From Hooker To Happily Married: Hookers For Jesus’ Annie Lobert

From Hooker To Happily Married: Hookers For Jesus’ Annie Lobert

From Hooker To Happily Married: Hookers For Jesus’ Annie Lobert

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Photo of Annie Lobert founder of hookers for jesus
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Annie Lobert, from Hookers: Saved On The Strip, dishes on prostitution, honesty and self-worth.

I meet Annie Lobert in the lobby of the Times Square Ritz Carlton. She has a warm demeanor, funky two-toned hair, and intelligent brown eyes. She also has a controversial three-part series called Hookers: Saved on the Strip premiering on Investigation Discovery this week, and I'm impressed by how calm and confident she is about it.

Calm and confident are traits Annie comes by honestly. Annie was a prostitute for sixteen years before she cleaned up and found God in the late nineties. In 2005, she created a Christian ministry called Hookers for Jesus. (She knows the name is startling, and a little funny. When she says it, her eyes twinkle. Anything to call attention to her cause.)

Lobert explains: "Hookers for Jesus is an organization that I started to help women. We reach out to women who are being trafficked, and we help them transition into Destiny House, which is a safe house for sex workers who are trying to leave the industry. Then we heal them by helping them transition back into society."

Sounds cool, right? We sat down and dished about her show, her husband, and the importance of honesty in love.

YOURTANGO: So your show is premiering tonight. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

ANNIE: Yes! The show, Hookers: Saved on the Strip, is a three part series focusing on three women (Regina, Audrey and Desiree) who’ve come to us through Hookers for Jesus. It covers each woman’s journey from her decision to leave prostitution forward. We show their experiences finding new jobs, getting their records sealed and building their self-esteem back up.

We work hard at getting each woman the emotional healing that she needs, and it’s really about people embracing her… giving her a family that will give her respect and not reject her, and will help her walk this out, and create a brand new life.

YT: Are you excited to see their stories told?

ANNIE: You know, I really believe this is groundbreaking journalism. I’m excited that Investigation Discovery had the guts and the gall to do this. They took a huge risk, and I feel like they are going to give the word "prostitution" a new meaning with this show.

YT: You seem to have a great thing going with your husband, Oz. How did you guys meet, and how did you tell him about your past as a sex worker?

ANNIE: When I met Oz, he already knew about my past. We met on MySpace, and he read my profile, and he was amazed at what I was doing with Hookers for Jesus. When we first started dating, I tested the ground to see if he was OK with me talking about it, and he just said, "It doesn’t bother me, honey."

There are stories I’ve told him that no one else knows… things I confided because I needed to tell someone what I had been through. He’s been really, really amazing. Oz just loves me the way I am. It’s the best relationship I’ve ever had because it’s so open and honest. My Days As A Stripper Still Haunt Me

YT: Many women have at least one secret in their life that they fear might make them unloveable if everyone found out about it. What advice would you give a woman who wants to share a secret with her partner, but is scared to do it?

ANNIE: First off, you get your partner in a nice, quiet place, and let them know that you love them. Just say "I have to tell you something. If you can, just give me the grace to listen. I know you might be shocked at first, but I want you to think about our relationship and how far we’ve come." And then you bust it out on them (laughs).

That’s what I did with my father when I told him I’d been a prostitute. I said "Daddy, I have something to tell you. I love you and respect you, and I never want to hurt you, but I need to tell you about my past." And I told him, and then I explained that now I work to help women. At first, he was in shock, but he told me that that he loved me. After a couple of months, he came back and told me he was proud of me.

So I’d encourage women to be honest. If you show love and explain that you don’t want to have secrets, they will respect that. People want the truth. They don’t like being lied to. 8 Tips For Telling Your Partner A Health Secret

YT: In the course of doing sex work, you faced a lot of abuse and disrespect from men. Despite this, you’ve still found one man you trust completely. Do you have any love advice for women who have had their trust or boundaries violated?

ANNIE: Before I could be happy in a relationship, I had to come to terms with the reason I felt so insecure and the reason I allowed people to use me. I finally realized that I didn’t love myself.

The right kind of man is very attracted to self-love and self-confidence, and a woman who has a sense of purpose. If you’ve been in a relationship where your trust has been abused, you have to learn boundaries again. You have to get into a place where you trust your own strength and believe in love. For me, that came with the fact that I believe in God, and my faith has encouraged me to become the woman I’m supposed to be. But don’t bring another person into it until you’re in the right place yourself.

YT: Excellent advice! Thank you, Annie. We're looking forward to watching Hookers: Saved on the Strip. It will be great to see an underrepresented population of women being talked to, instead of talked about.

ANNIE: These women deserve respect. They need it. The only way they are going to heal is if they get respect. And they deserve to be heard. This show will do that. I’m excited. Obviously, we’re going to ruffle some feathers, but we’re expecting that and we’re going to continue. We’ve just got to take this torch and run with it.

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