Monday, December 7, 2015

There are many types of Christian's out there. Just like there are many types of Muslim's. Often when there is some sort of Jihadist attack anywhere in the world many Muslim's cringe at the backlash that comes back at them fo the actions of someone else.

The reality of the situation is that one sect of religion doesn't speak for or dictate all other sects. It's unfortunate that the Muslim's, which are traditionally peacable and non-violent, are taking the brunt of bias attitudes and passive forms of discrimination. But they aren't the only ones. 

The Christian believer today, unfortunately, comes in many forms and types. They can be hard to decipher. We have T.V. evangelicals and preachers of all shapes, sizes, personalities and sects telling us all kinds of mixed messages. One preacher teaches grace, another the law. Then yet another might teach both. 

I have funneled most of them into two categories. Two types of Christians. I am going to use the term 'Christian' loosely because a Christian traditionally is kind-hearted, patient, caring, loving, generous and forgiving. The term Christian means; one who follows Christ. This means that you follow the teaching of Christ, with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength. If you don't do this, then you are not a Christian, you are something else.

The two types I have experienced are as follows: 1) those who believe it's ok to 
outcast, seperate and hate for the sake of Christ and 2) those who believe that you must love all.

The two are easy to differentiate. One will be accepting of homosexuals as they are right now, not for the men or women that they could be if they repented. The other will simply hate them. Or outcast them, or preach that God thinks they are abominations and will burn in hell fire. One teaches acceptance and the other teaches intolerance.

When God called me to his bosom I was not a good man. I wasnt perfect by any means, I was actually in the process of being the worst human being imaginable. No one was going to call me out of that mindset. When God called me He extended His love to me right where I was at. Do you understand that? Imagine this: just picture God above you with His hand extended downward to help you out of the situation or place your in. He's not judging you or angry with you or impatient with you, He simply waits for you to grab ahold of His hand and let Him pull you to safety and love. His place doesn't change for us, He stays right where He is...He pulls us to His level through His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Even Homo-sexuals, especially homo-sexuals.

You have the right to worship God and Jesus Christ in every church in every state. Grab a friend, lover, relative or any supporter who understands and go to church. Hand in hand and worship God the Father and the Son in happiness and peace. Dont let the awful hatred of Satan that has infected our beautiful God's childred infect you by not going anymore. All they can do is hate verbally. PAy them no mind...


Your Brother in Chains

Jeff Utnage, as always feel free to contact.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I have this bracelet. It's thin and flimsy and doesn't like to stay together very well. In fact, i'm always having to readjust it to make sure it doesn't catch on things and just tear apart. But, it's a rainbow bracelet. You know, the rainbow flag colors; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Those colors for me represent freedom.

In fact, you could let me out of here today and if I couldn't express myself as a gay man, I wouldn't feel freedom. In here I have no real option for expression. Our clothes are khaki and white, shoes are white or black, walls are gray and white, every electronic is complaints here though. I dont need to be different from everyone else. I already am. 

That is, until a friend of mine was talking about his little rainbow bracelet he wanted for his birthday. How juvenile I thought. Just the fact that he was wanting something for his birthday was a little off, but then he was asking for a bracelet?? Accessorizing in prison! What! You can't do that. But then I decided to make one for myself. I figured that I would just wear it for an hour or two then take it off when I caught to much heat for wearing it. 

Then something strange happened. I liked it, I found myself fidgeting with it. I became proud of it. I worry it's going to break, or get taken. It is like an old blanket that warms me in my dark times. As I go through this dismal place where everyone looks for an in to just rip you to pieces, this stupid little bracelet brings me right back to me. It's a symbol of my freedom, my ability to accept me.

It's funny how something so small and ridiculous can change your outlook. Lately I have been very depressed. This little, thin piece of jewelry helps me to remember that I may have come to prison and have a potential life sentence, but I came to prison and found myself. That is priceless and I am so thankful. I hate myself for my crime, but I am so glad that I came here. This reminds me of what I have gained by coming here. It reminds me of that man that I am currently. Not the man that I was. Why I have changed, who I have changed for and who stands to gain the most. 

So, this little bracelet is a friend to me, sounds stupid and ridiculous. I know, believe me I know. But it's true. One simple way that I can express my sexuality that doesn't make people uncomfortable, doesn't hurt anyone, doesn't defile my body, doesn't compromise my morals...

I hope that everyone finds there little rainbow bracelet in life and I hope that I find scores more. Thanks for listening. As always, feel free to contact me. You can contact me in the following ways: enter in my name and add to my contact list Jeff Utnage 823469 



Jeff Utnage 823469
stafford creek correction center
191 constantine way
aberdeen, WA 98520

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sometimes I think I am the most feared in prison. Not me as an individual, me as a type. I am the unafraid and unafraid gay man.

If a gay man comes to prison and throws caution to the wind, he becomes disrespected and more willing to cross personal boundaries. A straight man who has multiple sexual partners is a champion, but a gay man has one sexual partner in prison is outcast and treated like a deviant. This is usually where negative behavior begins, btw.

Once it's been reported among inmates and staff that this homo is whoring about (whether its reality or not, perception is reality in here) everyone gives up. Predators want to use them for prostitution and closeted sex. Staff assumes that's what they want and hardly intervenes. 
When they do it is the polar opposite, isolation. You see, the fear is sex. It's believed that we are uncontrollable sex fiends, so were seperated (for the safety and security of the facility). This comes from their own preconcieved ideas about what gay men are or aren't.

I've also been told that we are an infection. Responsible for breeding homosexuality in the prison system. That we somehow have this ability to force men three times our size to whip out their members for our obscene sick fantasies. Like we have an ability to cast spells or we are the latest super-villians in a comic book (watch out for...GASP!...Queero!). 

The truth is much less dramatic. Some of us allow ourselves to be abused for a long list of reasons. I do not have all the answers. Why do 'straight' men have sex with gay men and then hate us for it? Who knows! 

So when a man like me comes along with a way to improve the incarcerated gay community, you would think it would be embraced. Undoubtedly some don't want to change; out of fear, pure stubborness, addiction...the list goes on. However, my experience has been that most of the gay men I know want to be respected, happy and sober. They sometimes believe that's not possible to achieve, but they do want it. I want to enable them to achieve. A support system that promotes and enables us to edify one another.

In June of this year (2015) I submitted a proposal that would allow us to convene in a safe, chapperoned and staffed environment. Here we could work on self-esteem, positive behavior, addictions, self-respect, goal setting, being pressured etc. In addition, sometimes we need to be able to talk to other gay men. Just knowing your not being judged, a place where you feel secure to be you.

If you put a straight man in a womans prison the social and
pyschological damage would be drastic especially given he had no other peers like him. Why would a gay man in a straight prison be any different? 

My group proposed is free to the state, run by volunteers. It has a high probability to reduce our stress levels, allowing for more pressing issues to be addressed, gain resource info and where to get help. This will only help our recidivism rates go down...isn't that the point of this place?

I am looking for help. We need additional literature, a permanent outside sponsor, curriculum agendas, recidivism data for the LGBTQ community, prevention ideas and most of all we need your compassion. Your mentorship, we want to be successful, drug free and independent.
You can help by sending an email of support to the appropriate places (nicely, of course). To find out how you can help or to simply find out more info about me or my program or my future plans or anything at all, you can contact me the following ways:

1. Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Type in my name and follow the instructions listed (forgive the lack of details, we dont see the website face, only our secured end)

Jeff Utnage

Friday, November 20, 2015

Earlier this week I recieved the latest issue of The Advocate, in it there was an article written on drag queens and their role in the LGBTQ community. There kind of a love em' or hate em' group. Me personally, I love them. 

To me drag queens represent homosexuality. My earliest memories of what I percieved homosexuality to be involved drag queens. I remember the first drag queen I ever saw was in a movie, most of us remember "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything...Julie Newmar". Nothing was more captivating to me the Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes in a dress...nothing. 

Ever since that movie I have always had my eyes peeled to the tv screen and the streets looking for my next "drag" fix. I even tried o put make-up myself, I quickly figured out that I needed lots of practice and lots of time. Because clean-up before my mother got home was awful. I never got very good at it, though one time my cousin and I had a contest to see who could put make-up on the best. It involved our twin cousins and a closet on a farm...

Needless to say that I lost that competition, but, I am fairly certain that I tried the hardest. I was actually pretty embarrased because I knew that I wasn't very good, but how do you tell your family that you want to learn to put on make-up? In my case, my Mother may have been supportive, but in those days it was doubtful, especially given our circumstances. All I knew was that I envied drag queens for their boldness and their stage presence and their effortless ability to just walk right into a group of straight men and own them. For me that was power and poise and the very definition of strength.

Quite frankly I have always thought that loving drag queens was wrong, but then again, I was kinda taught that homosexuality was wrong. Now I know better, love em' or hate em' drag queens are beautiful to me, in all their gawdy attire and bad wigs and square faces and spray painted make-up, I love em'. To me they are the early soldiers in my life, I compare myself to them and my coming out boldness to them.

March on girls, your beautiful and one day when I get out of this place, perhaps you can teach me about make-up tips?!

Love, your brother in chains...

Jeff Utnage

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Learning To Be Gay

After coming out I had a real dilemma. I had never been around openly gay people for very long. I only had stereotypes and ideals to go on. My main vision of homosexuality was tv shows and family bigotry. It was very murky water for me. 

I thought that because I wasn't flamboyant or didnt sit crosslegged or limp my wrist or have a homosexual 'accent' that I wasn't fully gay, or perhaps I just wasn't a very good gay man. I thought that maybe I should go back in the closet and hide out there somemore until I figured it out. 

Then came a man named "Daz". He had a nickname that was short for "Dazzle", kinda cliche, I know, but that was his name and it was kinda fitting. He was this gentle man, the same age as me and he had been out his whole life. When it came to being gay, no one knew how to do it better them him. So I became his unknowing protege. I watched how he interacted with other people who didnt talk to me. I watched how he did everything. He had this way about him that was sure and confident of his every step. I admired that so much. I was a hotheaded child in a man's body and he wasn't. 

It's kinda funny because that whole time I hung out with him, I thought to myself "so this is homosexuality?" I wasnt really sure what that meant to me. I guess I was expecting musical numbers to break out whenever I got happy and confetti and glitter to sprinkle the chow halls when two or more gathered together. To me homosexuality was outlandishness and prancing. (ok, ok, it still kinda is for me, I actually just want to learn to dance solely so that I can one day break out in a musical number, probably Grease or maybe something from Cats..."

Me and Daz were amazing friends, story is much different from my own and perhaps I can tell you about some other time. After he released it tore me apart, I kinda felt like I had to carry on his confidence and poise. So I did, and when I did I realized that I hadn't learned to be gay, I had learned to be comfortable with myself and that there is no roadmap to being gay. There is no one way to act, there is no single path to homosexual happiness. He unknowingly taught me how to be happy with what's inside. Perhaps even knowingly, his character bled over to me and all I wanted to do was to have the same poise and self-reliance that he had. 

Now, all I want to do is provide that same building block to those who want it. Discovering myself was beautiful and very hard to do. I hope that I get to help someone feel better. There is no book of answers, it's all about being comfortable with you, whoever that is, however that presents itself. Perhaps dance, or art, or flamboyance....whatever it is were beautiful and amazing people.

Love you all

Jeff Utnage 823469

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Here's a problem to ponder. Tell me what you do in these types of situations. I work with a variety of individuals, it's a prison. However, in my particular work times and location I am the only "out" homosexual and I am held at arms length with most. I have worked very hard to establish myself as the one "gay guy" that is pretty militant about high self standards; I don't sleep around, I dont discriminate, I try to edify in most situations, I dont flirt, I work my butt off etc. Most men here, once they get to know me for a few months, generally aren't very homophobic of me also because I am very "masculine". I will use quotations on that because outwardly I am the typical man usually, but inwardly I am an insatiable queen! Believe That :)

So naturally when I get to work with other gay men who are out, I just want to be there as support for them. I wont let them sit by themselves, i'll introduce them to the friendly men who aren't going to predatorize them, i'll help them through rough know, the stuff that I had to figure out on my own. Ease their burden in a way.

So when my friend came to me today in my work area with a real problem I just wanted to help. These kinds of problems here in prison need to be handled semi-privately because your non-issue can quickly escalate into a real threat if the wrong people hear your troubles. So we stood there, close enough that his voice could be lowered for only me to hear and he says that he is uncomfortable working in his area. I of course ask why and he says its because people are making obscene comments about his sexuality. 

Now both of us are pretty resiliant to this, so this must have been somewhat vulgar for him to come to me with it, perhaps even scary. I wasnt sure so I looked over my shoulder to see who was in his work area. Perhaps I could identify his problem child. To my shock, I see that we have an audience of about 20 people. They are all pointing and laughing and I immediately hear their comments and lewd actions. They were saying things like "look at the f****n fags in the corner!" I wont even go into the rest. 

Needless to say that we were both embarassed and very angry. This obviously wasnt going to be a good place to sort out hurt was it? The same thing happens in the prison yard, in our living unit, at our jobs, at our church services (when were not asked to leave...yup, that's happening!)

Where is our venue to sort this out. Why is it taking so long to let us heal?

Jeff Utnage

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rehabilitation for prisoners is a communial effort. It is not always so simple as lock them up and when they are ready to reform they will find the tools that they need to do so. Everyone in the world has done something illegal and against the standards of society. Hence the term 'skeletons in the closet', everyone has them...what are yours?

In here we have lots of potential for support. Not everyone who works for DOC is a person who cares about our rehabilitation. In fact when I got to Stafford Creek one of the first things I heard from a person I have to deal with regularly is "I am not your friend". With this kind of mentality we are left to deal with ourselves on our own. It is made abundantly clear to all of us that rehabilitation is our sole responsibility. Some make it, some don't.

I don't necessarily disagree with the belief that my future is up to me, in fact, I would completely agree with that. Truth be told, no one is going to stop me fom being a productive citizen, my past mistakes are horrible, but does that mean that I have to live like that forever? Does that mean that any of you would want that? NO! You want me to "recover", you need me to be rehabilitated, not for just mine or your sakes, but because it's the right thing to do. 

None of us are defined completely by our mistakes. We make mistakes and then we learn from them. What then can you do? What is your responsibility? 

There are men and women in prison who are utterly convinced that they want to be better people, then we reach out to those nearest to us. Staff, family, friends etc. What we are looking for isnt handouts, but support. We need your encouragement and your love. We need to express gratitude and affection and humility. Not everyone in here is going to be reachable, some prisoners just want to waste away in themselves...there's just not alow we can do about them, but realistically, they are fewer then you think.

Many men just dont know how to take the first step, we need someone to simply tell us "you got this, it's going to be ok". For me personally, my goals in life are to be a waiter in a bar or restaurant and to just interact with people. My dreams consist of waiting tables and drawing portraits, maybe someday i'll be able to get my work into the Smithsonian Portrait gallery?! Here's hoping! We all have dreams and goals, fid the people that are ready to achieve them on their own and simply need a little smile while we journey. 

Your smiles and support could mean the difference between a life in prison and instability or positive success. We make the choices and it sure would be nice if someone else felt we were worth the effort.

Thank You!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I remember when I was a free man I went to a bar with my now ex-wife. We went there and met this couple, the husband seemed to be a very happy man who was content to simply follow his wife's lead. While the wife was a dominant personality, she was boisterous and funny and very outgoing. But she wasn't pushy, she was very opinionated and sure of herself.

While we were drinking and making small talk she asked me to describe me. I wasnt real sure what to say, I didn't have a clue. I went with the usual "i'm a redneck from Nebraska". What she said next surprised me she said "bullshit" simply and frankly. I looked at her husband and raised an eyebrow and smiled. He sheepishly looked down and finished his beer.

I wasn't real sure how to take it. Inside I was fuming, but deeper still, I admired her and wanted to shout out that she was right. I was unhappy and I hated the traditional sense of masculinity. Instead, I looked down at me bib overalls, my dirty work boots and my thick hands and laughed at her. She smiled back and said "your probably gay" she said it so matter of factly, so sure of herself. She went on to tell me that she was so sure of her assesment that she new for a fact that I wasn't happy being the man I was.

She stirred up some real emotion in me that night. I ended up breaking my car window out just to assert to myself that I was a man and not some silly fag pretending to play house.

How far i've come since that night. What I appreciate about that memory is that there was at least one person in this world that wanted to know who I was really. She was relentless in wanting to know who I was and no answer I was giving her was good enough. Mainly I believe that she sensed a big insecurity in me and wanted to root it out. Who knows, but I haven't forgotten her since.

Maybe she was just simply drunk and abrasive, maybe she was a vessel God took over for a few hours to try and talk some sense into me before I got drastic or maybe I got drunk and dreamt the whole thing (although, my window was in fact broken and I did meet them in the following there! I'm not that nuts! LOL!) regardless, when I meet people I do something similar. 

I want to know the real person, the person you were intended to be. Driven, sincere, nice, honest and sure of yourself. That's the people I want around me, people who are demanding of the truth in all it's beautiful forms.

I am a man who once was dead and useless, until I wasn't. I love my LGBTQ family, and I know that one day you will all love me too.

With Love,

Your Brother in Chains
Jeff Utnage 

Feel free to write me at 

Jeff Utnage 823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520


You can write me by finding my name and DOC# on add yourself to my contact list and i'll write you.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Born For Adversity

Born For Adversity:

What happens when every door you try to walk through closes in your face? Well, in short, we keep going. There is a part of us as LGBTQ family that is almost uniquely designed for adversity. It is almost like we were specifically designed to withstand trauma. We are born with a target on our backs. I have heard it said that only the strong survive...we certainly fit the bill. 

We come out of the womb as a curiosity for those who do not understand homosexuality or Gender Identity divergents. It is like we are this strange fruit that humanity is trying to discover all the facts about. I imagine scientists with all these theories gathered around a well lit office meeting room with all their different clinical views posted up for all to see. Meanwhile, the subject is forgotten. While humanity is "discovering" us, we are still living, breathing and feeling human beings. 

Since I have submitted my proposal at my correctional center I have ran into a laundry list of different attitudes about it. Some are enthusiastic because they believe in equality, some are enthusiastic because they think it will never happen while others are completely against it. 

The good news about this, we were born for this. I am uniquely designed to overcome. I wasnt true to myself my whole life, scared to death to come out of the closet and just be who I was born to be, a homosexual male. I am proud of this fact. Not being true to myself and my genetic differences caused me to be a very dark man. The minute I became true to my identity, my entire life changed. I will never go back to the weak and stiffled man I was and I will forever persevere against inequality. Why? Because option "B" doesnt exist... My only true choice is to march forward and onward, right into the storm. Face it head on because that's what we do. We face adversity, because when we allow others to stiffle and supress your true self, you create victims. Even if the only victim you create is yourself, this is a tragedy. The world needs you. It needs your energy and vitality and aura and vibrancy. I need you...

Never give up, when the place your in shuts the door, keep knocking. Try different knocks, different doors. Get others to knock with you...

Knock with me. We were born for this. 

Your Brother In Chains,

Jeff Utnage

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


SUBMITTED: 6-15-2015
LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS Peer Support & Education Group:


Having a sexuality or gender identity divergent from the norm can be difficult under any circumstances, not to say anything about the life altering prospects of contracting a potentially fatal immunodeficiency disease. Inside prison, however, one's experience with these kinds of challenges can be especially difficult, which can lead to emotional turmoil at least or even complete disruption of one's life at worst. Even the best case scenario could lead to diminished likelihood of success upon release, which is adverse to what should be the preeminent penalogical objective: rehabilitation. That is why a group where 
individuals among the LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS positive community could engage each other therapeutically and educationally is called for.
In a nutshell, these groups would convene up to once a week and begin with a few short, prepared remarks about an
educational/therapeutic topic of interest (see list under *Topics). This would be followed by group discussion centered around the topic transitioning into an open discussion moderated by the group's sponsor and/or chosen participant (see * under Notes). During the group no one would be compelled to contribute to any of the discussions. Pertinent literature (i.e. books, pamphlets, leaflets covering topics such as PREA, safe sex practices [to be clear, inmate relations will always be strongly discouraged generally in the group, however, most attendees will have release dates and so safe sex practices in the "free world" will be touched on], hygiene, disease prevention/maintenance, therapeutic topics, etc.) will be made available. Fifteen minutes before each meeting adjourns we would allow everyone to finish up or make any last minute additions or suggestions for future meetings. 

Rules & Restrictions:
*Must not have been CONVICTED of a Prison Rape or Strong Arming within the last five years. (Hopefully, this will deter potential predators from joining the group.)
*The group will be open to anyone who would like to participate, not just the GBTQ & HIV/AIDS community. (We hope this will encourage openmindedness through exposure and education.) 

Group Purpose:
The group will provide emotional support to the LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS positive community within prison and encourage beneficial, healthy behaviors through peer education and continued peer support. 
Individual members of this community may feel isolated which could lead to crisis. Access to peers in a safe, monitored, group environment may serve to prevent crises by connecting these individuals to a support system that may be able to help them recover. Because the LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS positive community is unique and faces 
correspondingly singular challenges it is necessary to broach topics not otherwise addressed. Tough and emotionally challenging topics will be regularly discussed for the amelioration of the whole community. The desired end is that men will gain a better sense of their identity and as a result will be able to appropriately handle adverse situations. Men equipped with healthy emotional responses to their day-to-day lives can only benefit and compliment any former and/or current available cognitive programming that addresses prison recidivism.
Being isolated and unable to express ourselves can be psychologically damaging. The availability of a peer support group where we all have a common tie will allow for healthy and safe expression of our identities.

Group Structure:
The initial structure is planned to be very basic and loose. This is intentional so wr can practically determine a solid format, though we are highly confident that in its current plan it will be valuable and productive. This plan entails: a one-hour block of group discussion on a topic, allowing for discussions of personal experiences and advice on how to cope and deal with certain experiences followed by around an hour of open discussion. At the end of each group a topic from the list will be given (or chosen by forum) for the next group, a short lecture (usually taken directly from the literature and only long enough to engender ideas for discussion; discussion being promoted but never required) will be prepared (or retrieved) , then given the following group. Continual attempts will be made by the sponsor/moderator to educate the attendees on positive & healthy behaviors as outlined by literature approved by SCCC medical staff. 
The curriculum is intended to be ongoing to stay on top of 
political/social/scientific/medical developments. It will also revolve to deal with the anticipated high turnover rate that will render any formal, linear curriculum impractical. A list of core topics will be kept and added to at the suggestion of group members. We do want to allow some leeway for experimentation as well as additional small, subtle format changes to keep the group alive as an ongoing, continually improving process and reflection of its current members' interaction styles, while always retaining the bare bones formal structure (as formalized in this document or any future proposals) that can be taught and handed down to subsequent facilitators for future groups.
The initial sponsor (see *notes) will more than likely not lead the group. However, the hope is that a permanent sponsor will be located who will be available to host group meetings regularly, eliminating the need for inmate facilitators. Of great importance to our cause are the significant benefits to an inmate-led group discussion, such as openness and trust. This is proven with other current successful groups that are still used currently. They are highly successful with breaking trust and empathy barriers, especially when DOC staff is present.
During open discussion, on weeks when a participant volunteers, a segment called "My Story" will be allotted time. During this period, the volunteering group member will be able to share elements of his life experience relating to contracting HIV/AIDS or being LGBTQ, coming to terms with these facts, and/or coming out to friends and family and how these have impacted his life. This could provide a way to tie the group together emotionally, promote awareness and compassion, allow a person the chance for some catharsis. It could take the difficult topics one cannot usually share with the straight community and immediately bring them to the surface. We think this will allow a courageous 
participant to own up to a past that may have otherwise remained repressed and internally malignant.

Sex, PREA reporting and education, disease control and prevention, gender identity, LBGTQ definitions, stigmas, spirituality, resource availability, mentoring, cellmate relations (non-sexual, obviously there will be no advocating/condoning sexual relations between inmates), family, drug and emotional dependency, self esteem, self acceptance, how to ask for help, when to get additional support, ostracism, social treatment, other topics as they arise.

Other Items Of Concern:
CALLOUT: To protect the anonymity of the attendees the call-out should read "educational programming" or something equally unidentifiable. It should be note that we expect this to changed over time to a formal name as dictated by the facility climate and increased
awareness/comfort of the inmate population.
PROMOTION: The promotion of the group could be multi-faceted: word of mouth, a single page flyer on the bulletin boards, a facility 
memorandum entry, and an update to the unig counselors and mental health staff should suffice. Counselors and mental health staff are often the first staff to know of an inmate's sexuality or identity and/or related struggles. If they are informed about the group theh can pass thay on to the inmates on their caseloads at their discretion. 
SAFETY & SECURITY: All attempts will be made to thwart any efforts by participants to organize inside and outside of the group for any other reason than peer support or other items outlined in this proposal. This group will not be used as a conduit for the formation and/or meeting of any security threat group. Members will be asked to leave immediately
if there is any suspicion that they are interested in the group for those purposes.

For additional information and/or questions please contact:
Jeff Utnage #823469 
H-3-A-20-U Stafford Creek Corrections Center Aberdeen, WA

>We have secured a provisional sponsor, INFORMATION REDACTED, who will act as moderator/observer until a more appropriate (by which we mean outside) replacement is approved. Said sponsor will be there to ensure the safety and security of the institution and inmates is not comprimised. Said sponsor will not be offering mental health advice or counsel and will operate within the parameters and guidelines
prescribed by DOC/SCCC.
>Jeff Utnage #823469 will be the facilitator until an outside sponsor is comfortable and capable of facilitating.

Thank you for your consideration!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Do you know what that looks like? Have you ever stared hatred in the face and understood that you are powerless to change their mind? In here I am a circus freak, a side show that bigot minded men can't help but stare at. I know they hate my confidence. They talk to each other about how I don't know my place. The truth about hate is ugly and its not dead. What they all fail to realize is that I do know my place, right beside them. 

The LGBTQ community is among the most hated today in and out of prison. The difference is that in prison I have nowhere to go but the hole for protection. I cant just walk away, leave. I have to smile, excuse myself non-aggressively and walk away leaving them satisfied with public ridicule just to protect myself. 

Hatred has many faces my friends. Its crafty, a formidable foe. I deal with it as many before me have. There simply is not another choice but to understand that I cannot change, my nature is a homo-sexual man. The truth is I can deny my nature, and believe me when I say it led me here. I have changed my unhealthy and negative ways and taken full responsibility for my actions. Those who hate want me to live under that tyranny for ever, I refuse. One day I will be free, when I am free I will NOT be that pitiable, selfish and hateable monster they all want me to be.

I am not my past and neither are you. I am worthy of love, so are you. We have been down some dark roads haven't we? Yet we don't even know each other. Know that when I am hated I look to you and smile. Know that you can too. Smile back brothers and sisters because we are pretty, and smiling defies hate. You defeat hate with love. I love you all.

In prison there is a distinct lack of support for the gay community. We are seen as a cancer, a disease to be cured. We are separated and it is just assumed that where we are promiscuity and dishonor are as well. I have been trying to organize a very basic support group and it is being ignored. I have had to fight these very preconceived notions from the start. In fact, some staff still laughs at the idea of a LGBT support group. As if our concerns are tiny compared to theirs. 

Do not neglect those in prison. One day we will be out, among you and you should hope to God that we received help. This is a way to help each other in a very deep rooted level, emotional support. When we take the time to address ourselves among our own, we tend to not be sleeping around or drug addicts. We want to be positive resources for our communities, at least I do. I am fighting for my future and I want to fight for my communities future. In here is the front lines, it is still acceptable to segregate, men still glory in hatred here. 

A simple way to help, a support group. Yet its so scary that I am ignored. Can anyone help? I've written the mayor, all staff at my prison have heard my requests, yet I am forgotten. 

Please help, I am not giving up on me. I am worth investment because I won't allow my community to suffer. I will continue to fight for us in here for rehabilitation. Because we all deserve it. It will start with men seeking support from one another in a positive and healthy environment and manner. Which a basic support system that meets regularly we can identify our needs and address them systematically. What is so scary about that. DOC (Department of Corrections) does not know how to help us. So I will help them identify our unique circumstances and challenges...GASP! I know, its unbelievable I care and am unwilling to submit to failure or our current topic: hate. 

Thank you for listening. 

Your brother in chains,

Jeff Utnage

Feel free to contact.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Not much gets me going the way hateful Christians can. Let me say this; I am a Christian, meaning I follow the covenant of Jesus the Christ, I believe He was God in the flesh and my sins are forgiven. Period, no one is going to change that.

Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus preach hate, or oppression. But we have people who are using Christianity as a means to protect their right to hate a whole culture. HELLO! We cant help that we are gay, do you know what that means? That means your a racist, a bigot. Someone who is full of hate towards a specific group of people. Does that sound like Christian values? 

I am not going to pick apart my brothers and sisters shortcomings and flaws. I am going to lift them up in prayer and ask that our Father grant me mental and emotional fortitude and stability for the remainder of my time here on this plain. 

What benefit do you get from hate? Even if you cloak it with "I love you but hate your sin..." WHAT? So you hate all people then, right? Because the Christian bible I read says that all fall short of perfection, meaning that every one of us is going to meet God as a sinful creature. Oh, but your sin or your childrens sin is "unintentional" therefore more forgivable...keep telling yourself that. Our most righteous and sinless moments are still as filthy rags, yet, you still make yourself above me saying your sins are less then mine.

I am not in sin because I am gay. There are more than 1500 animal species that we know of that have homosexuality in its culture. I suppose God will condemn them for their abominable nature. Get with the program! Animals know no sin, they have no choice but to act out their created and intended natures. Yes, that means that God made them that way...gasp! If God made homosexuality in the animal kingdom then He made it in us too. 

To my beloved LGBTQ community: God doesn't hate you, and He doesn't want you to hate Him or His ignorant and blind children. He provided reconciliation 2000+ years ago... Don't be bothered with the devils lies, follow Christ and receive life, let no one on this plain deter us from living happy and beautiful lives.

I was set free by God. That works for me and my quest for peace. I hope that each person who reads this gets set free from the tyranny of a hateful heart. I love you all and will spend the rest of my life serving you so I can perhaps bring some part of peace into your lives through love and the love I have received from God Himself. 

Feel free to write,
Your Brother In Chains

Jeff Utnage #823469
Stafford Creek Correction Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I came to prison in September of 2011. I did not come here for some noble or just cause. I came here because I was an awful and miserable man who was willing to do anything other than me, whatever that was. Upon arrival here a man told me "this place can be a womb or a tomb, you can lay down and die or learn to live".

I have not forgotten those words...I forged through changes that were difficult for anyone. I lost 110+ lbs, I became honest and painfully transparent, I lost family but gained myself. The most pivotal moment in my life was when I was still sweating from a workout sitting on the edge of my bunk and I began to pray. Earlier that day while running I seen a man who was flamboyantly gay. I thought about that while I ran, I had been afraid of this my whole life...judgement. Here was this frail man,being himself and happy, obviously being judged by a whole prison yard. Yet he stood. My whole life I had done whatever I could to avoid admitting to myself that I was gay, toxic marraige, kids, manly jobs, shitty attitudes on those around me. The list goes on and on. But that afternoon I broke, I thought everyone hated me and since death hadnt worked I was going to have to finally live with myself. An almost tragic thought, I sat there on the edge of my bed and in utter defeat I barely whispered "Lord, i'm gay". Then the most peculiar thing happened, I felt free. It was like I was living in black and white my whole life and then all of a sudden the world was in brilliant and vibrant color. Everything became so clear, the next thought was my crime, my past, the hurt ive caused, the needless misery on myself and all I could think was " oh my God, what have I done?"

Since that day I have been laser focused on rehabilitation and inward reflection. I have learned so much about myself and have realized that I have so much more to learn. I may have seriously screwed up the first 28 years, but the next 28...I have a choice.

Which leads me here. I have met so many closeted and openly gay men since 2011 it is shocking. Many of us have similar stories and unfortunately, damages. It's saddening that the addage is true; ill equiped hurt people, hurt people. Not an excuse for negative behavior or justification for what got us here (which was solely and squarely our own choices), but rather a realization that we have a choice to be positive people.

I have discovered that I love my community. All of it, I am in love with the LGBTQ community and all of its flaws and perfections. I hear stories from our peers and I just want to give everyone a big hug. I cant help it, my mind and heart stays busy foraging through their pain. I constantly analyze myself to figure what needs to be changed in me so I can be better equipped to help my LGBTQ family. So I have asked for a GBTQ Peer Support Group, this would allow incarcerated people to provide emotional support and stability to one another in a formal environment. Our current methodology is going to yard and speaking with one another there, hardly a safe place for serious conversation. 

So this is where I begin. I have been pushing for this group since (formally) June of 2015. It still hasnt been approved where I am 
incarcerated, but its at other prisons already. I am ever hopeful.

Please dont give up on us. Some of us really want to change ourselves and we are. I am reaching out to anyone who will listen, I will spend the rest of my life helping rehabilitate the broken, with or without help. Because people deserve it and I legitimately love people.

Until next time, feel free to contact me: enter my name Jeff Utnage and add (sending emails cost you and me money)
Mail letter to me:(yup, people still do that, LOL!)
Jeff Utnage #823469
Stafford Creek Correctional Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, WA 98520