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The other side of sex workers: story of an Indian Princess

 Megaphone (Canada) 08 September 2019

Sex workers on the streets often are looked down upon. They face abuse and violence and rarely get the chance to express themselves. Here is the story of an Indian Princess, who bravely shares her experiences on the streets of Canada. (392 Words) - By Suzanne Kilroy

Megaphone_Story of an Indian Princess

Suzanne Kilroy the Indian Princess. Photo: Ryan Longoz

I was born in 1969, the youngest of 14 children. I am a two-spirited aboriginal peer support person of the Downtown Eastside (Vancouver, Canada). I am currently trying to exit street work.


I started doing sex work when I was nine years old and charged family friends for money, drugs and alcohol. At first, sexual abuse was forced upon me. Then I started noticing my options and what these abusers feared. I started using that to my advantage.


I feel this is where I became a prostitute. I started sleeping with these guys willingly for certain prices or drugs or alcohol. At the time I didn't drink or use drugs, but I could trade them for money or food.


Over the years, I grew up, survived residential school, did some college and trade certificates and ended up living in different cities throughout Canada and the United States. I used both my certified and street-level skills to my advantage. In that time I survived three dysfunctional relationships.


For the past year I've been alone. I'm now 42 years of age, a single woman that has been around 20 blocks. I use my talents, skills, abilities, gifts, struggles, triumphs and life experiences to share with my sisters and brothers beside me, so they are not and do not feel alone-throughout the years I was too stubborn or afraid to ask for help.


My independence and the fact that I'm two-spirited has forced me to confront many barriers, break through red-tape and experience downfalls. But with organizations like PACE, WISH, the Women's Centre, Aboriginal Front Door, Healing Our Spirit, Sisters in Spirit and all of my sisters and brothers I'm living in a healthier atmosphere today. I'm able to attend and host support groups with the great gift of being honest with myself and where I'm at at this time in my life. It helped me heal mentally, spiritually, emotionally and to accept myself.


My gift of words to you or anyone in need of support in any way at all: Find local support networks, challenge yourself to endeavour in the programs and take the risk to learn about the life you never had and the life you want to live.


My name is Suzanne Kilroy. This is a bit of my story. I'm your Indian Princess, proud to share this with you. Kut'stemc.


Please credit article as follows:

Originally published by Megaphone. ©

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