Sunday, August 26, 2018

Computer Programming Course Through Unloop-Talk About Nervous by Jeff Utnage

Now that I have graduated with Honors with my Associates Degree, I have applied to the next portion of my educational goal, Computer Programming. This program is offered in partnership with Edmonds Community College and the nonprofit Unloop.

This program teaches us Java Script with some CSS, REACT, and HTML. Now, why write about it?

Because I am being interviewed for 1 of 18 positions, there are around 30 interviewees and I am holy hell nervous. In fact, my stomach is doing flips and I still have two additional phases to go, besides the initial phase I had today.

This is so vital to my career goals, I cannot even express it good enough. My dream is to take this site and go international with it, hosting thousands of inmate writers and interaction with millions of viewers. That's the goal. However, I need a platform to do so and programmers and coders are expensive. So, I'll learn it myself, then I'll design it myself.

I have a lot riding on this and getting into the class is super competitive.

Agh! Wish me good luck and send me positive vibes y'all!!!!

With Love
Jeff "Jeffebelle" Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Of Queens, Like Kings by Jeff Utnage

What if I fought like a King
Raise an army, just for you
Conquer the world
Take on galactic star fighters and
Western gunslingers,
Dethrone our heroes.

What next my love?
I thought I would never love again
Never utter the words I Love You and mean them
Yet here you are
The conquistador of my heart
...chain around my neck.

It is not another kingdom who shall defeat this throne
No, I have conquered all my demons
I have them chained and tattooed on my back where they live in subjection
It is not another King whom I shall fear
But my Queen
For if the King is the face and skull and eyes and tongue
Then the Queen is the mind

Tomorrow we shall fret about such details
Tonight let us relish in our victories
Because the battle was hard won in the flesh
Yet it is the mind who directs the flesh.

Of Queens like Kings there are more who subjugate the flesh than the mind
So while my Queen, my love, is deadly to the flesh
She is life to my mind
And for that...
Freedom, at last.

By Jeff "Jeffebelle" Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Changing Tides Of Prison by Jeff Utnage

What comes to mind when you think about prison? If you were to go to prison tomorrow, what kinds of things would you be afraid of based on what you perceive? Is it rape? How about gangs? Violence? What about finding your identity?

When prison first became storage units for souls it was because southern cotton farmers were pissed that slavery got abolished. The states reacted by Jim Crow laws, laws that targeted African Americans, and made prison labor slavery legal, which still stands today.

This is important to understand because everything prison knows about authority and compliance was born from slave owners. Sit in elevated positions above them, talk angrily always, use animalistic training and reward systems, make it impossible to comply with every rule so that they always have an opportunity to display punishment.

Here we are150 years later, and nothing has changed, for them. For prisoners, much is changing, at least in Washington State. The staff still do the same things like sit in elevated positions, enforce impractical and minuscule rules, speak with venom and anger at every turn, laugh at us when we try to be reasonable...

But inmates are beginning to understand a reality, we can rise above that through love. This occurred to me one afternoon when an officer let out a long sigh and said "Whew, can't wait for my weekend man", he was speaking to another officer. I couldn't help myself, I interjected, since they were speaking so publicly and in my college class, which I just came from, we had a lengthy discussion on what it means to be tired of your job and what to do about it.

I said "You know, if you can't wait to leave this place, you can always go back to school and retrain, the job markets never been so favorable."

The look of absolute disgust stretched across his face, I seriously pissed him off. However, I didn't care, if your miserable in your job, which we know this person is because he tells everyone (though since that day, not a peep around me other than "Afternoon Utnage, how's that class coming?"), you should go do something that makes you happy. Shouldn't you?

I mean don't you, as a human being, deserve happiness? I believe you do and I seriously don't care if you agree with that or not because nothing will compel me otherwise, I have seen too much.

That's where prison is changing for prisoners. Prison fosters an old class system that was designed to denigrate a race so they would continue to be field hands at the hands of a master. They same techniques used 150 years ago to submit African Americans is still being used today and instead of coming out field hands we are coming out activists.

Instead of being broken and ready to kneel before a pair of sunglasses and dressed in boots we are standing in the face of anger and hatred and we are saying "No more hate, teach me to love." But they cannot.

DOC cannot teach us to love because they do not understand such novel ideals. They only understand submission. So WE are teaching THEM the language of love.

So are you. Through volunteering, through visits, through letters, through outrage and legislation, through voting and lobbying, through nonprofits and board meetings, through patiently listening to someone like me talk about feeling abused and isolated then in the same breath whisper glimmers of hope and STILL having the patient love to say "Your doing well."

Prisons are changing because love is destroying them.

What a beautiful destruction...

With LOVE

Jeff "Jeffebelle" Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com

How Can Anyone Understand... by Rory Andes

I just watched a segment I was wanting to watch months ago on 60 Minutes. It was about the Syrian chemical attacks earlier this year on their own people, the one Americans fired over fifty cruise missiles at the offending airbase for. Dealing with and disposing of that kind of atrocity was a job I spent a decade fully trained and prepared to do. Its what I was ready to encounter myself, should it happen as we sat ready to defend Kuwait City International Airport from a chemical attack at the beginning of the Iraq War.

But I don't care how trained you are or how prepared you may be, seeing a five or six year old with eyes wide open, foam surrounding the mouth, limp except for the reflexive movement of the jaw, so as to look like a gasping fish on a pier because of the seizing of their small diaphragms, you can never be fully capable of accepting what you see. Using weaponized nerve agent against a community is a coward's move.

Watching family and neighbors use water hoses to try and revive and relieve their loved ones scattered across the streets was heartbreaking. Seeing international aid workers having to pile small, lifeless bodies by the dozens into vehicles to travel 30 miles to get help, because the Syrian government destroyed the local hospital just the day prior, its one of those things you cannot wrap your mind around. And I was just a mere observer from half a world away, watching months later from the comfort of my American prison cell.

Bashar al Assad needs to be held accountable for his crimes against his people. Keep things in perspective the next time someone says Trump is the worst president ever. Remind them that sure, he has his faults, but he's not the murderer Syria has to deal with. The president who literally destroys the future and suffocates hope.

Rory Andes
for Lgbtqprisonsupport.com

Monday, August 20, 2018

Those Who Succeed From Prison and Those Who Do Not by Jeff Utnage

Since coming to prison (yes, I am currently in prison, as I write this very email...shocker) I have seen the difference between a successful re-entry into society and unsuccessful. This difference is self-discipline and drive. Let me explain.

As an inmate I get to see the real people. Because we are living with each other 24 hours a day I get to see their worst and their best, for example:
1. I know who all the early risers are and I know who has trouble getting up by lunch and I know why
2. I know who will do drugs again and who won't
3. I know who truly believes in their religion and who is doing of because they are desperately seeking acceptance and the second something more popular accepts them...best believe they're gone
4. I know who's gay and who's faking it to get attention

It is not just me though, we all know. You know who doesn't have a clue? DOC, legislative figures, Correctional Industries (the nonprofit version of Satan...in my humble homo opinion), and most of all...you.

However, I can tell you that I limit my interactions with those I see are unwilling to do what it takes to succeed. Let's take the writers for lgbtqprisonsupport.com as an example. I know these men, I know their hearts and more importantly, I understand their drive. These guys get up with purpose. They don't just stumble about the day wondering what to do next, no, they know who they are and what they are about. We all run in the same direction even if its in different social circles...we just keep seeing each other succeed.

I'm not a fortune teller, circumstances can change tomorrow and you just can't see the depths of a persons heart unless they show it to you.

That's the purpose of a site like lgbtqprisonsupport.com, for us to show our hearts. Sure, we have our ugly spots and shortcomings, but we have love and goals and a willingness to give back to our communities. We have wronged folks along the way but take a look within yourself, can anyone reading this say you haven't wronged people or made an enemy because you were being selfish?

Cannot wait to tell the world about the heart of...us, in all its in facets.

With Love
Jeff "Jeffebelle" Utnage

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Great Beetle Battle by Jeff Utnage

I woke up this morning and there it was, the great beetle. He stood poised and ready to attack with his long antennae and six nimble legs.

I narrowly escaped his grip of death by jumping off my bunk and arming myself with a toothbrush and toothpaste...and an impudent eye, of course. The great beetle navigated the window glass by my bed expertly, displaying his prowess.

I had the advantage all along though, did this beetle not know that I was the Great Homo-Huntress! I, I am the mighty brusher of teeth and comber of hair and can spit toothpaste in a steady stream like a water jet and huck my comb of death with the accuracy of a ninja.

I slowly rolled some toilet paper into thine palm, edged slowly to the bed and began the heady ascent to the crest of Mt. Prison Bunk, armed with my fresh breath, battle arrayed bun, and hefty wad of toilet paper destruction. The Great Beetle poised to attack and jumped at me with his giant talons of death!

I let out my mighty battle cry and searched valiantly for the tiny foe, in my cellies pile of blankets. The massive, man-eating beetle surprised me by throwing the fleece covers at me with a great force, I dodged the crafty maneuver, barely escaping with my life.

Then, as any good Great Homo-Huntress would do, I dove on the formidable stinker and trapped him in my toilet paper of destruction.

With the powerful being in my clutches I felt him chewing through the material and I ran as fast as possible to the only thing strong enough to defeat the Great Beetle, a toilet. I scrambled to the edge of the porcelain throne and sacrificed the Great Beetle to its flush of agony and sent the warrior to his proper burial, the prison sewer system.

The world is a safer place now, thanks to the quality training of hair brushers everywhere and those with the breath of freshness.

Your welcome...

With Love
Jeff "Jeffebelle" Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Detention of Migrant Children, From a Prisoners Perspective by Jeff Utnage

Detaining children is inhumane, in any capacity. It doesn't matter what the circumstances are, there are no excuses where it is okay to cage a child for any purpose for any length of time under any circumstance.

I am in prison, at least I understand the psychological trauma I am incurring and even justify because I have logical reasoning skills. The staff looks intimidating for a reason, they intentionally disconnect themselves from all of us for a reason. What are the detention center staff doing with the children?

Lock them in their cages at night? Justify under national security? Just doing their jobs?

Here is my message to all people who are helping detain those migrant children, including the medical, mental health, detention center, security, food staff...

Remember the trials after Hitler? Yeah, you are still culpable for your actions...

No child deserves to be detained because of the actions of their parents. If it is truly that much of a national security issue, refuse entrance at the border...don't detain them, send them back with a simple.."no"

Our policies need to change as Americans, which I am. We must not turn a blind eye to what's going on with the immigrants of this country, we must understand that we are all searching for better lives.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Just For Today, a Poem by Jeff Utnage

How 'bout we're perfect
Just for the night
We'll intertwine our ego's with the divine
Drink from golden chalice's...
Tonight our baggage doesn't exist
Tonight I love my body and you,
You love yours too
My teeth are pearly white and neatly rowed
Just for today
Let me pretend I am in love
Go walk the pier with some handsome Mr. Gray of my own
It'll be perfect
Just one night, that's all I need
Let me feel human
Let me feel loved
Not the I want down your pants love
But the love you feel when you just know that God exists because only perfection could have created this, us
So tonight my love,
We're perfect
Just you and I and this magical space that nobody else knows about
We'll shed our masks and speak a dialect that only perfection understands
We'll utter strange sounds
Just for today
No
Just for the night
No
Just for one hour
No
Just give me one minute
One minute to feel...this

By Jeff Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com