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