Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly: They gave me the name Miami Red a very, very long time ago. I also go by the name of Butterfly. Butterfly is a nickname that my oldest child gave me when I got out of prison in December of 2013. He said, "Mom, you don't need to be Miami Red no more. Your name is butterfly. "Why is that?" I said. He said, "Because your finally free to spread your wings." 

I've been a working girl for a very long time. I grew up in Ben Hill. I learned the streets at 14 years old right here on MLK and Fulton Industrial and now I'm 43.  

I've been raped more times than I care to think about. Between home and out here on the boulevard. Just a month ago I got raped by a guy because I wouldn't date him without a condom and I wouldn't fuck him before he paid me. He put a knife to my throat and raped me. 

I'm adopted. I was adopted at 5 months old. My grandfather was a Colonel in World War I. My mother found out that she was pregnant at 8 months. She had a fling with a soldier and my grandfather found out that she was pregnant by an African American and he became enraged. When he found out she was pregnant by an African American he sent her to Miami Florida to live with her older sister that was already married and had a family. She didn't decide to give me up for adoption until the day she had me. It was only because my biological grandmother looked at me and told her it was best for everyone. 

I've been Angry my whole life. Although God blessed me with a family who uh... [tears] that made sure I had everything I needed, material wise. I had a stable home. I had food. I had nice clothes and was kept clean, but because I wasn't blood, I had certain family members who thought that it was OK to rape me and molest me from the age of 5.  

[My adopted mom] only adopted me because she thought she couldn't have any kids. She ended up having her own when I was 8 or 9 years old and things changed after that. She no longer needed me, so I no longer got the attention that a child needs. The only attention I got was a slap on the head or a beat down or my skin twisted if I sat wrong in church.

The only person who never treated me different was my adopted grandmother. We had a bond that nobody understood. She died last year. I was clean for 6 and a half years before my grandmother died. After she died... there was a big part of me that's gone. She never treated me different. Never. She treated me as if I was her own blood. She never let anyone else treat me different in her presence. She didn't know what they were doing behind closed doors. 

Part of these collections: Sex Work

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