Grayce "Candace" Baxter
I can't say that I knew "Candace" well. I met her the year I started "working." We were booked together on a call, screaming down the road in her Beamer, her lining up the next three calls on her cellphone as we pulled up in front of the hotel. It was my first double and she showed me how to work it. After that I ran into her everywhere and we partied often.
Everyone knew Grayce. Street girls remember her from the days when she would work Jarvis with her phone. Many of us worked with her through various agencies and she was a regular in NOW.
"Dom" was her favourite. She preferred to do it exclusively. She loved both men and women. She was well-known and loved in the gay community.
I think for many of us who work she was a bit of an icon; she had the car and the condo, she made big bucks, partied hard and had lots and lots of friends. She was beautiful and she was proud.
Newspaper headlines would like to turn the reality of our lives into breakfast jerk-off sessions, sensational instead of sensitive to the many friends, family and community who were anxious at her disappearance and despaired as the weeks crawled by.
Even for those who work but don't know her, her fate represents fear. When it comes up in conversation you get a knot in your stomach. To be a pro you gotta have confidence you can handle it; you can handle yourself; you know it. You're on top. But the truth is that prostitutes have never had the right to work free of prejudice, of hatred, of violence and of fear. We're expected to take it with the job.
Well, we're not going to take it with the job. We will not stand by and let you murder our colleagues, our lovers and our friends. It does not come with the territory. And my we never stop fighting until we can all work in safety free of violence, of hatred, of prejudice and most of all, of fear.
Rest in peace.
Andrew Sorfleet, AKA Will, Toronto
&$150; Letters section of XTRA! February 5, 1993. p. 7
Photo by Maurice Gareau
Created: January 29, 1997
Last modified: May 14, 2000
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