I watched the first two hours of ABC’s When We Rise last night and I have to say that the words that were used to describe the movement were words that I have said many, many times. It felt like I was watching my own struggle unfold in a symphony of emotion.

In today’s world (non-prison life) gay rights are on the rise and equality is not complete, but in some areas of the country it feels as if they are. However, in prison, the times are still very much behind the curve. The words that were used to describe the need for a place “to just breath for a moment” were the exact same words that I used to describe the need for a support group in prison when I first began my own quest.

I cried like an emotional basket case during some scenes and laughed out loud at others. But one emotion remained consistent the entire time, pride.

It is important to know where we came from because this is how we measure our current success, where we are in the process, so to speak. 

I find it so soothing and inspiring to know that the words that I utter in my prayers and behind icy tears are the same words uttered by our brave forefathers and mothers in times past, behind the same prayers and the same icy tears.

It feels good to know that this fight, the one I am fighting right this very minute, has been raging on for more than 40 years and I could not be prouder to be writing this for the reasons I am writing it. 

I am so glad that someone took the time to create our history on film the way that they have and bravo to ABC for having the heart and courage to air it. 

Cannot wait for Wednesday! 

With Love
Jeff Utnage