As a gay gender nonconformist I prefer to socialize with the LGBT community. I do not have to fear judgment or rejection, I already know and understand I am accepted. When I am around most straight people I am self conscious about my sexuality and gender fluidity.

Experience has taught me that being trans or gender fluid or gay means no comprehension on behalf of non LGBT folks. Which has often translated into some type of ostracization or judgment. However, when I first wake up in the morning it is not just LGBT people I am excited to see.

I look forward to calling my Mother every afternoon. I have friends who are going to work and I like to catch them before they head out. I have weight lifting partners who I study physiology with and we are working towards healthy and strong bodies, encouraging healthy and positive lifestyles. The sponsor for our LGBT prison support group is straight and one of our biggest supporters, the staff I am most trusting of are all straight.

The role of the straight community is not only important to me personally, but it is important to all of us. It is not just one way either, I am important to my friends as well. I play a role in their lives that I am uniquely suited for, sometimes it is my sexuality but often its much more than that.

It is easy to get caught up in LGBT exclusivity because its comfortable, but I encourage everyone not to practice discriminatory socialization. Your only hurting yourself.

With Love
Jeff “Jeffebelle” Utnage