Human Me: What I Want To Write About      by    Ruth Utnage

For the longest time I wrote in an effort to highlight a disparity, specifically the negative experiences of the LGBTQ community inside prisons. I wrote about my own experiences and the emotional effects each had on me for days, sometimes months. Part of me wanted people to feel sorry for me, maybe have sympathy. Another part of me wanted to prove that I was making it through, that I was strong and resilient. Still another part of me just wanted to do something about feeling those strong emotional currents.

None of those things were helpful.

In fact, they were counterproductive. Feeling sorry for myself just drove people away and self-pity is not only unhelpful, it was self-destructive. Sympathy did nothing, like knowing snow leopards are endangered, “that’s too bad, I hope that people stop doing that, what’s for dinner dear?”

I felt dependent my entire life, I hated it then and I hate it now. Only, ten years ago I didn’t know what to do about it. Telling people about how I’m overcoming adversity is not very useful to anyone but me. Words are just words, after all. All I was doing was proving I was a cup already full, why pour more content into a vessel that seems to have no room? My, my, the lessons we learn.

The bottom line is, I was writing for all the wrong reasons- ego. Look at me, look at me. It wasn’t just ego that drove me, mind you, but it was a major part of it, to be honest. The other part was trying to legitimately solve a problem because it was, and still is, needed. I was just trying to solve the wrong problems at the wrong time.

When I should have been focusing inward, making necessary changes to myself, I changed my environment. Imagine my surprise when new problems emerge and it suddenly occurs to me that the common factor in all my problems is…me. How novel.

Now that I’ve come to terms with my own fallibility and limitations I can have the freedom I’ve always wanted, the ability to connect. So instead of writing for others, I am going to write for me and I hope that you see a little of yourself buried within my, and others, words. If something I write resonates with you, fantastic, share it with someone, let me know. Even challenging something I write, I love debates! Otherwise, I hope to one day make an impact on this system in a good way and I know, in my heart of hearts, from the depths of my soul, that it somehow begins with

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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To contact me you must be a humanist…

“A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, then by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.” (“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire )