Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Excluding Others From The Narrative Of Change

As people who are marginalized to some degree or another we have this tendency to group up, gripe about the injustices of oppression and then form some group to combat it. Then strangely, when outsiders come in to learn about what the fuss is about the marginalized and oppressed get angry that they can't understand because they themselves are not marginalized and oppressed.

By excluding others from our narrative and missing opportunities to educate the very population that oppresses us we further isolate ourselves. We have this problem of being hated and misunderstood, equality seems like a distant dream. So when people try to learn about who and what we are and how they can help without becoming just like us, we should have an answer besides, "you'd never understand." Because the reply is "Your right, I don't"

With Love

Monday, October 30, 2017

How I Discovered Neo-Liberalism and Why It Matters

Neo-liberalism has become a very important topic to me as of late. In fact, it has begun to shape me politically instilling very specific views that for most of my life I could care less about, like unionization and global trade policies.

But reading about neo-liberalism brings about other important terms like gentrification, race, and economic responsibility and how it affects the LGBT community.

The LGBT community has its own dirty problems. So long as your white and gay, living in your pretty little communities everything seems fine, as far as your concerned the battle for equality is minor compared to what it used to be. Every once in a while the LGBT marginalized, like felons or people of color, get graced with the presence of some guilty conscious queen when they see it might give them a little air time in the public space. Whoring out their presence in exchange for notoriety. Disgraceful.

I didn't find neo-liberalism, it found me in a class I'm taking. I have dedicated the past 6 years to lifting up the LGBT community in prison to deal with their inner conflicts despite tumultuous circumstances. You know, be happy, don't let them get you down type of stuff and readership on lgbtqprisonsupport.com reflects the disinterest of such things. Now I know why, people being happy and tenacious while getting their rights stripped away is unreasonable. My fault. Up to this point I've been a cheerleader at a chess match, cute and well meaning, but more of a nuisance. 

In the face of gentrification and the upward transfer of wealth and elitist power the marginalized community within the marginalized community is suffering not only at the hands of nationalism and anti-state state policies but now we suffer at the hands of our own.

For the few that try, in the face of those who simply don't care. 

You can expect a difference in my writings. As I get educated and become more aware of what the real underlying problems of our communities are, I get energized and fueled to do something about it.

The LGBT community should be highly concerned with poverty, racism, prisoners, nationalism and economic liberalism. 

Check often for updates to this!

With Love

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ever wonder what its like in prison, for real?

Being a homosexual or even effeminate in prison is a scary thing. There are three assumptions people make:
1) Prison is Disneyland for gays
2) Your going to get raped daily, or more
3) Prison is nothing to worry about, its all TV hype

None of which are true. 

Prison is not a playland full of hunks to play with. Don't forget that homosexuality is ILLEGAL in prison! You can say your gay all you want, swish your hips and twirl your hair all day. But as soon as you engage in a homosexual act, your going straight to the hole. DOC will not recognize consensual sex, if a sex act is committed then one of you was a victim and one of you was a perpetrator. Period.

Your not going to get raped daily either. While it is possible, and you as a homosexual are at a VERY high risk to be sexually and physically assaulted, the reality is raping other men in prison has become somewhat uncool. Though it does happen, especially in maximum security custody. 

However, don't make the mistake of thinking that prison is nothing to worry about. You should be concerned. Don't forget that while there may be some well chiseled male specimens to feast your raging homosexual eyes on, that same hunk may well slit your throat if his buddies even whisper it. He will do it just to please someone else. 

Rape does happen, in all custody levels. It is true that the lower the custody level (Maximum, Medium, Minimum, Camp, Work Release) the lower your risk for deadly and sexual assaults. Most guys in minimum custody are just trying to go home. Out of 2000 inmates on a minimum security compound only 40 or so are looking to victimize others and this is usually done through drugs. Why they aren't removed is beyond all of us...

Lesson of this: Be diligent, understand that nobody is here for your protection. Not staff and certainly not other inmates.

With Love

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Roles Of Men, Know Your Place!

If you read this often then you already know my views on masculinity and femininity. I hate the "roles" of each.

I was never entirely comfortable with gender specific playtime roles as a child. Though, I did abide by them when people were looking, I broke them every time someone was not. 

As an adult, who has now accepted my sexuality and has a very opinionated view on gender roles, I express myself however the hell I want. Modern psychology says that my personality type is known as androgynous. Some call it gender fluid or gender nonconformity. While I am okay with the labels, I don't agree that I'm breaking any biological laws of what it means to have a male sexual organ. 

Example, in many Aboriginal tribes the women are the primary hunters, decision makers, the ruff and gruff power houses that bring home the bacon. Men stay at home and paint their faces and primp one another, are very theatrical and display more emotions. The roles are exactly reversed and it comes "natural."

Our "roles" are not from "birth" they are from our parents who got them from theirs and so on. Modern marketing dictates our roles as men and women. Women wear lipstick, men do men stuff like football and now lawns. 

I paint my nails, because it makes me feel pretty. Because I am allowed to feel pretty. I have long hair, because I like it better long and in a ponytail, it fits me better. When I get out of prison I will have a closet full of clothes that match my personality, not anyone else's. 

You see, not being accepted has done something amazing for me...it gave me freedom to be whoever in the hell I want to be. Because I'm gonna be disliked for the rest of my life, so I'm gonna be happy with myself. 

In all this there is a golden lining for the LGBT community. I am only following what has already been done by our brave predecessors. I thank them for it. You should too.

If you hate it when your husband puts a viking helmet on, grabs his shotgun and a six-pack of beer while he mows the lawn with a flame painted riding lawn mower, just know this, that's not born into him...he's just being a dipshit.

With Love

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Got To Much Potential To Stop Now

It used to be that I felt worthless. Like, if I died nobody would really care, or even notice. In fact, I used to believe that my death would bring a sigh of relief to many. 

That was my whole life. Then, I came out. It changed everything. Nothing is the same about me, except maybe my poor me attitude, when I run I too feel much failure...but I'm getting a handle on it!

Now, I know this for sure, I have a job to do. People are depending on me to follow through with my goals. Not just for my sake, but for theirs as well. I got potential.

In fact, I'm worth something. I'm worth a lot. Imagine that. Do you know what keeps me going? It's knowing that I am going to do great things, I've already begun. Its already started. Prison may be lonely and limiting. But its temporary for me. I got greatness running through my veins and I am just now acknowledging it. 

The old me may be afraid, self doubting and all that nonsense. But the new me, this person writing this post right now, I'm a Princess, Prince, Queen, and King. 

I've had low self esteem my whole life, but not anymore. I don't care what anyone thinks anymore. I'm gonna rule my body and what I think. So what I think is, I got greatness in my DNA. I was born for a purpose. I will:

Enrich the LGBT community
End hateful churches
Bring an end to victimization
Fight for full equality...period

I will raise up everyone around me to community leaders. 

Boss status

With Love

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Problem With Men Being "Protectors"

Men have long had this idea that the job of a man is to protect the woman. Which is noble. The problem with this type of hyper-masculinity is in order for someone to be protected, someone needs to be protected. Which means someone needs to be seen as a victim.

This presents a real problem in important issues like women's rights and the Glass Ceiling in corporate America, sexual assaults by authorities and men in general, as well as an unrealistic expectations of oneself (not being manly unless you have protected the "victim-proned" and "weaker" gender).

I'm not saying men shouldn't step in to end needless victimization of women. But, it shouldn't be the standard that men expect women to be helpless creatures constantly being whisked away by some peril in which only a man can save them from. 

This same mentality is used by authorities to victimize people. When an undocumented woman crosses the border, it is done so with a chance of being sexually assaulted in exchange for "protection." Which begs the question, what kind of precedent are we setting as a country when we overlook abuse in the name of protecting our borders? This is just one tiny instance of what the guise of masculinity and how women are viewed by those who need to be "alpha protectors" is extremely problematic, perpetuating violence and male dominance. I know, I used to play the role. 

Father's, take care what you teach your young ones about what it means to be a male. But more importantly, be careful what you teach them about what it means to be a female.

With Love

Monday, October 23, 2017

Christians Ruining Christianity

I hear constantly that LGBT and non-LGBT people are sick of religion. They are tired of a million and one evangelical zealots pulling for their attention and then brow beating the love right out of them.

Christians are ruining Christianity. Plain and simple. What is suppose to be love is carefully (and often not so carefully) concealed weaponry to tear people down so that they feel better about the crap they've pulled. This whole "I love you enough to hate your sin" movement is absolutely ripping the very fabric of what Jesus lovingly sewed together.

There is hundreds of factions in Christianity, with each faction the believers feel that their niche is "the one." Which leaves me scratching my head in disbelief. Well, if there are 50 million people all saying " my way is the right way" and there are 1000 different "right ways" who in the hell is right? More to the point who in the hell told you? What, did God give you divine knowledge? Funny, because the guy down the road whom you adamantly condemn just told me the exact same thing. Since your viewpoints contradict one another, who has been told the real version? I'll let you preachers fight about that.

Meanwhile the rest of us are searching for meaning in our lives. Whether or not were gay or trans or straight shouldn't matter to a pastor or preacher or whatever those money grubbing bastards call themselves these days. Preach the Word of God so long as they get a paycheck. As soon as that money dries up suddenly its God telling them to find another flock, one with deeper pockets...yet homosexuals are the perverted ones. Right.

Do you want real Christianity? Jesus was extremely clear in what God wanted, love God, love other people. Period. 

Anything beyond or expounded on that is called religion. No need for a collection plate or a membership fee. If it doesn't feel like love...its not.

Be a follower of Christ, Live God, YHWH, Yeshua...whoever you call Him, leave the hate out of it.

To all you "loving Christian men and women" who condemn LGBT people, see you in Heaven boo boo. Until then, how about you try actually loving me? See how that works. You know, just by faith. 

With Love

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Militarization Of Our Oppression

Funny how education opens your eyes. You spend your whole life in a fair amount of peace, blind to the suffering that ails your neighbor. But with education comes the ability to solve problems. Its not good to present a problem without a solution.

Something occurred to me. Military has a role, to fight enemies. So when you see military you have some level of fear, automatically. Sure, you can say your filled with pride and all that. But that's when your faced with individual military personnel. We should be proud of them. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about military-like responses, military-like gear, military-like formations in response to civilian problems. That's what I'm talking about.

Imagine this, your a resident of let's say, Syria. Your a civilian and there are two opposing forces always at war. Whenever you see military anything, it means bloodshed. Even when those uniforms are there to defend you, a healthy amount of fear exists. 

So what am I talking about, how does this relate to LGBT or anything? Glad you asked! When the protests in Charlottsville were met with white nationalists in militia gear the police didn't act with fear against them. These people showed up with camouflage and riot shields, armed. How did the police react? Without much concern. Someone ended up murdered. 

Let's look at Ferguson. When a man was murdered by police and people took to the streets in anger and outrage, they were met with a fully militarized police force. Then everyone wonders why people raged against them. The presence of a military indicates an enemy. In Ferguson, that enemy was the black community. 

In prison, we see military-like personnel. Which indicates the presence of an enemy still. In this case, its the inmates. Pants tucked into black boots, large utility belts filled with accessories. All meant to invoke fear, obedience. News flash...YOU CANNOT TRUST WHAT YOU FEAR!

What happens if an LGBT person is assaulted? Who can we turn to? These people act like our enemy. In prison I understand this, there are dangerous men here. But what about residents of communities in the free world? Most are only guilty of being poor. A seemingly criminal act these days, along with being black, or gay, or trans, or Hispanic. 

Then people wonder what's wrong with us...

With Love

Saturday, October 21, 2017

How To Help Minorities

Lots of people get lost in how to help minorities. Particularly if your not a minority. Sympathy and emphatic gestures make someone feel better, rarely the minority though. 

I will speak about LGBT prisoners as an example. When there was a history making moment that LGBT organizations could put their face on, they did. Then, they all left. They arrived, shook our hands and warmly told us they would not forget us anymore. Then they couldn't get out fast enough. 

This same pattern holds for other minorities. Blacks get a few sympathetic that's to bad's, whenever another person of color gets murdered. Then rarely its the murderer who gets outraged attention, no, all that is reserved for those that are minorities and affected. Sad how the victims get villainized. 

This same pattern holds for all of us. So for those of you who do want to help, what can you do? 

Educate yourselves. If you want to know how racism is spread these days and what guise it operates in, read "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine, or you can read about Trans struggles by reading "Redefining Realness" by Janet Mock. You can find out why so many LGBT people struggle with religion in "Does Jesus Really Love Me?" by Jeffrey Chu.

Get an actual understanding from those who have the talent of articulation. They are the PA systems for their communities, shouting and alerting, hoping that people like you will listen, finally. So listen. Once you have a real understanding that injustice IS happening, then you will have a much better idea how your gifts fit into the picture. 

With Love

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Top 5 Reasons Why Gods Bisexual (At Least!)

OK, before anyone gets all abomination-ey on me, read the whole thing...then get pissed.

Reason #1: Prostate! Strange place to put something that brings so much pleasure. I mean, God could have put that anywhere, but in there? There's only a few ways to reach that thang!

Reason #2: Who knows how to please a woman better than another woman? I mean seriously, its no secret that many women go a very long time without experiencing the big "O", another woman can solve that pretty dang cleverly. Just sayin''

Reason #3: Pieces fit. I'm not gonna get all x-rated on ya, you get the idea. 

Reason #4: A man has nipples! What are they for? Ever think about that? If God is perfect, and I believe He is, those little nubs of electricity producing fun gotta be good for something, no women I've ever heard of have peeled a mans shirt off and were like "Ooh, look at those nip nips, yup gotta put those in my mouth!" 

Reason #5: My fave, because homosexuality exists, no denying it, and God created everything... than that means God understands homoerotic, lesbianism, bisexuality, what men's nips are good for, that men would figure (and a LOT of women too) out that the backdoor is a harbinger of AMAZINGNESS, nobody knows how to please a women better than another woman...yup...

That's why I am pretty sure that God is at least bisexual. 

Ok, now you can tell me what an abomination I am.

But this is where I tell you "Honey, God says I am His bride, guess what... I'm a dude and that means God endorses Gay marriage..."

With Love, Proudly

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Androgyny, Cross-Dressing, and Gender Bending in the Workplace

I decided several years ago that I would never go back to living in the closet. Repressing who I was created as for nobody. I like me, androgynous and all. 

As a person I feel better when I have my feminine nuances in place. I like to mix up my masculinity and feminist internal processes into my outward expression of comfort. Which equates into confidence, self-worth, and personal value. 

I wonder what employers will say when I have my nails painted or wear jewelry. What about when I feel like a dress or heels? Then go back to slacks. Will people be uncomfortable with that? Should an employer monitor the roles of gender attire in the workplace at all?

Who's to say that men can't wear pumps and a pencil skirt to work? Why is that women only? What about women wearing a suit? Is that men only territory, and who says? Ellen Degenera's wears clothing that fits her style, her swag, her elegance as a human being. Not because she is gay or woman or anything else. What about a man wearing "feminine" clothing makes him any less qualified to do their job? On a construction site, people wear protective and work appropriate clothing. What about in a desk job, or a architect who makes scaled mock ups? Are they any less talented or qualified because he wears hers or she wears "his?" 

I won't be conforming to anyone's style. I'll decide how I feel. How about that? Me, deciding how I feel? What a concept. Like Alessia Cara says in Scars To Your Beautiful, "...the world can change itself."

Yup...I'm gonna feel beautiful, pretty and I don't care what anyone thinks about it. Because men can be pretty to, and guess what, I'm still a man...but truthfully, who gives a shit what my gender is, what does it matter?

With Love

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Men Can't Be Princesses, That's A Woman Thing!

Other people decided to call me Princess. Princess Jeffica, in fact. I didn't really mind, it was more funny than flattering anyway. 

I have to be honest, I don't feel like a princess. I don't look at myself in the mirror and wish for a tiara and a pink fluffy dress...okay, maybe I kinda want the pink fluffy dress...and the matching gloves. But if other people feel better calling me that, I can think of much worse things to be called.

So when it was brought to my attention that men aren't princesses, because well...they're men, I have to disagree.

The only thing that separates Princess and Prince is two esses. People decided the roles of men and women, people long ago. So why mess with it?

Well, people long ago also decided the earth was flat, we were the center of everything, slavery was a good idea, and women are unable to think clearly. Those were all soundly wrong.

But when it comes to men being called a feminine name, oh, well, that's where we have to draw the line! Now I'm mess in with nature folks! Excuuuuuuuuse me! Didn't know that some people could be so insecure.

What boggles my mind is we make new discoveries everyday. Every day. And we are still so dumb that we think everything we know is right. Until evidence is presented otherwise.

Well, allow me to be the bubble burster, I'm a mutha****in' Princess, with a mutha****in' double ess! In case you think I give a s**t about what kind of pigheaded bigotry is running through some broads mind about it, let me spell it out for ya, hun, Enn Ohh...NO!

With Love
Jeff "Your Princess"

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Invisible Ones

There are people in this world who are invisible. Who scream at the top of their lungs, until their throat shreds, and nobody turns a head. They cry for help and the world does not hear them, passes by comfortably.

I'm not talking about ghosts, I'm talking about inmates. We are invisible to the outside world. Since it is rare that anyone shows concern our keepers get away with most anything. Nobody bothers to demand accountability, after all they jail nobodies.

I don't think its intentional. I believe its more of a "don't do the crime if you can't handle the time" mentality. People assume that we should be kept in this dark, dank room with no light or human contact and somehow that's going to fix us. As if torture will work. Because we have so many examples of that working...if you can provide even one...

Doesn't anyone wonder why criminals keep committing crimes after prison? Isn't anyone electing officials who are legitimately concerned with this? If 67% of criminals are re offending then the "corrective" actions being taken are failing...right? I mean come on, think about it. Nobody cares that 67% of the felon population (which is literally MILLIONS) continues to commit crimes and teach their children to do so, and their children...

If nobody looks into our little world and asks questions like, "what is going wrong, what is going right? What is actually working and what is not?"

We are the invisible ones. We are fixable, correctable, rehabilitable. We are, I promise. We are worth the time. Some of us just simply didn't know a few things. Emotional management is a big missing piece in nearly all the men's lives here, I'd imagine its a big deal for women's prisoner populations as well. 

We learn that through direct exposure to emotionally stable persons. Most of our keepers are not emotionally stable. Those that are, they aren't trained in how to maintain security and an authoritative position AND mentor us. 

That's why your needed. Engagement in any capacity is needed. So many programs need sponsors, volunteers who come in once week or so and interact with us. Saints really, they are everyday average people with extraordinary hearts and directly responsible for our success. Mainly because they teach us emotion management through direct exposure. Examples.

You know what's sad? Me writing this will probably get administration mad. That's the sad part. I want to help, be apart of my own rehabilitation. When nobody helps me, I decided to help myself, them too. I am a mentor and light for positive change to my entire social network. I promote healthy behavior, obedience to the rules, maintaining emotional composure in tough situations. Then I write about it, my mother (who owns and operates this site, decides what is fitting of her goal with this and what is not, its a media outlet and not a personal website, nor is it any type of social media) sometimes posts them, sometimes she doesn't ...its up to her because these messages are going to her, for her, and what she decides to do with them is up to her.

Those that live in darkness hate the light.

We need your light.

With Love

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Don't Complain Without Solutions and a Helping Hand, You Don't Have The Right

Being in a tough environment has helped me be tenacious. For example, in another institution several years ago, there were all these committees, councils, and boards that were inmate led. They made decisions and gave input for the general population. When I figured out that the members of most of those committees were not only the same, 90% of them were terrible representation. They were active gang members, drug dealers (active), and prison politicians (meaning they extorted, beat up, raped other inmates for clout and to instill fear). 

One day I was complaining about the unfairness of it all to one of the members who I knew was in there for the right reasons. He was a mentor of mine. He told me something extraordinary that day, "Ya know Jeff, your right, the people in positions of leadership and decision making are horrible people. But, who else has stepped up? Have you? We cant elect who isn't there." 

It struck a nerve in me. So I began developing thicker skin and tenacity. I began telling people what my goals were and the more they laughed the more I pushed. Eventually becoming apart of every one of the committees, councils, and boards. My voice was heard in every one of them, I made sure of it. 

A much more valuable lesson was learned though. Tenacity is important. Grit is valuable. But learning to create solutions instead of complaining, well that has created a leader. I figured out that problems still exist because people are largely afraid to solve the problem. We place the burden of leadership on one persons shoulders, that way we have someone other than ourselves to yammer on about. The real problem is you. 

You have a brain. Don't you understand that you were specially designed to solve problems? Problem: Unwashed vegetables can make you sick. Solution: Wash vegetables. See, we solve problems. That's what we do as humans, that's the separation from other species, we think. 

There are a lot of problems in the world, I know. But there are more people than problems. 

Find a cause. Get involved. Your not to busy. Mentor someone, donate things, fundraising, whatever...just participate. Its not the governments job to solve problems...its yours, ours.

I am working on things of my own. I have ideas to end victimization and violence. I also have ideas to end inequality in the LGBT community. And before anyone tells me how impossible it all is...save it. 

Impossible is only for those who believe in the word, if it wasn't for spell check I would even know how to spell impossible, its an ugly word.

With Love

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Ethics of Androgyny: Is It Wrong For Someone To Not Look Like One Gender?

This topic came up when I heard someone comment on transgendered women "tricking" men. They were upset that the transgendered women was "passable" and therefore elicited a sexual attraction from the straight male population. Leaving them feeling tricked.

This woman (because I believe trans women are simply women) wasn't doing anything but being who she truly was and because a man felt she was attractive, his own emotions mind you, it was her fault. Which is total garbage. Just to be clear, straight men shouldn't be so judgmental and transwoman should look however they feel best, screw what everyone else thinks.

Now, androgyny is different from transgendered. Its the fluidity of gender features. When you see a man dressing in traditionally women specific clothing or has highly feminine features and you have to ask what gender they are. Of course, there is a broader spectrum of these examples. 

Someone who is androgynously inclined, like myself, has an option to dress in gender specific clothing to clearly identify with one gender or another. So, is it ethical to dress and act how you truly feel best and it just so happens to irritate a few people because they are confused as to how to view you. Or, should they be sexually attracted to you?

This follows the same track as women dressing provocatively. Is it ethical to wear a bikini knowing that men will be turned on at the visibility of skin? Is it ethical to dress in a way that neither men nor women can differentiate immediately if they are allowed to be sexually attracted to you?

Men get upset when a woman shows skin and they get in trouble for being lewd. While the woman just simply wants to feel beautiful. Should a woman have to feel ugly so they don't "trigger" a mans sexual response? Hardly. Neither should someone who is androgynous have to feel any less beautiful or themselves so that others feel better about their sexuality.

It isn't just men either. A straight woman could see a model in neutral clothing and with neutral features and feel an attraction towards the presumed male model. While the same ad may attract a straight male who finds the presumed female model equally attractive. 

Why can't we just agree the model is beautiful instead of feeling tricked?

With Love

Monday, October 9, 2017

How Masculinity Is Ruining Our Prisons Rehabilitative Capabilities

As it relates to the incarcerated LGBT community, the limits of what men are allowed to do as gender expression is limited to what traditional masculine expectations are. Not societal norms. For instance, flat irons are not allowed in men's prisons, but they are allowed in women's prisons despite the fact that men with long hair on the streets use them regularly. Another example would be ankle socks. The women's prison issues ankle socks whereas in a men's prison of the same security level considers them contraband.

Why is this an issue? It's problematic because of the expectation that comes with it, we can't have those things solely because we are men. Not because they represent legitimate safety risks. If they did present legitimate safety risks to DOC than the women's prisons would not be allowed to have those things either. No, this is solely about gender definition by non-lgbt people. This presents major psyche problems when someone is trans, gender non-conforming, gender queer, has feminine qualities and likes, androgynous, or is straight but takes pride in their overall appearance (aka "metro"). When these things are denied it limits the individual to a specific gender box. A box that doesn't apply in the real world. 

When someone finally gets to a mental space where they are willing to let go of aggression and allow softer sides to come forth, sides that have traditionally been assigned to women and homosexuals only, and they see the stifling of other forms of perceived feminine traits, they will more than likely return to aggressive behaviors in fear of social ostracization. Ostracization that, in this instance, is propelled and closely protected by DOC. The idea, a dying theory really, that men act one way and women act another way is limiting ones ability to explore who they really are. An issue that leads many to crime, identity suppression.

This isn't LGBT specific either. Many straight men in prison would prefer to wear ankle socks instead. If we grow our hair out proper maintenance is restricted because some products (like curling irons, blow dryers, scrunchies, and flat irons) aren't for men. They are solely feminine. 

When a man doesn't like being aggressive, bearded, emotionless, and likes ballet (for one of millions of examples) but feels he must like beards, aggressiveness, remain emotionally stoic and ballet isn't masculine, than that person believes there is something wrong with themselves because they struggle to live up to a standard that was made up.

Where does this leave us? To continuously strive to appease someone else's idea of who and what we should be so that they feel better about who they're not. 

I'm sorry you couldn't play with barbie when you were five, but that doesn't mean that I can't be a Princess in my little weirdo world. Or need a scrunchie, or need to use a blow dryer because I might (and do) need to make my hair more manageable. Hair ties are damaging my hair and the constant ponytail or occasional bun gives me a headache. But I can't let my hair down because it would require female "only" hair products to manage. 

Just a little food for thought.
Weigh in.

With Love

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Don't You Know? I'm Gonna Change The World

I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to do for work in my future. I want to be an Industrial Psychologist, working in Human Resources for a Non-Profit organization. Problem with that is, by the time I finish enough schooling to be qualified I will be nearing 50, if not 50. 

Of course, I'm going to be the prettiest 50 I can be. But that doesn't change the fact that other 50 year old people in that profession have already had 20-30 years of professional, related experience. This makes it hard to compete.

So I think about what career I'm going to pursue post-prison. I will settle initially for any job, so long as it pays...I'm willing. Inside though, I know I got more to offer. Despite my imprisonment, I am a worth while employee to have on the team. My competitive nature, ability to adapt, business communication, great interpersonal skills, knowledge of cultural diversity...I could go on. None of those skills relate to a specific field, career. 

Truthfully, I'd be happy as a waiter by evening and the proud owner of a nonprofit by day. As long as I could work towards ending violence, organize LGBT community advocacy programs, and continue my activism...I'm all gravy. That's hardly a way to make sure my bills are paid though. 

My passion is the LGBT communities rights, both nationally and globally. I am very concerned about them. I am also very passionate about ending community violence, no more victims. Both ventures are worth my time, and Industrial Psychology will be very useful in both. 

I may not know what I'm going to do for money folks, but I know one things for sure... I'm gonna change the world. When I die, I won't be singularly and solely defined by my crimes. I will have also changed the world. 

Anyone else out there think this way?

With Love

Saturday, October 7, 2017

How To Rehabilitate LGBT Criminals

First, let's acknowledge that there are LGBT criminals. Second, let's acknowledge that they (we) are a part of the LGBT community. Third, how do we stop it?

Ending criminal behavior is portrayed as this highly complex and unattainable thing. Admittedly, there is a small percentage of people who don't want to change. The majority want change. They are gripped by drug addiction or criminal habits. The cool crowd in prison propels more criminal and divisive behavior where the drug trade and criminal behavior is rewarded with acceptance.

Change is not complex in and of itself. People involved are. Their pasts are complex, their filtered views on life are. But change is simple. Especially in cultural climates, like prison. Policy makers forget that they don't create culture and cannot influence it if they are not a part of it. They can demand change, they can reward change, they can even beg for it. But until that culture decides its time to change, it won't, they will only get better at hiding it or demand it be accepted.

Change has to come from within. Once a few influential people say that "this" isn't cool anymore and "that" is, they will influence a wave of change. Then that becomes culturally acceptable. 

This pattern is simple to execute. But policy makers aren't listening to those of us who want to do this. First, its free. Second, it requires adaptation on their end. Inmates aren't the only ones who adapt to this culture. Staff comes to depend on inmates behaving a certain way, so when a contrary behavior is displayed, it goes unrecognized and shunned. Thirdly, inmates aren't taken seriously when they present solutions. Mainly because someone cannot stamp their name on it to advance their career. 

Your a hero if you keep the bad men in. Your a liability, if rehabilitating 10,000 men and one re offends, 9,999 men changed because of a simple idea. But just one hangs your career.

So what's the solution?
1) Work with the culture of prison to dismantle the culture. Both inmates and staff. Then, rebuild a new one based on rehabilitation.
2) Give platforms that work. Education, yoga, cultural pursuits, family mediation and repair, units dedicated to rehabilitation of specific needs.
3) Policy makers need to spend more time in the field. White papers and reports are good if you know how to view the data. But if you haven't spent time with your own empathy and the people affected by your decisions personally, you have no idea if it will work. 

Expect more on this..Check back often for updates.

With Love

Friday, October 6, 2017

My Lacy Black Dress

I dream't of a tiny closet with a chiffon and lace black dress. I was afraid it wouldn't fit my masculine shoulders so I began trying on other pieces. As I wore each outfit I would look myself over in the mirror, turning from side to side. But my attention kept floating to the dress. 

It looked aged and outdated. Nothing I'd wear on a date, I thought to myself. Still, I wanted to put that dress on. There was a man sleeping on a blue reclining La-Z-Boy whom I kept looking back at. I was afraid of his judgment, his disapproval of me being so feminine. Something so taboo as a man in a dress. 

I didn't feel like a man though. I held the dress up, trying not to let the lace material touch the wooden floor. I pressed it to my chest and returned to the mirror. My eyes shifted from my reflection to the sleeping man nervously. 
So what if he sees me, I thought. I want to look pretty.
Carefully I unzipped the back, I was afraid my masculinity would tear the chiffon material. The material separated easily and fell open in a vee. 

"This is it," I whispered. I lowered the dress to step into the unzipped opening and pulled it up my body. I put one arm in carefully, in case I was to big. But it was a perfect fit. More confidently I pushed my other arm in and shrugged the shoulders into place. It fit! I was so happy, if only I could zip it up. 

Reaching behind, I patted around for the zipper and pulled it up as far as I could before reaching over my shoulder to grab it. When the zipper reached the top I smiled happily in the mirror. I was beautiful, finally. 

I couldn't help myself, I turned to the man for approval, who was still sleeping. I turned and shifted poses in the mirror checking for pinch points in the shoulders and chest. In my searching I realized I had breasts. I wasn't sure what to do with them. I had never, ever, been so self-conscious in my life, you could see everything! 

Casting fear aside I adjusted them to round into the center of each side. Happy with them I settled to buy a bra later, I was finally pretty. 

Then I woke up. Smiling because I finally felt pretty. Even though it was just a dream. I was a woman, and I had never been happier. This morning when I woke up, I have a chest again, and a five o'clock shadow, and angular facial features again. But that's just the surface. Underneath, I'm a beautiful woman, its just...only I can see her.

Oh, and by the way, the sleeping man, was me. My judgments soundly asleep.

With Love

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Status Quo Is Not Good Enough

I am simply not satisfied with the status quo. Come in, do my time quietly and leave. That's not good enough. I came to prison because I needed help. Punishment is the separation from society and society expects that when I get out someone did their job and helped me.

That is definitely NOT happening. In order for me to get anything I have to fight. I have to be the squeaky wheel for every little thing that is going to help me. 

The status quo will not help me. It just so happens that I have developed a serious internal drive to be a better human being but that isn't because I have been helped by anyone in power. Its despite them. 

I have a family to answer to. People who at one point had hope in me. Hope I threw away for selfishness. I will never do it again. I will be the person I was meant to be. 

I will be a leader and voice for the LGBT community, period. I will continue to make changes in myself and then propel those same changes in my community, period. I will create an organization that works to end victimization, period. I will create an organization that will work to bring full global equality for the LGBT community, period. I will help myself and others, period. 

I have a voice. I have the ability. I have the knowledge and skills necessary to create cultural change, move communities and change the world. 

And I will...

It really doesn't matter how many people doubt or how many people stand in my way or how many obstacles get thrown at me or how many threats I get or if this site gets shut down or my pens get taken away or my mouth gets sewn shut even, I'm still going to rise. I'm still going to fight for change. I'm still going to work for equality. I'm still going to end violence and the needless victimization of our families. 

And I will...

Standing in my way is one option, you'd be just like everybody else. Not doing anything to help me, that's an option to. Of course, we could all work together.

Together we can do amazing things.

And I will...

With Love

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Unity: Prison-Based LGBT Peer Support and Educational Group

Unity is the LGBT meeting group here at Twin Rivers Unit. Unity meets weekly and discusses tough topics that surround the incarcerated LGBT community. Unity is a growing and budding program with massive impact potential.

What makes Unity so impactful is that its attendees can let down their guard for that one time. In prison, even when one is relaxed, your brain constantly scans the environment for threats. Whenever someone raises their voice or moves quickly ones mind must stop whatever its doing to focus on this potential threat assessment. When a corrections officer jingles their keys, it demands attention, a sound that typically means some sort of lockup is coming. 

With all these "threats" being the standard, LGBT people in prison have additional "threats." There is also potential predators, when someone is nice it generally means they need to be carefully examined in a prison setting. They're usually wanting sex, at least if the receiving party is known to be LGBT. Then there is staff who are simply human and have strong opinions that shine through in body language at least. One picks up on facial nuances of dislike or even disgust and it is very difficult to ignore.

Unity offers a small, weekly reprieve from all of that. An hour of no defenses, no walls, no "threats." Its a window of opportunity afforded to the LGBT community to focus on self-improvement when it is otherwise very difficult to concentrate on.

Topics include: defining relationship, prison rape, sexual assault reporting, personal conduct, peer mentoring and so much more. There is games and an annual Pride Event. Its a way to learn what friendships are for, support.

www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com encourages you to take notice of such groups that are all over the state in our corrections centers. Your participation and support is desperately needed to fund, develop, and sponsor these groups. If your in another state, or another country as so many of our readers are, I encourage you to get involved in local facilities. For those of you in countries where this is unsafe, like Russia, home groups are extremely effective for the same purposes. Underground networks are already established and weekly support groups held in private will allow you all to breathe freely for that small window. That freedom will spark creative approaches in helping to change your societies views and fear.

Seriously, if anyone has questions or comments or ideas, I highly encourage you to voice them. Conversations are the heart of change.

With Love