Cynthia, forty six, starting working as a prostitute at the age of thirteen. She turned to the streets after battling her single mother in Brooklyn. “I didn’t want to listen to her. She didn’t give me any time.” Cynthia is now the mother of fifteen children, eleven of whom are still alive. Her “baby” is sixteen, her oldest child thirty.
We talked about the child prostitutes in Hunts Point now. She told me “Hunts Point isn’t what it used to be, when the girls would stick together. Then came crack and heroin, that fucked up everything. A girl out there at that age. She got no choice. It ain’t right.”
Cynthia was strung out, agitated and slurring. When I asked her how she wanted to be described she looked me in the eye, thought for a second, then said “An honest person. Thats what I am. An honest person.”