Strange title huh, well, that is precisely what I was told when I asked for structure within our LGBT peer group. At first it was a simple no, but when I brought up that other groups have structure, the real opinions came out. The powers that be think that “certain individuals will take the position of authority and misuse it, besides, you guys are too emotional.”

I have to say it cut pretty deep. It got me thinking about the perceptions of those who are one, straight and two, in authority over us. Suddenly so much more makes sense to me.

I organized a goal setting workshop for the new year, I conveyed it would have the highest impact right at the end of December, I had spent 3 years researching goal setting strategy and designed a detailed packet that is interview styled. Answer the questions and when your done you have a well thought out goal and plan. Everyone thought it was a great idea, or so I thought.

December came and went, then by January I was being told to have everything ready to hold our first class but there was no lead up, like other new programs. There was no signage like other programs, no way to alert the population it was even happening. So I took the hint, folks were too busy to concentrate on such things.

I was not angry about it, I stopped it because if it is worth doing it is worth doing right. I just figured it was not the right time. But here I am three months later and I find out the real opinion of how we are viewed, too emotional and willing to misuse and misinterpret some perceived authority. Strange.

Simply because I am LGBT make me this? Other prison groups have positions for structure purposes, for training purposes, to ease the burden on staff sponsors. But not the LGBT group, simply because we are LGBT.

Good to know we are thought of so highly.

Really encouraging. But you know what, I am still going to walk in there and give everything to my peers. I am going to smile and say “thanks for the opportunity” even though my “emotions” are hurt, God forbid I ask for help, clearly it is a weakness.

With Love
Jeff “Jeffebelle”