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How to Love A Prostitute. (Part 1)

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

Kelly, a prostitute from California became easy to love. On Christmas eve of 2019, Soft Underbelly made a video interviewing Kelly. We found out she was abused by her mother as a baby, raped at 5 by her foster parent, and a prostitute by 11. We heard her story, we know her past, we learned that she planned on killing herself that Christmas because she had no one and nothing. Kelly’s story went viral and money started pouring in to help the young girl get on her feet. Suddenly Kelly is easy to love. But tomorrow was a different story. Kelly was accused of lying about her story by people who didn’t even know her. YouTubers made videos questioning if she told that story to get money from people. Kelly’s own mother had to come to her defense, revealing to the world that she had to call children services on herself because she was abusing Kelly. Why the change of heart about Kelly and sudden loss of trust?

With money in her pocket from the fundraiser, Kelly’s Instagram showed a girl with long fingernails, flashy clothes, and ghetto jewelry with an attitude that would have you running for the hills. Can we love her now? Without her story, you couldn’t really start to love her. As much as we would like to think of ourselves as loving people, no one really has the capacity to give her the love she really needs. Kelly is one of millions of people in this world who has been dealing with trauma from the womb. Trauma can result in creating a person that no one can really love.

Everyone wants to shout from the roof tops about how love is love, and all you need is love, as if their version of love will fix everything. But our view of love is just as empty as the people in Kelly’s past. How can we as a society claim we can love someone like Kelly because of her traumatic past when divorce stats reveal that we can’t even love the spouse we chose to marry. I’m sure your spouse would be 100% easier to deal with compared to Kelly who probably deals with a ton of mental health issues. So, all this talk in our society about love is a bunch of fluff, rainbows and unicorns. It’s not real. With all of the romance we have in our entertainment, we continue fooling ourselves and the next generation with our skewed understanding of love.

I used to work for an organization that rescues teenagers from forced sexual slavery here in Ohio. Ohio used to be number one for human trafficking in the US. Since learning about human trafficking back in 2005, it pained me to know that this was happening in our country, but it has always been here. While working for the human trafficking organization, I learned that advocates are trying to change the definition of a prostitute from a loose lazy woman, to someone who is a kidnapped victim of carefully crafted manipulation. Yes, there are people who choose to be sex workers, but girls don’t just wake up one morning and want to be a prostitute. When I started my job as a Residential Assistant for trafficked girls, I worked with teens ranging from 12 to 17 years old. I came in, wanting to save them and give them the love I had as I heard their stories, but I got a rude awakening.

Although these girls were rescued and now in safe hands, they needed to be rescued from the damage done psychologically by their families, foster families, and the pimps. The idea that these girls just needed a safe place and home with love and understanding was an understatement. It was like I was in an episode of the Bad Girls’ Club minus the alcohol. Before these girls were victims of sex trafficking, most of them had been neglected and abused by their parents. A lot of times their parents where abusing drugs and were the pimp themselves, selling their children in order to support their drug habits. The life these girls knew just made them perfect targets for a trafficker to come in and fulfill the role of a “Loving Person” that these girls desired so much. Traffickers take this already broken person, twisting them even more. So, you can imagine what it’s like to walk in a house of 6 rescued teenage girls all having PTSD and other mental health issues would be like. It was like all the difficulties you would have with a normal teenager, but on steroids.

They all cared about being liked, being cool, being tough, not looking weak, back talking like normal teens, but would explode if something small didn’t go as planned. Dishes would be broken; furniture would be destroyed - girls beating each other and even threatening to beat me up too. All this could happen if a snack was taken away for not doing schoolwork. It can be very easy to get caught up in fear and just give them what they want, rather than standing your ground and not being afraid. But you have to remember their story, how all of the things they’ve been through made them who they are today. Things you can’t even imagine or wish over your enemies. Building a relationship with these girls requires seeing past the trauma to who they truly are. It helps you to give them mercy, but love is a totally different thing.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

It’s hard to love someone who treats you bad and doesn’t respect you. It’s easier for us to “love” someone who doesn’t cause us pain. The truth is, organizations like the place I use to work at always start off with good intentions, but without Love the way the Bible defines it, that passion will dwindle away. You will get caught up even acting like the people you're trying to help. You are the one trying to change them, but their Influence can become stronger, and you become the one who is being changed.

So how do you love a prostitute? Kelly’s life story became an opportunity for people to feel good about themselves by giving money and opportunities to her, yet when Kelly failed to meet people’s expectation for immediate change, we lost hope in her, and accused her of lying. People searched the internet for clues that would confirm their suspicions about her. People collected screen shots of her with her family as evidence. Kelly tried to explain that those pictures were visitations she received from being in the system. That love for Kelly came with conditions. If Kelly took that money to only do good and improve her life, she would continue receiving help from those who followed her story. The problem with that is Kelly is human, and because of all of the abuse she lived through, she may not make choices that will meet our expectations. If you actually want to practice love, it has to be unconditional.

Love like that either comes from the natural bond a parent has for their child, or is supernatural. The unconditional love that is supernatural only comes from God. It comes from a relationship with God, spending time with God, and understanding the human condition. It comes from waking up in the morning, knowing you have a higher calling in your life - bigger than what you can do on your own. It comes from knowing that you aren’t good enough to help someone who has been traumatized their whole life. Renewing your mind daily in connection with God is the best way to connect with them. Knowing you are only human, and are not morally superior than anyone. God knows the ins and outs of all of us, and He is the one who puts mercy and forgiveness in our hearts for a difficult person in our life. God gives that because people desperately need it.

Outside of the group home I worked at, it got me thinking about the other people who are unlovable in this world, whose stories we don’t know. It could be someone you sit next to at work, a family member, or a classmate. You may know people who are very toxic, but it may not be their fault if that is all they know. If you know who God is, and His Spirit resides in you, don’t be afraid to love unconditionally because that ability to love comes from God. He will give you wisdom to know how far you can go with someone. If you don’t know God, but you want to be able to love the unlovable, you can just ask Him to help you. And if your heart is open, you will have the ability to actually love people fully, the way He does.


The Washington Post. (Feb 27,2020) A woman’s hard-luck story on YouTube led to thousands in donations. Some smelled a scam.

Youtube. Soft White underbelly (Jan 28,2020) Prostitute interview-Kelly.

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