When I first came to this place I was completely isolated. I needed support and help. It was very difficult to find peers and people to relate to. I could have easily conformed to the prisons mentality, gone back in the closet and became my old self…but that was unhealthy and led me here, I was/am unwilling to be that man ever again.

So I began reaching out to the LGBT community that was here. I created bonds with them. I listened to them, I loved them. Without judgement, I just wanted to be near them. Just being around people like me seemed to charge my system. I was happy and lively when I was around other LGBT people. I just loved them.

Now here we are two years later. I have created a support group, we made history with the first ever LGBTI Pride Event Celebration. We went from four of us to well over a hundred. I love every one of them and they know it.

So here is my proof. Our newest arrival says to me “this place is great, everyone is so nice! I have never felt so loved in my life” He was sincere and speaking from his heart. 

This is the result of one persons love. I am in the darkest of places but love is a powerful force even here. Now the misfits and bad seeds that I simply loved are loving others instead of mistreating them. Imagine that. It used to be that other LGBT people will stay away from other LGBT people. Not anymore.

Love is making a difference here. Its being nice, its listening, its not judging. Sometimes its just being near someone who understands your struggle, no words needed. Being there for someone who has experienced the pain of complete rejection. 

My mission in life is to spread this thinking to the entire world. If it can be so effective here, in such a dark place, it will spread like color out there. 

With LOVE,
Jeff Utnage