Many LGBT people in prison are in an extremely unique position. I have said this before and I believe that it is worth repeating again and again. We are in a unique position because the thing that defines as as ‘homosexual’ is that we are attracted to the same sex. Which we are locked up with.

Sounds like the perfect match until you find out that practicing homosexuality in prison is ILLEGAL. You can say your gay all you want, but to practice homosexuality is in effect illegal. Which is where the “unique” problem I speak of comes into play.

Imagine being in a place where your ideal mate might be the person just a few doors down, but if you so much as admit that you have feelings for that person you are subject to punishment.

So who gives a crap? We are in prison after all, this shouldn’t be a meet and greet, right?

I would agree if I had not experienced the shame of feeling like I was doing something taboo my entire life. For many LGBT people they are made to feel as if they are perverted, wrong, possessed even. That their sexual identity is something that needs to be ‘cured’ rather than embraced.

So when your shame manifests itself into something unhealthy; like drugs, or a sexual deviancy, or alcoholism…you are the one left to pick up the pieces. So you come to prison to get “corrected” only to find out that you have to hide even more in here.

Imagine that you come to a place to repair your car. You wait in the lobby while some mechanic assesses the damage and possibly even fixes it. Then, that mechanic tells you that you will have to fix it on your own. They will provide any tools you may need. Even give you some instructions, a little help.

Just one thing, you need to watch out for dangers. Some of the people around you want to do terrible things to you. So you pick up bad habits that don’t allow you to concentrate on fixing your car, because you are to busy defending yourself.

This is the state that we are in while we are in prison. Prison gangs have been allowed to get out of control and the ones who lose in that situation are the ones who are unwilling to shed blood.

Look at one of your friends who is soft, imagine one of your shopping buddies having to use a writing pen as a weapon because some Mexicans with an attitude wants to kill you…yeah, there’s a lot of us in here who have faced that.

How in the hell am I supposed to help people get past that?

With Love

Jeff Utnage