and creating a wealth tax.