My brother, James, tells me today that “someone in authority” asked him today the following question:

“My partner and I were debating if you were beautiful or handsome, what would you prefer?”

His response was “Well, beautiful”

“That’s what I said!” the authority exclaimed

Now, what makes this worthy of writing about is, besides the fact that it was a strange question considering the nature of a prisoner and someone in authority over them, that this person had assigned a designation of his sexuality based on his preference of the descriptions “beautiful” or “handsome”.

In all fairness these terms have masculine and feminine culture attached to them, so it would make some weird sense if his gender identity was in question (not that there isn’t better ways to find out…). But this wasn’t about his looks folks. No, this same authority the previous week had a bad day and someone recognized that and made a decision to simply not speak to this person unless a directive was issued, something many of us do with this person for our own protection. The authority then proceeded to pull out several people one by one to find out if that guy was gay and if that was the reason he avoided contact.

Well, James was just transferred to this mans cell. So, as you see with a little context this innocent “beautiful or handsome” question suddenly has some strange implications, now doesn’t it?

And do you know what we can do about it?

Not a damned thing. Nothing but hope and pray…

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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