The Barb ran sex work ads from whoever wrote in, straight people, cis people, LGBQ people, or trans people throughout its publication. Many of these ads appeal to race fetishes, such as the person here named ‘Gypsy’ who claims to have ‘banana’ colored skin and green eyes. Debbie’s ad here displays how these ads worked in part to connect trans people with an underground economy and with one another as she offers to ‘assist TV’s with makeup’. Now widely considered a slur, TV stands for transvestite, someone who dresses opposite from societal standards for their gender assigned at birth. Today, the term transsexual is also outdated, though some older trans people choose to identify with it. Due to the very public nature of such ads, VICE raids were common throughout the 70s.
Trans women frequently solicited themselves for sex as it was, and still is in many instances, very difficult to get a job anywhere else. Many cis people in particular were obsessed with understanding how trans people had sex to the extent that it seems fetishistic. Additionally, these ads often worked to connect trans folks with one another, offering a way to find each other without necessity of attending Pacific Center or other support group meetings.