Friday, November 17, 2017

As LGBT We Must Be Active In Social Injustice and Inequality, Silence Is Failure and Agreement

As LGBT we have felt the sting of discrimination. Most of us firsthand and pointedly. Others as witnesses traumatized by the possibilities.

It is simply intolerable to be passive in situations where we can intervene. Let me give you an example.

I was attacked in a bathroom by three men once, there were about 90 people who just watched. People were urinating and showering while I was being beaten, annoyed that they had to step around me. If only one person had come to my aid...that night my bowels emptied, I couldn't swallow anything. I ruminated the incident over and over again. I can still see the faces of everyone who simply watched. Some looked away, ashamed. A few people lightly touched my shoulder when the attackers weren't looking. Nobody helped though.

I pray you never know what "alone" feels like. God forbid you do. But it hurts more than the act that was happening to make you realize you were alone. 

As LGBT people it is our duty as fellow people to intervene. To stand up for someone while bigotry, hatred, intolerance, violence, injustices, and inequalities are happening. Its NOT OK to not say anything. It IS your problem, its all of our problems.

If transgender people can't use the bathroom or serve in the military, gay people can't buy flowers or get married, can't live in certain cities or suburbs, live normal lives...its OUR problem. Because we can stop it. 

When someone is being called a faggot, or being bullied, or spit on, or beat...its your responsibility to do something to stop it, to prevent it, to make sure everyone knows that they are NOT alone. 

Keep your "are you ok's" and your pat on the backs, your "I'll pray for you's" and "God will repay's". You can keep your condolences and your "I'm sorry that happened." A problem for one should be a problem for all. It is for me, I won't let anyone feel as alone as I did Friday, January 27th, 2017 at 9:05 p.m.

I will never forget that isolation, nor will I EVER allow it to happen again to anyone within my sight, ever. Neither should you.

With Love

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Russian LGBT Community: How Can The World Help You?

As an American, in America, I know that LGBT rights are far more tolerated here than they are in Russia, or in many parts of the Middle East. Even as someone who is imprisoned, I still have more civil rights and freedoms than someone LGBT in Russia. At least in prison, we are actually recognized as people that exist. 

Its not all roses here in America though, we have our own civil rights battle happening. Its just that we are further along than other countries, like Russia.

I want to know what to do that will help. I mean, realistically, what's possible? As an average person with zero political clout how can we help? Would letters help, letters to individuals or up and coming organizations? Are there organizations? 

I can tell you how some LGBT people express themselves in situations where they are not tolerated. In prisons around America the staff may recognize that LGBT exist, but if we are in any kind of danger we are put into the hole. We are punished severely for such things. Protection from predators comes at hefty psychological prices. So, many LGBT stay closeted and hidden so that nobody knows. Its actually safer for many of us that way.

We do things like write letters to foreign newsletters. There is one out of Canada called Ultra-Violet that I like to write. Gives us a voice. We paint our toenails. Because nobody can see them but us. We write poetry and draw. We laugh with one another when we can, cry when we must, stand up when its necessary. 

None of that protects from everything, In fact, its more or less just helping us cope. I run into people who hate me vehemently, openly, and ruthlessly. I am forced to live in the same unit with them and if I say anything at all I am the one who goes to solitary confinement, for my protection. So, instead, while its happening I think about painting my toenails, what colors I can use, what designs I can create. 

They can say what they want, but I am only thinking about the pretty pink I have on, that they can't see. It helps me, I don't know why, but it does. 

If there is something we as people can do to help those around the world gain acceptance from their communities and government, please tell me so I can put it out there. Write me at:

Jeff Utnage 823469 D-610-1
Monroe Correction Center-Twin Rivers Unit
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA. 98272

Will respond to everyone!

With Love

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Normalization Of Homosexuality

Homosexuals in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century were underground. Quiet and hidden people that usually, not always, lived dualistic lifestyles. 

Now we are in the 21st century and thanks to the many activists, martyrs, advocates, rioters, protesters, marchers, demonstrators, teachers, free spirits, forward thinkers, and upholders of justice we are being normalized in the eyes of America. Our lifestyle (boy I really hate that word and its coming out like smoke in my eyes) is one that people are coming to terms with. We aren't unique though, lots of other people are being normalized in America:
-Gender Nonconforming
...and anyone else who isn't Christian, white, and male.

The fact that people, all of us, have to normalize anyone is indicative of our own superiority complex. The thinking derives from "I am normal, everyone not like me is abnormal." 

Who are we to dictate what's normal? Who's land belongs to whom? Did we create the dust or trees or sky or air or a single atom? We are guests of the land and neither own nor have birth rights to that which we cannot create ourselves.

So while I am "normalized" and many view this as a win in the right direction, its sad that we were thought of as abnormal in the first place. 

This is why I no longer strive to be straight or strictly masculine. Neither of which is normal in my world. I am the normal one, others are abnormal. 

With Love
Be proud of your normal


Monday, November 13, 2017

Why Every Person Should Rethink Racism, Oppression, and Poverty

When white America thinks about being racist they are sure they're not. Racism is, to many, a verbal or obvious dislike for a race most of the time. We have a terrible habit of thinking racist thoughts and then bathing in our ability to keep them silent, truly believing that racism isn't an issue still.

Along with racism is oppression. One is certainly bedfellows with the other. When we don't like something we drive it away. We centralize the thing we dislike son we can avoid the area and visit when we wish, if ever. Mainly, we oppress to maintain supremacy. Even if were not doing this actively, our passivity and silence is enough said. Then we fill our schools and workplaces with people that we don't think negative thoughts about or are in someway unconformable with. Even if its just our guilt. Oppression is the result.

Poverty. When we think negative thoughts about a group of people silently, attempt to corral them in centralized locations, passively and sometimes obviously block access to resources in the name of "we eat first" so to speak. When a class of people are treated like this for hundreds of years (I'm not even scratching the surface of our roles in passive racism, oppression, and poverty) they develop righteous mistrust but even sadder is they expect it. Not only do they feel ostracized (because they are) but they must teach their children how to not be hurt by it. How many white moms out there have had to teach their children how to cope with racism? How about oppression? Think about that for a minute. Persons of color talk about this around their dinner table and teach their children from birth of what to expect. 

Everyone has a role to perform in this. First, just because your passive and silent doesn't mean your conscious should be clear. Or that your off the hook.
Second, just because your not a person of color doesn't mean you should remain silent. Hold your peers accountable and name the actions. Let's hold ourselves accountable as well. 
Third, if it seems like your not wanted in an organization or movement, or that they are against you and don't want or need your help, rethink why that might be. Sometimes personal accountability and holding our peer network accountable is all we can do. Other times were simply being vetted for motives. Are you wanting to help so that you can show off your degree, credentials, humanitarianism? Those are the absolute wrong reasons. And still selfish, still oppressive. Sometimes our role is invisible, sometimes its doing it only for the sake of doing it.

Lastly, rethink your thoughts! Racism was taught to you. You overcome it by adding information that contradicts previous information. In other words, GO MEET PEOPLE! Its OK to talk to everyone on the elevator, have dinner with other families only for the sake of doing it. Go to rallies and social justice websites to read about what's going on. 

Passivity is agreement.

With Love

Friday, November 10, 2017

What Can One Person Do To Change The World?

Do you want to make a difference in the world? Not on a small scale like recycling and saving water (which are extremely important to do!) but make a real impact. First, you have to believe its possible.

Second, look for examples of one person changing the world:
1) George Washington Carver
2) Gandhi
3) Elon Musk
4) Ru Paul

Third, find something your passionate about. It doesn't matter what it is. Water conservation, violence reduction, domestic abuse, ending gentrification. Be about that, commit entirely to it.

You don't have to know precisely what to do. But know you are about it. You will naturally attract those of the same mind set. When you do, work together. Start building the framework of your idea and allow others to help, give input.

Lastly, most importantly, be open to change.

With Love

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Make Your Community Beautiful

Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. However, in this case beauty means cohesive, safe, the opposite of dilapidated. 

We have options in helping people or walking by. Sharing our resources or not. Giving our time or not. 

We must end the thoughts that helping someone else means the person helped has used you in a negative context. Of course they used you! They used your help, your resource, your time. But how else were they suppose to get help? In the same thought, employees use their bosses to get money and employers use their employees to get labor. 

Wherever I go when I get out I am going to share my time, my resources, my skills to build my community. I'm going to enhance instead of ignore, I'm going to stop when most walk by. Then, because I am a leader, a real man, because I am able to motivate I am going to enlist the help of my peers. Together were going to build property values, fix cars, mentor those we can to be successful. That way, when my family needs help, I'll have an army to call on. 

You can do this to. I know for people of color you are over policed, life is difficult in your neighborhoods. This must seems like pipe dreams to you. Brothers and sisters, I am listening and I am learning. Know this, in me you have an ally and a friend and no longer will you fight in solitude. Your community means something to me, I'm only one person but know person can change the world and I intend to.

With Love

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Love: A Definition And Thought

In order to love someone or something, must you have a physical attraction? I must say no. What about those that are blind? Because they cannot see can they not love? Certainly not! Of course they love, they love without sight, which may even increase their capacity to love, arguably.

What about loving my community? I love the LGBT community with all my heart. Even the ones I don't know or I know that don't care for me. I still love them and would do extraordinary things for them that I would not do for most. 

Then, is ones love directly correlated to what one would do? Perhaps. I would not kill, rob, or victimize anyone or anything for those whom I love. Because I have limits to what I would do, then is my love for them inferior? I think not. I would however die for them, I would give them everything I own, I would and have sacrificed my own stabilizers for their stability. Is my love still inferior, if ever at all?

I don't believe love should be entirely segmented. Maybe you love something less than some other "thing" or person. But it is still the same love, just a different measure. So then, I love the same just in different amounts. 

Love is a subject that should be defined by every living, capable being. You, we, should contemplate what love means to us individually. We should have a definition and then understand this, your definition will change with experience and time. It doesn't mean you were wrong, or stupid, you have only reconsidered a subject that is meant to be reconsidered often. 

Love, its what's desired in nearly everyone, but perhaps the least contemplated. Therefore, we desire what we do not understand, comprehend, or have a specific definition for. 

Guess what, that's OK too. At least we desire what is intrinsically and inherently good. 

With Love, literally,

Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy, Even When Your Not: Let's Use A Little Neuroscience!

I am obsessed with neuroscience. I have studied it as much as books allow and use it often for self change.

The saying "fake it til you make it" actually has some scientific merit. When life is going down and you don't know how to handle it freaking out doesn't help, at all. Instead, try being happy, even when you are definitely not. How is that possible Jeff? Well, I wasn't sure myself until I read a book "Flirting 101" by Michelle Lia Lewis and Andrew Bryant. They said that to get your best smile to think about a special friend coming to see you for the first time in a long time, how would you react to them as they were walking toward you? 

For me, it was my first real boy crush. His name was John. We were best friends. If I seen that 5' 11", ruddy man walking towards me I'd probably lose my friggin cookies folks. When I think about him I just smile.

Neurologically, when you smile there is an actual chemical reaction that engages your brain to begin sending signals to your body to adjust your hormone levels. This is important because it is your hormone levels that are largely responsible for emotions. So, think about someone amazing and smile sweetie. 

With Love