I remember when I finally got to go to the first Pride event here in prison. Different racial and religious groups tried to sign up for the event first so that they could block all of us LGBT from going. It worked for the most part I might add. Out of 250 spaces, only 45 inmates arrived. The rest of them were people that hated us and it was their own form of protest.

However something beautiful happened as we all walked to the event, which was on the other side of the compound, we had to walk past every unit where everyone could see us. People were banging on their windows and coming out of the unit to heckle us, even the staff that was on the breezeway was yelling derogatory comments.

So what we did was we walked shoulder to shoulder and stopped walking and began marching. It just felt like that was appropriate. We were no longer attending an event that was designed for us, rather, we were marching for a cause that the facility was not happy about.

That little bit of marching felt good though. Which brings me to the question in the blog title, are you willing to go to where you are not welcome to march for LGBT rights. Its easy to go to a district of a city where you are already welcomed in (not to diminish the effectiveness of Gay Pride Parades, because they are amazing!!!), it’s something else to go to a city or town where you are not welcomed.

I would like to go to cities that are historically anti-LGBT and organize marches there, give speeches and hold rallies. That is part of my plan. Maybe sit out on the sidewalk of churches that preach against homosexuality and hold a sign that says “Jesus Loves Even The Judgmental Hypocrite’s!”

I am not afraid nor will I allow myself to fear another man so long as I live. I hate fear and I aim to get rid of it!!!

With Love
Jeff Utnage