Regarding Pride   by   Ruth Utnage

Actually, you know what, I have some resentment towards the LGBT community as a collective. I needed help. For years I cried out for help and nobody came, nobody even bothered to reply to a letter. Then I put together Pride and second year (2017) was a great thing, but I still needed personal connection. That’s what brought this whole thing about, all of it that I had a hand in was because I was lonely and I knew other people were too, but mainly, I was lonely. And guess what? Here I am 7 years later with a jpay contact list full of LGBT people that don’t write and what really gets me is the excuses as to why, or more often than not the lack of, They simply stop writing.

I have wanted so badly to have a regular visitor, to have someone I can rely on to talk to regularly and just be me around, ideally that would be several someones, several friends. I wanted them to be LGBT people because I feel we had a common bond, a tie that doesn’t understand the boundaries of prison walls. Granted, I have met some neat people, albeit busy, but neat nonetheless, like yourself. But literally, I have probably 30 people on my jpay contact list and I get mail from one regularly, another weekly, and the other two are about once a month. Now, nobody owes me anything, I’m not feeling entitled here, but I’ve been on my knees and begging for years, I’ve built impossible structure, I’ve put together cultural change plans that if the world knew just how intricate and precise and well thought out they truly were they would either be horrified or amazed, and all in the name of trying to make a friend from out there. A friend who has not came. I’ll architect a whole system, implement it, then put someone else’s name on it, as if they did the whole thing on their own if it meant I could get one single visit.

Pride? What’s to be proud of? The reason for Pride was to unite those who are marginalized with those who are not to rise above the pain of our disconnection and loneliness from what was “normal”. Here we are 51 years post Stonewall and not much has changed accept once a year I get my hopes up because that’s the one time the “community” will band together and sometimes answer a small voice out there but a thunderstorm of a voice in here and maybe, just maybe, I might make a friend who will find enough value in me to not forget about my existence and come in here to visit me. You know, because they want to get to know me. But it doesn’t happen.

Instead, I want to acknowledge my humanity, my humanness and my bond with all mankind. I’ve been hurt too many times by labels and those who bathe in them, by the fake bond a prison cell disguised as a label provides. So I’ve taken my heart and now I’m an advocate for Human Pride.

You want to help me start a Human Pride Event, where our segregation and marginalization is truly shed where instead of bondage and separateness, pain and loneliness, we celebrate our mutuality? But for now, brother, I’m tired and my heart is broken, my will is weak. I fear that prison and maturity have taken their toll as well as a root of bitterness and I’ve been ignored and forgotten one too many times now to stay on my knees my friend. I love my community and will always forgive, as that is what I hope for, but I have no more tears left to cry for this cause. Now, I am a hardened woman who has very little hope that anyone will help or have compassion. So I aim to build an empire of love out of this pain that will be used by those who try to love, no matter how “busy” they are.

I don’t mean to be bitchy, but it felt good to let that out, honest feelings for once. And to be frank, the outside world doesn’t even seem real anymore, It’s like a video game or some Autobot responder system that interacts with me. I watch news and TV and I can no longer decipher the difference between what’s pseudo and what’s real, it all, looks pseudo to me, its like the outside world doesn’t exist because things are so impersonal. I guess that’s no ones fault but my own and certainly not your fault. thanks for listening.

With Love


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