Megaphone vendor Suzanne Kilory. Photo by Leigh Eldrige.
I am an Indian Princess, and a smarty-pants who loves to walk down the street and tell people they have dropped their pocket. I am a person with heart, feelings, hopes and goals like anyone else. I am no different than you.
I just happen to be a hooker, though I am exiting the trade at this time in my life. In the past year-and-a-half while exiting the sex trade, I have been a Megaphone vendor, and now doors are opening and opportunities are arising and things, for the most part, are going smoothly.
At the end of each work week I like to tell my family and loved ones the highlights of what happened as I ventured out in the night to sell myself. Here’s one highlight:
One time there was a broken ketchup bottle, a broken mustard bottle and a tub of parmesan cheese on my street corner, which I call my office. I was getting bored and started kicking around the parmesan cheese, getting it all over my shoes. When a guy picked me up, we drove about two blocks. When we were finished, he took out three $20 bills, handed them to me and asked me to get out. I let him know that a good man would take his date back home or back to where he picked them up. But he just let me out.
When I was on a transit bus going back to my office, I looked backward and wondered why there was a white trail through the streets. It was the parmesan. I burst out laughing, because we all know what parmesan smells like.
Things like this happen frequently, but for every good story, there are one or two not-so-positive things. Because those of us working in the sex trade put ourselves in this position, it’s hard for some people to see or understand when we are victims. Some men have hurt me in my life and it’s something I will never forget. But I forgive them because that’s what my grandma and mom taught me. However, if my grandmother and mother had taught me to kick them in the balls and twist their nuts until they were blue, I would have done that as well.
Sometimes, when we’re expecting things to happen, we want them to happen faster than they do. I’m 40-ish, and I’m growing up and it’s fun. Exiting the sex trade can take a year, it can take 10 years. My exit’s taking a little longer than expected, but things are going quite well. By leaving the sex trade I am leaving familiarity, $60 in 10 minutes and the things I know how to do. I also will be leaving behind the perverts and the men who treated me badly, as well as one of the issues we often face, which is police negligence.
This is just another bit of my story, and I am still proud to share this with you.
Suzanne Kilroy sells Megaphone in Gastown. She is a participant in Megaphone's vendor writing workshop. This spring Megaphone needs to raise $5,000 to keep the program running. Please make a donation today.
(Photo: Leigh Eldridge)