I have heard every reason in the book why this prison can’t have an LGBT support group. From staff, inmates and outside people alike.

Then I tell them it will be started then they tell me why it won’t work. First I couldn’t do it because the facility wouldn’t allow it (which wasn’t true) then I couldn’t do it because the world isn’t ready or there is too much bigotry or there isn’t enough of us…blah blah blah

Then when I tell them its been approved then I hear all about how gays in prison serve one purpose and that we want to be whorish (this coming from men who aren’t gay!!) how were nothing but fake women and how were to emotional and we shouldn’t be allowed to program, stay in our cells or be cheerleaders for the sports teams here. Can you feel the steam coming from my ears yet?

Then when I inform them that I am their peer, I do everything they do and that they never would have known I was gay lest I tell them…then they come up with some other excuse as to why it shouldn’t be allowed.

You know what though? Keep telling me I can’t because I am going to forget about everything they said in a day or two. I have a job to do. 

Every ounce of my being tells me that I have a purpose on this planet and I am running out of time to fulfill it. Time is of the essence and I don’t have time to live in the parameters of some bigots shade. Since I have been down I have met to many LGBT people who don’t believe they are lovable or deserve anything but to be used. They feel they are better off dead because the world hates them and even their own families disown them. No one writes them or helps them deal with the threats of rape or drug use to cover the shame of believing your condemned to hell. 

I know what that feels like. Firsthand. Every single word of it. When I looked for help, there was nothing, no one who knew how to help me. No shoulder to cry one, no shield to protect me. 

I refuse to stand by and watch it happen to another human being. I don’t care how bad their crimes are or what they’ve done or how minimal the trauma may have been. I won’t allow them not to feel loved. My job is to make sure that every encounter they have with me feels leaves them feeling like they are loved, needed and someone cares what happens to them.

Keep telling me I can’t, but I don’t have time to keep listening to it. 

I could sure use some help though…because there are so, so many.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

Side Note: If there is ANYONE out there who feels like they have nobody, contact me! I don’t care what you got going on, how good or bad you may have been or are. You don’t have to deal with this alone, I’m reaching as far as my cage allows, you need to come the rest of the way.