Saturday, June 23, 2018

Prison Pride Event: 6-21-2018


Happy Pride! 

Pride month is special to many of us, even those who are locked up. I have been given the honor of participating in the history making event right here in prison.

This was our second annual Pride Event where inmates got to celebrate this wonderful culture. I am proud to say there were more straight allies than LGBTQ folks! Wow!

We had important guest speakers from community organizations speak. Seattle Police Departments James "Jim" Ritter spoke about the progression of the SPD's involvement with the LGBTQ community. He is also the spokesman for the Safe Space program, which is where local businesses can post a rainbow colored police shield sticker in their window letting folks know that if they are in danger they can get safe harbor in that place until the police arrive. Its more than neat, its vital. Its one way the SPD is trying to help prevent hate crimes. I, as a felon in prison, could not be prouder of the program and the officer behind it!

We also had Monisha Harrell from Equal Rights Washington speak. She is a a strong advocate for LGBT rights and safety working on bringing in new legislation to protect LGBT people and abolishing laws that allow for hate. For instance, Washington State has a legitimate defense stating that if you come out to someone and they murder or assault you, you can claim you were so surprised by the event you were temporarily insane and committed a hate crime. Yeah, let's get that one off the books huh. Thanks Monisha!

We also heard from Mac Mcgregor, an Olympic Medalist in Karate and Trans-man. Mac is also a fierce advocate and an absolute inspiration to anyone. He spoke about his life and did so with ease. If you ever get a chance to listen to his story, you won't regret it.

Social Scope Media was in the house! We had transwoman and drag performer Monica Beverly Hills from Ru Pauls Drag Race in the house! It was their second time with us and as it should be, they were the stars of our event. They walk in and the room just stops, every time.
last year Monica wore a long pink sequined dress and it had everyone fanning themselves. Randall, the manager and owner of Social Scope, is an absolutely gorgeous man who know how to speak. I'd urge you to check them out.

We also had Elayne Wylie from Gender Justice League speak. Not only does she organize Trans Pride but she does life changing advocacy for gender non-binary and trans folk across the state. Not only has she impacted my life personally and is a mentor, only one I've ever had, she's also a personal hero of mine. Thanks for being a boss Elayne!

We had so many more attend this year, in fact, we maxed out or capacity.

Just wanted to let you know that we are representing even in lockup.

With Love
Jeff "Jeffebelle"

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