Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Project Anti-Violence March: Uniting The Marginalized

I have an idea. I want to organize an Anti-Violence March in downtown Seattle for the summer of 2018. 

Not just any anti-violence march, one that involves every marginalized community. A way to unite all the organizations for a common cause, to end violence against our community. 

Unite women, LGBT, people of color, different religions, the poor...everyone. Bring every group together for a massive demonstration that will look something like this:

It would start with thousands marching, in tandem. Left foot up, left foot down. For the noise effect of onlookers. A marching force, behind them two rows of people carrying cardboard caskets, four people to each casket. Have the caskets painted with peoples names on them, people who have died because of something they couldn't help, like being a woman, or black, or because of gang violence.
Then, have people with signs intermingled with stats on how many people died last year due to violence because of gangs, hatred, religion, greed. 

I see thousands of caskets being carried, in a long, seemingly endless procession. All this to show the reality of what violence is doing to our community. Why its important now more than ever to unite. Why we are fighting for equality so hard. Because as long as their is one victim due to violence of any sort, we have not finished.

By having a display such as this will touch the emotions of those who don't want to see it. Such a showing will spark marches all over the country, demanding peace, demanding equality. All done peacefully and quietly.

One death is all of our problems. One punch on one is a punch on our mother, our children, our brothers, our sisters, our wives, and our husbands. Every hateful word, every bullet, every wad of spit, every hurts us all. 

Help me accomplish this by summer 2018. If you are apart of an organization contact me. 
If you want to help in any capacity, contact me. In the mean time, those of you who read this, pass it along. Help me make this a reality. 

There is no equality until there is all equality. Our president may divide, but we are greater than our president...

Contact site administration by email at: for further details and how to help! or contact me directly at:
Jeff Utnage 823469 D-610-1
Monroe Correction Center-Twin Rivers Unit
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272

With Love

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ahh, The Many Forms Of Gay and Trans Activism!

What comes to mind when you think Activist? Is it the pictures of Stonewall? Is it the San Francisco Pride Parade? Harvey Milk?

None of those are wrong. All those images come for me too. There is more to it though. Activists are leaders. We are community builders. We

Activism is also sitting down with a fellow LGBT person and counseling them. Its showing them how to properly deal with whatever pain they're feeling. When to fight back, when not to. Reading their poetry. Activism is late nights in a Psychology, 12th Edition, early mornings with MTV and coffee. It's standing up.

Activism is not tolerating the abuse, the ignoring of, the marginalizing of our people. It's speaking for them when they are gripped with fear or bursting with pain. Its holding them back when they are about to make a mistake they'll regret. Its love.

Activism is showing up at a park with Alt-Right in military, ready to stand against them. Activism is understanding that when someone of color is marginalized, LGBT people are right behind them. 

Unleash your inner activist. When conversations turn sour, say something. When oppression happens, stand up, expose it. Most importantly, help.

I am an activist in your community. 

With Love

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Women's Right To Equal Pay, Is It An LGBT Concern?

I could spout all kinds of nostalgic memories of how women shaped my life, everyone can. If memories could bring about equality...well, this wouldn't even be a discussion.

I wish I could say that equality is almost a non-issue. Have you watched the news lately? No need to point it out, were all holding our breath hoping the next Charlottesville isn't our main street. 

Maybe we should be though...

Women have exceeded men in many higher education degrees. Proving not only their equal to men but have significant strengths that are clearly underestimated. Yet, the national pay average for women vs men says that women earn .23/cents less for the same job with the same qualifications and in many cases, are more qualified for the job. 

They make up less than 10% of the top executive positions and those that are there, earn less. As much as $31k less per year, according to some reports.

How does this relate back to LGBT? Besides the fact that our sisters (gay, bisexual, and trans women) are directly affected by this it still means that straight white American men are favoring one another. Which leaves little room for qualified minorities, LGBT people (at least "out" ones), or anyone else they don't "like." It still means that WE don't have a seat at the table, still leaving US marginalized. 

When one group is discriminated against it is a "we" problem. By allowing discrimination against anyone, it opens the door for more. 

First we are refusing service to gay weddings at a floral shop, then were banning trans people from the military, then were protecting straight white men's right to supremecy...what's next? Next its women being stifled back into the corner, then its gays are being murdered and driven out, then its poor people are being segregated into tightly packed urban areas being blocked access to the same education opportunities offered to rich white kids. Oh wait, this happening already.

See where this is heading? We can pretend to not be affected by such things. But the ripple effects of hatred, bigotry, classism, superiority, and fear of change are far reaching. What begins as a small earthquake on one side of the ocean ends in a life ending tsunami on the other.

Should we fight for equal rights of women as LGBT...absolutely, we should fight for it with every ounce of energy we have. It starts by not supporting companies who are ignoring the problem. Don't forget the power you have as a consumer, the power of choice. Its so easy to go elsewhere and to make sure the company knows why they don't get your business. Out them on social media, blog about them. Praise the ones that are fair.

With Love,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Queen Elizabeth And Me

In my cell I have a picture of Queen Elizabeth taped to a cork board. Actually, at the time of the photo she was Princess Elizabeth. 

I am very moved by it. In it she is walking toward the camera looking to her right at a wall of soldiers all standing at attention dutifully. Her expression is relaxed, bright posture, mouth curved in a slight smirk almost. More about this photo in a moment though.

In another photo I no longer have, the Princess is laughing hysterically with friends in a lightly treed park somewhere. She is light, airy, unaware of her powerful presence in that moment. I wasn't intrigued by any of her photos, or anything Royalty based, until I received the one hanging up in my cell. 

The contrast in presence alone is strong. In the photo of her walking pass the soldiers it seems as though she has just realized her authority and position in life. In fact, I'd be willing to bet on it. Like she has just had that all inspiring "Aha!" moment where her trajectory in life was made clear and this one photo is the instant she accepted such things. This is, of course, my interpretation.

I also have Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, but neither give me more hope for my future than that picture. I couldn't tell you why, but it certainly does.

With Love

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Our Gay'ly Bread: How To Strengthen Your Faith

When you don't feel comfortable going to a church but still believe in God, how do you increase your faith? I have put together some tools for you from my own experience as a gay man who still loves his God.

1) Communicate with God
Prayer is not an opportunity to ask your genie for your three wishes. It's a way to let God know how you feel. Talk like your orating to a journal. Yell at Him, cry to Him, laugh with Him, pour out your heart...just talk to Him. 

2) Read the Bible daily
I read the Proverb of the day every morning. There are 31 Proverbs, one for every day of the month. If its the 20th, I read Proverbs 20. Often I read an old and new testament chapter after, but I always start my morning with my Proverb. At least, it provides wisdom for your day.

3) Know that God wants you happy, not miserable
Christianity is not constant torment and on-your-knees subjection. Its being successful, happy, humble, loving, peaceful, and charitable. God designed you for something specific and it wasn't to be His whipping post. There was one Job, not Job plus you. If we have free will to make mistakes, then we must also have free will to make the right decision! If something is wrong in your life, try making some changes.

4) Bring God with you
When you go anywhere, do anything, bring God. A simple and quiet "God, let's go get this coffee, or fire this employee, or make my morning coffee" will remind you of His presence. God is with you anyway, but by acknowledging His presence in your day-to-day life, it helps your bond grow and makes you more mindful of what you do.

Remember that faith is not faith if you can see it. Faith is the absence of proof. Which is why God asks us to keep it. It can only increase in more absence, requiring more usage, more dependence. 

With Love

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Problem With Being A Straight White Male Is...

A friend of mine, we'll call him Gus, started to mimic the stereotypical gay male; super lispy, bent wrist, very valley girlish. As Gus kept at it, I grew more uncomfortable, but wasn't able to identify why exactly. I just knew I didn't like it.
I told Gus I was uncomfortable, but it persisted anyways, resulting in me leaving. Truthfully, I just wanted to preserve a little of my pride. Because as he went on, others joined in thinking it was all a big joke.

It wasn't until I asked another friend of mine who was black his opinion that I actually felt validated in being a little hurt. I asked him if someone did that to him, instead talking like a stereotypical black man; a whole group of people doing it right to your face in jest. I asked him if he would be offended. 

The answer for him was a resounding yes.

We broke down the details of why it hurts and why my friend still doesn't see how what he did was hurtful. The conclusion was this; he felt like he was the "norm" and that everyone is like him. Being a straight, white male is his idea of normal and he knows nothing else. 

Growing up in a trailer park and being poor isn't the same as being naturally and visibly different. Something like skin cannot be hidden and sexuality is potentially harmful to the psychy if suppressed. Though, I will admit that being LGBT is different than being black (or any other race for that matter) our desired outcome is the same, despite our different struggles.

Being a straight, white man has been the "standard" in so many aspects of life for so long. Making fun of someone else's stereotypes just doesn't seem harmful because they have been doing it for so long it too seems normal. What's the problem now, why all of a sudden? Like saying something is "gay," everyone says they don't mean it "that way" but I would argue, how else can you mean it?

The reason I care now is...I recognize it finally that it hurts and I am no longer afraid to stand up for myself. That's why now, I am tired of being put down by those around me and if it doesn't stop, I will find new friends, real friends, that's why now.
Now I realize how much it hurts. Especially when you express it out loud, finally recognizing how uncomfortable it can make you (because it doesn't always) and your concern goes ignored as if you were the one at fault because yourr to sensitive! When this happens it becomes an issue of basic human rights to a happy and peaceful life. A world in which a gay man is normal, a black man is normal because in our world...this is already the case, we are the "norm." 

With Love

Friday, August 18, 2017

Coming Out During Puberty VS Coming Out As An Adult: What Everyone Should Know About Late Blooming LGBT People

As a teen you date. You kiss a bunch of people, or at least think about it. Libido is through the roof. You fall in and out of love like the tides. you gain experience, in other words.

The same process happens for LGBT people as teens. If you come out as a teen then you get a semi-normal teen experience (in accepting homes and environments). However, when you come out later in life it almost feels like you have to re-experience that again.

In prison there is a mixed bag off LGBT people. Some have been out long before prison while others only came out recently. Having access to other levels of maturity within the LGBT community is vital for growth, just like our teenage years. Teens need to be around other teens sometimes to feel normal. They also need just as much, if not more, time with mature adults so they can visually learn what maturity looks like. When teens are alone with one another they emulate adult behavior.

Mature people are needed for the LGBT community in prison, and out of prison. It is one thing to see an actor on TV or someone receive an activism award (thank you LOGO) publicly, however, spending time with other mature gay/lesbian, trans, or bisexual people is really, really important.

Most people who came out as adults went through their developmental years believing LGBT is wrong and/or deviant. A learning curve is obvious in that light.

In prison it is constantly reinforced that LGBT is wrong. Though we have made strides in the past 14 months in particular, we are still far from being acceptable, despite what some may think. Remember, it is still illegal to act gay in prison, there is a very real punishment for consentual homosexual acts.

The support we need is just as diverse as the LGBT community. Whatever you have to offer, we need it. Even if it is just as simple as an "I hear you" on the comment section.

With Love

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I'd Rather Be Hated Than Ignored

Hopefully you have never been to jail or prison. It challenges your idea of "alone." While I have been here I have made some major personal, character, and moral changes. While reaching out to the outside world for help I have discovered that being invisible is far worse than being hated.

I have a thing I do, I write five letters a week. I write to businesses, politicians, foreign leaders, LGBT organizations, community org's and so on. I have been doing this for quite some time now, writing letters. Funny how I have written letter after letter and gone nearly 100% ignored. Nobody replies.

I can't decide if they aren't replying because my writing skills are sub par, my ability to clearly convey my intentions is off, maybe they fear writing an inmate, or perhaps its because I am dealing with a world that doesn't know what to do with a handwritten letter anymore.

Whatever the reason, week after week I write and write. And week after week I run back to my unit from college, hoping to finally get a letter, or 50, and it never ceases to sting when my name isn't called. I'm not whining about it, anymore. Now its just plain funny. 

I write and write, my peers are even listening for my name now. We laugh and joke about it. For some its even a community effort, they proofread what I write, to verify that it is as professional and succinct as possible. Every week I drop 5 more.

Even though its funny on the outside, inside it hurts to realize that I'm not worth responding to. I hold onto the idea that I am rehabilitated, that people want me to do better. But nobody will tell me that and I can't seem to figure out why. What is most shocking to my peers is that LGBT organizations won't respond to me. It kind of blows me away too.

Its OK though. I just won't give up. I have a drive inside me that won't quit. I am rehabilitated, I am better, I am worth responding to. I am going to make a difference in this world, in my community, in my people. 

So now I'm going to write ten letters a week.
Send me some addresses...

With Love

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Facade Of Fear

Someone who thought they were close to me made a comment on how surprised they were that I watched UFC given my anti-violent stance. I didn't really reply to him because he can think whatever in the hell he wants. The truth is, this person is hyper-masculine and has the whole alpha male thing going on, something I despise BTW.

I don't fear these people, rather, it's their unpredictability. Their need to defend their dominance. You see, for me, if I get into a fight even to just defend myself, it could cost me my release date and not just by a few weeks. No, it could cost me the rest of my life, one little punch in self-defense. That...I fear.

I put up walls with people like him for a reason. I don't want them to know me, mainly because the information will only be used to manipulate me into subjection. I serve no man and neither should you.

Subservience and subjection is one of the few things I simply won't tolerate. How to deal with it is tricky and difficult when standing up for yourself can mean a lifetime in prison, literally.

If people around you are putting up walls and you are constantly surprised by new things about them, perhaps you should consider that the people around you are uncomfortable with you? You should know that it is totally up to you to change that.

Alpha personalities are not always welcome and are rarely necessary. Taking charge and having self-control is NOT "alpha" behavior, it's called adulthood and should be practiced by everyone. 

With Love

Friday, August 11, 2017

Our Gay'ly Bread: "Where No Oxen Are, The Trough Is Clean..."

The other half of this Proverb is ..."but much increase comes by the strength of an ox." 

Sometimes we expect changes in our lives to be clean, neat, and simple. Things that require a bit more attention get ignored because it often comes with collateral messes that need attention. It's the big things we need to challenge within ourselves.

I like this proverb because it explains that change isn't this perfectly neat and orderly process. Its messy, uncomfortable, and requires additional help most often. That's where God comes in. Believe it or not there is a plan for you. You were born for a purpose and a cause. 

Life, our childhood, and adult experiences all play a part in deviating us from our intended courses. The good thing is, God knew that and created you anyway! Not only were you created despite that, but God can use you BECAUSE of that. Our "mistakes" and "shortcomings" are what God uses to prepare us for His purpose. It gives us a humble attitude and a willingness to endure.

Your mistakes are not just regrets, they are tools to draw on later in life when things get messy. I encourage you to think about what your next self-improvement task should be and ask for help. If things get a little or even a lot messy, all that means is that bigger changes are coming.

With Love

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Donald Trump Jr A Distraction For His Dad? Is My Inner Big Brother Coming Out?

I am a legit Big Brother fan. I watch it avidly and get all wrapped up in its social intricacies. As I listen to the news and what's going on with the current presidency it seems awful suspicious that the media is being hand fed story after story. 

As the news of Don Jr. having a meeting with a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin broke I couldn't help but think this is a distraction from something else. Trump is taking blow after blow in the media and I assume he needs a break long enough to accomplish something. Get the heat off of him for a few weeks. Was his son a sacrifice? Only time will tell. 

My prediction: Trump doesn't give a crap about health care, he wants a legacy that lasts in history books. Think about it, he already has fame and fortune, he doesn't need that. He just may lead us right into WWIII. 

Scary Times.

With Love

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Are You LGBT? Is That Okay To Ask?

With the modern "metro" man becoming the new normal for heterosexuals it is difficult for all people to tell who's LGBT and who's not. Sounds a little judgy. I wonder, if you asked the people in your circle if they used stereotypes to identify other LGBT people, particularly gay and bisexual men, what the answer would be. 

Even us in this community get a little sideways sometimes. I have had plenty of times that I pegged someone as gay and you weren't going to convince me otherwise. Then the guy nonchalantly drops his girlfriend of several years into the mix...oops. Not that having a girlfriend is the end-all-be-all of straightness.

I don't know about you, but for me I used to simply ask. Straight up, no wondering, just a bold and simple "Hey, are you gay?" In which case I usually follow that up with my own sexuality to let them know its not a bad thing in my mind. Not everyone is happy about it.

A part of me thinks its my own judgementalism while another part thinks its their fault for being so "metro." Both are flawed, I know, and I will work on it, but until then...should I just ask or keep myself wondering?

With Love

Friday, August 4, 2017

About Them Role Models...

With the term "role models" seemingly vacant in adulthood it may seem peculiar to have a robust conversation about them.
For me it is on my mind constantly. Am I being a good role model? Who can I learn from that is within my reach? Should I be a role model? Do I have anything left to offer?

So many of us take too lightly our impact on the immediate world around us. Our body language speaks volumes about us to another persons subconscious. Before we say a single word, our bodies and brains have had a full conversation! 
As adults we have to consider that people around us are unsure in areas of their life. We all perk up when someone is doing seemingly well in an area where we are uncertain. It is how we learn. Being aware of this give and take is beneficial to all of us. It could very well be the key to real peace in our immediate environment. 

This is far more realistic than a Utopian dream. This is the essence of how we improve and what our greatest contributions to the world are, our knowledge and wisdom.

This is role modeling. The golden rule. Do unto others as you want done unto you. Be the friend your looking for. Be the example of leadership your looking for. Practice the level of self control you seek in your family and those around you. Teach how you want to be taught. 

Even if you don't formally sit down with people and "teach" them your wisdom, it shows in your actions. People watch us, they absorb what is pleasant and reject what is bitter. Wisdom settles like honey within our souls while foolishness rots. The difference is easy to spot. 

We are ALL role models, we are ALL teachers. Even if you have no children, in fact, especially if you have no children.

With Love

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Prison Is A lot Like Facebook, Especially For LGBT People

It has been a long time since I have been on Facebook. What I remember of it still the same as far as I know. It's a way to connect in social groups, get news updates that are specific and somewhat filtered to your liking, and interact with your community. 

You choose who you allow into your world. Prison is a lot like that, in a way. There are those that take an interest in what you do, how you do it, and why. Just like Facebook. They troll you and either you have haters or lovers. Just like social media in general, the more you allow people to see you, the more comments you get.

Today I did my hair different (this has relevance, just stick with me) because I could...and I have a visit with my Mother. I like the hair bun look, so I had two put in, one on either side. It is feminine and lighthearted, right up my alley. The look isn't to draw attention or get comments from people who don't really know me, it's so that my Mother and I can have fun with it, she can get to know my more feminine side, and I can feel more like myself. 

But just like social media, comments come. I have the typically bigoted bunch who hate me no matter what I do, especially when they see me as feminine and it makes them feel attracted to me, they hate me even more for that. Then, of course, we have our bunch who thinks I am just the hottest thing on the planet and can't stop themselves (until they realize I will never have sex with them, then I'm just a bitch...silly boys!) until the next thing comes along, and you have those with all different variations of either. But its the friends, the real friends, who just simply look me over and see that I am happy with it and we all move on.

I guess I bring this up to let everyone know that in real life, social media doesn't change when you are around the same people regularly. Look around your work space, its much like this as well. Drama, love, friends, and haters are in real life. Especially within the LGBT community, and particularly in the male gay community. We have to learn to not look at others as our source of confidence. What you do is for you and those you love. 

If you put yourself out there, like I do, expect to be judged in the harshest way possible. The more negative comments that come your way the more popular you are (unless your just a douche bag) and more pointedly, the more your infiltrating peoples thoughts. At least your being thought about.

With Love

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Are LGBT People Being Marginalized By Authority And Leadership Figures?

A friend of mine recently read an essay he wrote. It was very good and heartfelt. When I asked him why he wrote the essay his response was strange to me. He said that he was asked to cover the topic by an authority. (it was much more specific than that, but for this I will leave it general for my protection)

It was strange not because he was asked to do it, but because of who the person was and their specific role in our lives currently. It is a good thing for those in authority to draw out positivity from us, in fact, I would argue that the authority is doing precisely what is needed. So bravo for doing the right thing.

However, they would never ask a gay person here to do the same thing. In fact, just saying that they attend our meetings as a simple visitor gets them special attention for their bravery! Their coworkers check them over afterwords to make sure they are OK. My point is this: As LGBT people we have to mentor ourselves because like the black people of the 50's no one wants to teach us. Where are our teachers? Where are the people who take special interest and time for us? Because sitting with us for 45 minutes while we teach ourselves is not mentorship! Who is sitting down with us and "drawing out" our potential? So far as I can see its still nobody.

People wonder why we are still claiming inequality! This is a classic example. One that is repeated from every culture that has been marginalized. 

So to clarify for everyone who doesn't think its their job to draw out positivity from the LGBT community, shame on you...

What will they say when you become great and it was without them?

With Love

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Staying Motivated Means Doing The Little Things That Are Seemingly Unnecessary

Over the past several years prison has instilled in me an unusual set of habits. In the morning I make my bed, if I don't it bothers me. I tuck in my shirt when I leave my house, if the button seam doesn't align with my zipper seam, I won't leave until I make sure it is just so. I brush twice a day, usually three if I eat three meals (I can be a munch hound). I have a tendency to fill my time up with something, almost never am I just sitting there.

I am not saying that I am successful, I am in prison and far from it. However, I know from speaking with successful people that this is a quality that is necessary for my personal success. It's how I lost 125 pounds, it's why I am getting my Associates Degree, it's why I can teach classes and create curriculum, it's a big reason why I can change unhealthy habits within myself as I find them.

To me that is success. Being able to do things that are necessary to make yourself happy and at peace. It starts with doing the little things in life. don't let your dishes pile up into a giant sink full before you do them. It literally takes less than 30 seconds to wash a glass. Surely you have 30 seconds, even if your in a hurry, in fact, 30 seconds is the average time of a commercial...just sayin'.

It means taking pride in what you present to people. Your home being neat and orderly and clean means that your life in general is matching. Not always, but, it at least is a damn good start. when you show up to a friends house and your car is the only one that is full of garbage and is being held together by the cannot tell me that you do not notice it. I know, it used to be me.

Start doing the small things for yourself. Make your bed before you go to work or leave the house. You are less likely to get into it before it's bedtime at least. Take the time to look good before you leave to go meet people. Even if your just going to the grocery store, I am not saying put on the stilettos to buy watermelon...I mean brush your hair and look presentable. I can promise you that as I go to everyday places I am going to be looking for social contacts, everywhere. I am looking for people that we can mutually help one another in our careers, our social lives and personal lives. People that are motivated and diligent.

I was given the example of a soldier. If you have a soldier with his shirt halfway untucked, brass unpolished, boots all untied, generally unkempt and next to that soldier was another who was put together. Shoes polished, brass shined, appearance was well-kept...who are you going to depend on more realistically to save your life? Who are you going to want next to you in battle? The one who took short cuts and doesn't pay attention to detail or the one who does? This applies with everything.

With Love,


Corey's Post - "Is Right, Wrong?"

Howdy to all of those summer loving humans out there, who are taking time to read my random rants. Hope this finds you well.

Being in the place that I am, I'm lucky enough to have lots of time to ponder deep thoughts, something that I didn't engage in while on the streets. And some of these come at the craziest times like when hot water is cascading down on my head in the shower.

So the deep thought was that maybe "normal" heterosexual relationships are counter productive. Now, hold on and let me present my case. I have a lot of straight guy friends who always seem to complain about the relationships or women that they are with. Specifically, when concerning women they can only seem to deal with them on a physical level, because when it comes to anything else having to do with the opposite sex, men just can't seem to understand their feelings, attitudes, and or behavior. I'm not a women myself, and can't say I speak for any of them but I've kinda heard the same coming from their prospective when dealing with their men folk. Is it because of the inequality between the sexes and power struggles that are at the root of these problems?

Well I wonder, if back in the day before such establishments as religion and laws of society, when human beings could act on their feelings with out fear of scorn or persecution, more people were OK with exploring and having relations with others of the same sex. And when these institutions of power came along, framed these rules and taboos to make sure procreation was in the forefront and so marriage and the hetero family unit became paramount.

Seeing groups of men together and groups of women, nurturing friendships and bonds seems almost more natural because each group seems to get and understand each other. 

I'm not saying as an excuse that we should stay in our own gender but how much is the one love mentality of heterosexuality corrupting and biasing peoples true nature.

Hope this made sense, and causes you to think.


That Guy