I used to give every LGBT person I came across in prison the same speech. I would tell them that no matter what kind of situation they found themselves in, I would help, as long as they were brutally honest. I told them that even if they started the whole thing, I wouldn’t judge, abandon, turn my back, tell others, get them in trouble, or intentionally lead them astray.

Basically, I would be a real friend. If they were whoring themselves out for coffee (yup, actually happened), I would try to give them coffee every day until we could get them a job and try and get them away from the sick bastard taking advantage of them.

In prison these things get hidden, stuffed down, swept under the rug. Not many people have the compassion needed to listen to someone say they have caused a major mess for themselves and help them out of it patiently. Most LGBT people in prison have nobody.

Take a moment and think about who you would go to if everything went wrong. What would you do? Could you tell the whole truth? Would they judge you or throw it back in your face? Could they actually help? Inmates do not usually have this option.

Strangely, neither do many of you out there in the free world. 326 million people in America and you can’t find one to be honest with making you feel so isolated at times. I understand, I really do. Everyone is looking down and you just want one person to look up and make eye contact, just one.

We will build a community, not some compound or religious but job stuff, but right where we are. By changing ourselves those around us will naturally change. To prove my point, try something for me. For 21 days straight make contact with people by saying hello and remember something about them. Every time you see them greet them. Do this with as many people as you can. Here is a tip, be truly excited to see them, because you just couldn’t wait to find out how such and such went, or how so and so did. For 21 days give your social time to actual people, not a machine.

That will build communities.

With Love
Jeff “Jeffebelle”