02:47 GMT28 January 2021
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    The New York Post on Sunday thrust a 23-year-old medic in New York City, Lauren Kwei, unwillingly into the limelight, revealing the first, middle and last name, as well as height, weight and place of employment of the woman who opted to become an adult content creator on OnlyFans to supplement her income during the coronavirus pandemic.

    US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joined a chorus of voices denouncing the public shaming of a New York City paramedic who has been working for a racy website ‘to make ends meet' during the coronavirus pandemic.

    “Sex work is work,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, as she also retweeted a Rolling Stone magazine story that had earlier called out the New York Post for stripping the woman of her anonymity, and revealing Lauren Kwei’s name, height, weight and place of employment while resorting to second-hand information from "a subscriber to Kwei's site".

    ​The New York Democrat, who previously advocated decriminalising sex work, and in 2019 joined Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in backing the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, underscored that it was the federal government, not sex workers, that ought to be shamed for ‘marginalising people surviving a pandemic without help.”

    Ocasio-Cortez, who earlier in December agreeing with Republican US Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri urging stimulus checks for ordinary Americans to be part of the next coronavirus relief bill, added that “UI, small biz relief, hospital funding, etc.” were needed to help people survive the fallout from the protracted health crisis.

    Lauren Kwei received over $44,000 in pledged donations after she joined the adult OnlyFans picture sharing app, whose popularity had soared during the pandemic.

    ​The subscription platform allows influencers and content creators to monetise their content, and is primarily used by sex workers, who post racy content on their feeds in exchange for a monthly subscriber fee.

    According to Rolling Stone magazine, the platform witnessed a 75-percent increase in signups over the past few months.

    The magazine voiced support for the York-based paramedic, who reportedly also worked as a hostess at a Korean restaurant to make a living.

    The outlet slammed New York Post reporters for failing to applaud the young woman’s ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ while, instead, putting her prime job in jeopardy by revealing her identity, as she tried to support her family and "extremely ill" father, according to the fundraising campaign.

    Social media has also massively weighed in on the scandal. Some applauded the young woman’s defiant efforts to juggle jobs in challenging times.

    ​​Others entered a debate on whether the sex work was ‘degrading’.

    Critics, however, disagreed.

    ​The New York Post later issued an update, claiming that Kwei had scrubbed her OnlyFans site content on Friday.


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