June is approaching fast. All the buzz around here in the LGBT community is this prisons first LGBT celebration event.

The excitement for most of us is palpable. The event in and of itself is a binding agent. But the journey to it is the fun part for me. Late nights perfecting a potential speech, making adjustments to letters home. Being woke up in the middle of the night because an idea just will not wait until morning.

Its not just that we are excited. Most of us know that this is a quiet part of LGBT history. At the very least this is a part of our history, our lives. We are all going through something together. Something that is not only important to us as individuals, but something that adds to the fabric of the entire community.

We are being celebrated! Do you have any idea what that feels like? Three years ago I was asked to stay hidden, in the closet for my own protection from all sorts of things. Now, we are being celebrated. 

Those of us that have laid down our problems, our differences, for a common good… we know what this does for the LGBT community as a whole. Prison is a womb or a tomb. We can learn to live or learn to die. 

It is moments like these that we learn to live. 

Here’s to looking forward to this years Pride celebrations all over the country!

With Love
Jeff Utnage