If You Really Knew Me:

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an activist. I am the one who will stand up unashamed of my circumstances. I refuse to let anyone shame me for my sexuality. Rarely does that hard line get pressed or crossed but when it does I am a fierce defender of my right to be happy and unashamed and I do my best to make sure that my peers feel safe, at least, around me.
You would also know that on Tuesday nights on Oxygen there is a show called The Prancing Elites and I don’t care how many times I shamelessly plug it on my blog because the show is amazing. I watch it faithfully and am so glad every time that I do because it’s a reminder that we are not alone. There are others who are out there helping our community stay healthy and happy. Last nights episode filled me with emotions. But the one that was prevelant was flat out happiness. A few of the Elites were attempting to connect with their Fathers, something that is high on my list of hopes and prayers. I hope that one day I can reconnect with my children. I made a big mistake, one that landed me in here and the last thing that I wanted wasto lose my children. I obviously wasn’t in my right mind and the biggest mistake I have ever made was my crime. I will forever be reminded of that shame. 
So I got emotional last night when the went to a thing called the Queer Homecoming, a place where teens who are ostracized go to be themselves and the Elites were there to speak about there own struggles and to offer encouragement. There was part where this teenage girl just pops out of the crowd with all boldness and asks a question and Kareem gets moved to hug the girl. When he does you can hear her heartbeat through the microphone on his chest and her heart is racing. It spoke volumes about that moment. It was powerful and moving. It reminded me of what I am missing and the moments that I gave up. I was such a fool…
I will not live in the past because I have a future. I can’t build my future if I am always living in the past. Nothing is back there that I can change. I must push forward with the constant rememberance that I made a mistake, one that was costly. One that I regret. 
However, here I am and I am moved with compassion for other people. I am not the selfish man that I used to be and now I am ready to push on. I don’t have it all figured out and no one really does. We move on and push forward with our lives and try to help others along the way. I may bot have it all figured out but what I will do is extend a hand to others along the way and take every hand that I can for help. 

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469
stafford creek correction center
191 constantine way
aberdeen, wa 98520