Watch any news network and you will get at least a glimpse of some sort of demonstration. Each glimmer I have seen has had at least one Pride flag in it! How warming it is to see! It is not so much demonstration for the sake of demonstrations, but we need to keep momentum up otherwise we will lose our ground.

With this new divisive administration coming in we have potential for serious brow beatings from our government and the only way we are going to keep our rights as LGBT people is to keep our fellow Americans on our side. WE do that through branding, which goes back to Pride flags being visible during news clips. Small, but important and eventually this type of visual branding will associate equal rights with LGBT.

This is not anything new though, warriors have been marching for LGBT equality for decades now, we are not doing anything new here, simply carrying the torch into a new generation. Proudly.

I am locked up, behind prison walls, not for demonstrations or for some worthy cause. I screwed up and hurt people, terribly. I deserve to be in here. Prison has this funny way of either breaking you or strengthening you. For me it has matured me, it served its purpose to make me “see the light.” I have become accustomed to myself finally and now I am proud of who I am, which is a gay man.

The problem comes for me when I see injustices happening close to me. I have said it before and I will say it again, in prison it is ok to say your gay or trans, but its not ok to act gay or trans. The act of homosexuality is illegal and punishable…that is wrong.

When our government is shifting to a divisive and hate filled administration that same hate acceptance will quickly filter to our prison systems. This further fans the fire of segregation that is already burning here.

I may be housed, in my opinion, in the most progressive and accepting corrections center in the country, but that doesn’t make us exempt from anything. In fact, it makes us a very big target.

Keep showing the solidarity out there because those of us who are helpless in here are depending on you.

If there is anyone who wants to help me in my cause of connecting the LGBT community in here with out there, please contact me.

With Love
Jeff Utnage