Over the past several months, the adult community has suffered more than its share of heartbreak. We have struggled to make sense of the loss, and to move forward to prevent future tragedy. It is important to discuss challenges that may face performers and others who work in this industry frankly, while also celebrating the lives they led and work they created.

We realize that there is interest outside the industry as well. Not only from fans and family, but for those who are curious about the industry and the people who choose to work in it.

We ask that the media covering the adult industry during this difficult time remember that the lives they are reporting on — though perhaps seemingly different from your own — belong to real people, and real families, and there is a real community in mourning. Behind two dimensional images are multidimensional lives. The people you are writing about are not just adult performers, but activists and artists, sons and daughters, wives and husbands, friends and lovers, students and businesspeople — struggling with the same issues we all do.

We ask that you afford them compassion and privacy. Our stories should be told, but we ask that when you do you afford them the same respect and dignity that you would your own friends and family. Sensational headlines, tabloid photos, lurid details not only minimize the seriousness of the situation, and re-traumatize those grieving, they may have a more insidious effect — particularly in relation to depression and suicide.

Numerous studies have shown that reporting itself can push those on the edge further, and we recommend anyone covering these cases review the reporting recommendations of leading suicide prevention organizations.

We also suggest that you consider including resources for others who may be struggling, in hopes of preventing additional loss.

In addition, while it may seem innocuous to you, disclosing legal names of adult performers adds nothing of real value to the reporting but only puts family and those who were close to them in the path of harassment, stalkers, or worse.

Most importantly, we ask that you refrain from calling or otherwise contacting family and friends who may be grieving. They deserve space. When they have statements to make, they will make them. FSC is happy to answer any questions, put you in touch with their representatives, or help provide contact with others who may be in a better place to help you tell the story.

Eric Paul Leue

Executive Director, Free Speech Coalition

eric@freespeechcoalition.com

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