Letters from Our Family (December 2018)

I want all Black and Pink Readers to know that you do not have to hide who you are or what you like; if you are in prison you don’t have to hide it from anyone either because in the end you are the one who has to deal with it everyday not anyone else so remember- fuck what others think, do you regardless if you love a man, be faithful to him or her whichever they are. Don’t be afraid to show the real you. Blessed be, blessed be, blessed be.

With all my love, Jordan (MD)


I’ve been receiving this great publication for more than a year now. You’ve managed to touch every emotion I have. I’ve been in TX prisons for 24 — going on 25 — years. Texas is by far the most oppressive state in the union. If you aren’t a conservative Republican — then by God, you are the enemy and the enemy is to be enslaved. That is exactly what the Texas Prison System is, legalized slavery. If you believe it’s justice or rehabilitation — then you are a fool — or one of them.

We are fed so bad on this particular “farm” that one of the COs actually went and complained to the Major. We work in industries where we manufacture goods that are sold at profit to outside agencies and other countries. We actually make the majority of the non-food items that are sold in our commissary. Our pay is fictional work and good time that in theory should be applied toward early release. But it’s discretionary. Therefore it’s worth nothing more than wasted ink on our time sheet.

If we fail to show up to our job that we’re not paid for, we receive disciplinary. Where we could lose our much coveted work time or good time or lose our privilege to go to commissary and purchase the items we failed to go help manufacture as our punishment. We would be excused from work for being sick if we go to medical and pay a hundred dollar co-pay. I am award of the state, I labor for free, eat gravy as a main course at least three meals a week, and yet I am charged for medical. a medical bill paid by our families because we have no source of income. And the icing on the cake is that we are charged a sales tax on certain items we purchase. That is taxation without representation. Think American Revolution.

I never had to endure a lot of what most of you would have faced. I was a 6’6’ white man from the trailer park covered in tattoos and I should have won the Academy Award. I faked it to make it. I stood my ground and never betrayed the real me. Ultimately, I am paying the price for it now. I should have been true to myself and fought the good fight. I was so scared of disapproval — well, my fears would take 10 pages to list. Now, I am ready to become who I was mean to be.

anon (TX)


Well, I’ve been in the custody of my legal kidnappers for (8) years strong for a petty crime I didn’t commit. My situation was not about the charge. The District Attorney told me at court that he had strong feelings that I didn’t do it. But, he couldn’t let me go home, because I was a threat. I knew too much and I opened too many peoples eyes as to what was going on. I helped over (20) people get out of the parish jail and I had info on how to obtain my own paperwork, which contained the info of my accusers. In Louisiana, if you know how to do stuff like that, they roast you – no mercy — too smart. I watched guys take 30 to 80 years on no evidence. Court appointed lawyers manipulating dudes with detectives present to give forced confessions out of fear. Now they are never going home. Most of the LGBTQ prisoners are already full of fear once they come to jail anyway. So the police, judges and attorneys use that fear to their advantage. In the south they hate the LGBTQ having any rights or say so anyway. In the Louisiana prison system, it’s not cool to be smart of a thinker. But that’s what I am. I know that I don’t need anything from this broken system to go home and function. But they want you to feel that way.

I want the world to know how they rock in Louisiana and how they kidnapped me legally and took me to all of these plantations where all of these slaves let them violate their rights daily without rising up. I want everybody to know about Gregory O. Harrell vs. the State of Louisiana. I put up my best fight and lost, but in the end I’m gonna win! I am a firm believer in the fact, that one day we will change all of this. To all of my Girls locked up going through it, stay strong!

Hope this motivated somebody,
Sincerely I am,
Lois Lane


Dear Black $ pink Friends

It’s Lee again Just checking in to see how everyone is. I’ve been super busy in My Recovery groups and Vocational class. I wake up at 6 Am and My Day Starts. Monday – Friday from 8am – 2pm, I’m at my vocational class. Electrical. I study for Tests, both hands on and written. Then Tuesdays & Fridays From 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, I have my youth offender programs. (Y.P. class) On Friday Nights , I’m in Al-Anon that’s my other Recovery class. My Lunch Starts at 11 or 12. Dinner or chow starts at 6 pm. Night yard & Dayroom is from 7 – 9pm. My weekends, I have to either walk for 2 Hours around the yard or prison gym and I’m in there for a solid hour doing a work out, or volley ball. After that I Like to come in, shower and stay in the cell to relax since My Week Day was so busy. I make sure to check My Tablet For Any Emails that might be there. It’s a Jpay Tablet. Friends & Family can Email me willingly and I get them directly. Jpay.com/Media. Sign up and have my info on hand as well as yours.

Other than this, I’m happy, safe, and healthy. Working hard to be better than before. Let the old me go. One step at a time.

Well Black and pink, hope to hear From you soon in the near Future.

Take care.
Your Friend,
Lee (CA)

Message from Dominique (December 2018)

Hello Family!

Well darlings – another year down! My goodness it feels like it was just January and we were in a very bleak space. Fast forward and I feel so alive with appreciation and excitement for what is in store for Black and Pink.

This is a special issue! We heard your feedback about submissions being published and we have worked hard over the last 6 months to get up to date with processed letters! We can say that we are very close to achieving that goal.

I think about being inside during the holidays – waiting for Holiday Boxes from the canteen (when I had the money), commiserating with my sisters cooking burritos (one day I’ll share my fab recipe) and finding what traditions would be come my new normal. I want to say to you all that no matter where you are – it’s okay to find joy. You may be creating a new normal but it’s yours and that’s special. We on the inside love each other in ways others can’t understand.

I send the gift of peace. Peace of your heart and mind.

I send the gift of contentment. Being at the pinnacle of happiness isn’t always feasible. Continuous contentment is a blessing I promise.

I send the gift of renewal. Tomorrow is a new day. No matter how bad today is or was – you have tomorrow boo. I held on to that and still do.

Holiday card parties are happening so look out for those! As long as we have each other as Black and Pink family we’ll never be alone in this thing. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Oh PS – I’m adding a vision board template. Dreaming is good for the spirit. Trust me.

Dominique Morgan
National Director
Black and Pink, Inc
Omaha, Nebraska

Hardcore Correspondence

Dear Family

Today is Halloween and sitting down here thinking about the Inside members and none members, I can remember all the days I wished I was outside celebrating my only favorite holiday of the year. When you go to prison young, all you think about is the trick or treating, the Halloween parties that come with being a teen. Yeah I trick or treated until I was 18, it was mainly to accompany my younger siblings but Sh**t, I also like candy. After dropping them back home I would go to a Halloween party were only a few of the people in there had costumes, the rest… well we came to party, I’m sure y’all know what that means. But equally sad are the parents who are missing that chance, some might not even ever get the chance to take their kids trick or treating, some even after coming home will have to be home under penalty of prison if they leave their homes or put up Halloween decorations. They sit there waiting for a team of officers to cell check their homes just like the shakedowns in prison. Even if they have kids they are not allowed to partake in this American tradition.

I say all that to say that knowing this, it motivates me to help people out here get pen-pals or at least attend and/or host a card party. This month I went to a Birthday Card party for NYC inside members who’s B-Day is in October at our comrades in the struggle the A.V.P. ( Anti Violence Project ). We had a good turn out and were able to send B-day cards to our inside members. I also attended a pen-pal orientation at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, where one of our organizer, Alex, has a great exhibit. Not many people showed, there’s never enough, but the good thing is that 5 of them went home pen-pals!!!

On top of that, our organizers hold a constant mail sorting every month in two locations and  pen-pal orientation once a month. So If anybody is ever within the battle field of NYC, come and support. Every first Wednesday of the month at the Sunview Luncheon, 221 Nassau in Greenpoint from 7-9pm. Every third Sunday of the month at the Bluestokings Bookstore, 172 Allen on LES from 3-5pm. Every second Monday of the month from 6:30-8pm at the Church of the Village. We’re preparing for the upcoming Holiday card parties, hopefully many other organizations decide to join us and individuals with positive hearts.

Our NYC organizers have also been working hard to help answer back the national mail at their mail sorting, which end up being somewhat of an event, can’t really say how much mail, but it was a lot. Like… a lot. I believe we can actually say we’re somewhat caught up. Family, remember that sometimes a letter from a stranger may actually save the life of somebody captivated by the P.I.C. Sometimes it brings hope for a better future, sometimes it’s the letter they needed to deal with their loneliness. Thank You all who are trying to make a difference, specially those who know that this is not the whole of our struggle, the ultimate will always be prison abolition.

Letters from Our Family (Oct. 2018)

Dear Black and Pink,

Hi fam 🙂 my name is Jenna I’m a 22 year old male to female transgender, currently finishing up my last 16 months on a 4 piece here in TCDJ. I’m sitting in solitary today as I write this letter waiting to be shipped to my new unit. I am being moved because I was drugged and sexually assaulted by a rather prominent high “ranking” gang member on this unit, so yeah safety issues and all that. Since being here in Seg the last week I’ve had lots of time to sit and think, lots of random stuff going on in my brain it’s like all the news channels at once, on acid, after being up for 48 hours. So yea, stressed out random thoughts, but one thing that keep coming to mind over and over again, is all my brothers and sisters out there who are going through the same thing but are afraid to speak up about it. At first I was afraid to tell anyone what happened. I told one of my sisters on the dorm and she urged me to go to the officers with it, so I did. After I was scared that I’d done wrong by telling on the guy and yeah I felt like I was a snitch because of it but this week I had to be escorted to medical for blood test to make sure I didn’t get anything from “him”. Well, i passed two of my sister one told me “You did the right thing by speaking up I’d have done the same thing.” and the other told me she was “proud of me for being brave enough to admit that something happened and get help.” So now I’m not gonna lie I’m glad I brought it to light and to all my family out there don’t be afraid to tell someone they have to help you if there is a real problem, don’t be afraid to ask for help. SPEAK UP! Because it might just save your life. I love you all and I hope you all will stand in solidarity when things like this happen to our family around us.

Yours in Solidarity,
Jenna (TX)

PS I learned today that I contracted Hep C from this incident. I’m sad yea but I’m so very happy I didn’t end up with something much worse.


Dear Black & Pink

I pray and hope you receive this small note and card everyone be blessed with the greatness of God. I received the wonderful cards from Shelley and Sunshine which I was very happy because I have been alone for a very long time, since my mom past away 2014. My girlfriend left me because the sentence was too much 19 years. However I am in the process of proving my innocence in a 440 motion. I am happy that theirs wonderful people out there that actually cares for people like myself and honestly I am innocent but the system is cruel and any matter, I have been sad for a long time and being alone for the holidays is not a good thing. I often pray to find someone good in my life but it has really been impossible but I guess is ok and I thank Black & Pink for not forgetting me.

The New York State Prison is very cruel on all genders and is something that I want to fight because N.Y.S. is killing us slowly, the medical, the officers abusive manner towards inmates is so incredible that is out of control. Green Haven is one of the worst officers here do what they want against inmates. In the last year over six inmates of this prison have died because medical does not provide any help.

Anyway thank you and my love and respect to all at Black & Pink.

God Bless,
Frankie (NY)


Dear Black and Pink,

Thank you for all you do for us LGBTQ family. Your hard work is appreciated, you make things so much better for the LGBTQ community, with your open arms, extended hands and unconditional love and support. When I think about Black and Pink and Hearts on a Wire etc. it’s an empowerment to see and hear people come together to help, support, care and love each other equally. In 1956 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought against the same racism we face today history repeat itself, but as long as we have unity we will thrive and prosper. Let me tell you all as a man who embrace his sexuality, it’s not easy for me or men like me, why because the world is so judgemental and homophobic. I have to fight a war just because I’m being myself and not what ever one else think I should be. Some might think it’s exaggerated but it’s not it’s my reality I face every day. The only things that helps me keep my sanity is the faith I have in God and the loving LGBTQ community that I so dearly love. I encourage you all to shift your focus away from the problem to the ones who can give you good advice, answers, solutions, or next steps to take. Family find your happiness and what makes you happy, your life is just as precious
as anyone else. And know that if you have faith in yourself, you don’t have to live up to or down to anyone else’s expectations, faith in yourself allows you to truly own who you are. LGBTQ we all are BEAUTIFUL.

Well until next time I’ll be praying for you beautiful people.

Sincerely yours,
King B.R. 2 Star (PA)



Hey friends!!! I just thought I’d write to express a few things! As I write I currently have 32 days left to discharge this 15 year sentence. :-)) My name is Jesikah F.! A Transwoman. And tho I’ve not been “out” all my life, or all my time, I’ve had my share of issues during my incarceration and I choose to write now cause it breaks my heart to see these young transgirls having to deal with these hateful situations thru out this system.

My issue goes out to “Isabella” fromWalla Walla! Everything you wrote makes complete sense. It’s nice to see a girl down for the cause. & all it takes you having to get saucy just to get a point across, you gotta do what your heart desires. Everything we (LGBTQIA) have, we’ve had to fight for. This ain’t came free & its a continuous fight, so Baby, you better file them nails & get ready for the war. Our fight is not always physical, & you are on the right track. Put that pen to work & file that paperwork. If they hate you for it, oh well, cause you know what, you’re making a difference for yourself & for all the girls that come after you. It’s gonna storm before it shines! As you say, “wounded I may be, weak I am not” you’re only weak if you have no defense. & you have a heart. That’s all the defense you need. So let these boys think what they want, if they don’t “fuck around” then whats they concern.
If a person doesn’t like what they see, then they need to find they own business cause us girls got our own, feel me?

So this is to the whole B&P family. As long as we stand tall & as one, our situations is as a barrier to slow us down & not a dead end stopping us. With 32 days left to go home, I plan on going out & helping contribute to girls in need as I know our needs in these prisons. So all who need the sincerest support, I am here & willing to help coming October & to start I’ll needing assistance. Feel free to write & express your needs & to my best abilities, in my power I will advocate for you . But a close mouth can not be fed.

To all my sisters, keep yalls heads up. Every plant begins with a seed, just tend to it & watch it grow. True beauty is within & always remember theres beauty in the struggle.

In sisterhood,
Jesikah F. (TX)

Message from Dominique (September 2018)

The Day I Almost Quit Black & Pink

I found out about Black & Pink January of 2016. We had traveled from Omaha, Nebraska to Chicago for Creating Change that year. There was a blizzard and after crowdfunding to be able to attend— there was nothing in the world that was going to keep me from attending Creating Change that year. It was known as the Mecca of networking for LGBTQ+ folks who wanted to magnify their work—and I was tired of being the kid from Nebraska who couldn’t get in the room to do the work I knew I was meant to do for the rest of my life.

I remember meeting Jason for the first time. Being so surprised how down to Earth he was. How dope this organization seemed and angry that for the 8 years I’d been in the Nebraska Department of Corrections, I wasn’t connected to Black & Pink and their work.

30 days later I’d accepted a job with the Nebraska Democratic Party. 5 months later I’d graduate with a degree in Public Health from Southern New Hampshire University and a month after that I began my career as a Sexual Health Educator at Charles Drew Health Center.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017—Black & Pink National Gathering in Chicago (I’m a huge believer in full circle moments) Meeting Jason again. Meeting so many Black & Pink members. Learning that I was going to be involved in the Leadership Circle. There was so much joy I received from those 3 days.

Then November of 2017 it was like the sky started falling. What had I gotten myself into? Who were these people we had to love as members but battle to save our organization from? What had I gotten myself into?

At that point I was the President of the Board of Directors. By default it seemed. But I had a responsibility nonetheless. December 22nd 2017 I boarded a plane to Boston. Our ground zero. I was scared and alone. In a new city. It was the anniversary of my Mother’s’ death. It was a cold and few days before Christmas. Did I mention I was alone?

But I had a job to do. I had an organization on the brink of destruction and more people than I could imagine who were depending on us to make it right. That evening I received a call about a healing circle that I was asked to attend to represent Black & Pink. I’m going to be honest. I’d been molested as a child. I’d been raped by a correctional officer the last 6 months of my sentence. My husband had cheated and had a baby on the way—This healing circle ranks up there as an experience of violation to my body, my mind and spirit. Being attacked in a space that was the office of the organization that historically had been known as a harbinger of peace for LGBTQ+ folks. A radical space. This abolition nexus of Boston. I was told I didn’t love black women. I was lied on. My character was attacked by people who knew me from email exchanges. I left there over it all. I wanted to fly home and go back to my house and deal with my failing marriage and eat my way through my feelings. It was over.

I thought—this is what advocacy looks like? This is what an amplifier reach was going to cost me? If this is what the work looks like—I wasn’t fit for it.

I walked out of the city school building and up the street to the pizza parlor where I would meet members of the Boston chapter for the first time. I smiled and chatted my way through the meeting while I mentally crafted my resignation letter that I would send when I got back to the hotel.

I went back and cried myself to sleep. I woke up the next morning— Sunday and it was a light snow covering the city. I decided to leave the hotel and find a place to have breakfast. I ended up at this small diner and sat down to begin my resignation email. It was then a few things happened—the jukebox began to play a Whitney Houston song. “How Will I Know” to be exact. I’ll never be in a space and hear a Whitney song and now stop in my tracks. Then I scrolled through FB and saw the post that I made December of 2009 thanking people who had reached out after my Mother had passed away. I instantly heard my Mother’s voice say “Don’t let anyone steal your joy”.

Regardless of everything we had went through as a Board—I was doing the work I had dreamed of and had prayed for. How was I going to let anyone take that from me? I’d always been a fighter. Why would I stop now?

January 22nd, 2018, I accepted the position of National Director permanently. I can say 9 months later I don’t regret stepping into this roller coaster at all. Is it easy? Absolutely not. We are still working to rebuild what some tried to destroy. Are we growing and thriving in the midst of it all? ABSOLUTELY.

New funders. New programs. A renewed organizational spirit. Over the next few months we will be doing a complete mail catch up in Boston. Our Reentry program launched this summer. Our reconstituted Leadership Circle will launch this fall as well.

At the end of the day I get up and get going in the morning for you all. I have a responsibility to you. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for allowing me to be the captain of this ship. I can’t promise calm waters at all times but I can promise that we will always move full speed ahead and stay on course.

With Love,
Dominique Morgan,
National Director,
Black & Pink,
September 6th, 2018

Letters From Our Family (July 2018)

To My Beloved Black & Pink Family:

Peace & Blessings to all you beautiful souls. My name is Bobbie V. soon to be Arya Serenity. I am presently being held in the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution (A.C.I) in Cranston. I am a 5’3”; 145 translatin@ and happy to bring forth some good news from the smallest state in the union. I’ve been reading Black and Pink for many years now and am a very active member in our Providence Rhode Island Chapter and proud to say that this small community has the biggest heart, love an compassion and understanding and were making moves out here slowly yet precise and with that being said the good news is that in the state of Rhode Island at the Rhode Island DOC/ACI I am the first openly transgender woman to transition behind the wall and to my surprise I’ve been met with great support by the RI-DOC’s medical staff Dr. Jennifer Clarke, MD MPH and my physician Dr. Radha Sadacharan, MD and will be receiving feminizing hormone therapy April 19th 2018 (estradiol) and hormone blocker (spironolactone).

I come to bring this good news to my family not to boast but to bring hope into the hearts of those who live in doubt and are struggling in their transition behind the walls. I read the horrid stories of pain and hate and it’s the struggles and achievements of those who preserved and endured in other prisons that made it possible for me, for it was your cases in the courts that won and your prison system that the RI-DOC went to consult asking how they deal with issues of transitioning in their prison system that has allowed for me here in the RI-DOC to transition with such ease and I am forever grateful and indebted to you all.

For those of you who continue to struggle and suffer in silence know that you must never bend that knee in defeat and fight the good fight. Your courage drives me in my activism and advocacy to follow your example in never giving up and to give voice to the voiceless and a face to the faceless.

Family I am to parole very soon and will put theory to practice and do the work of and for our people for a true revolutionary is a lover of the people and love you all I do. I’ve been in the states oppressive systems most of my life as many different personalities from orphan to street thug to gang banga to political activist to a transwoman who is an ex-gang banga that politicized herself. I am very historically, spiritually and politically conscious and aware of the time of day of which we exist in. I’ve been through the fire of hades since a 3 yr old child beaten; then rapes and given up for adoption at the age of 6; I’ve been homeless without family and true friends; neglected and confused in orphanages, group homes and shelters yet all this hell, all this hurt and pain, all this hate and rage gave me experience and this knowledge (for experience is knowledge) gave me awareness and this awareness gave power to my conscious being to not only want to fight and change and save my life but also yours.

This transition into a fiery hot spicy translatin@ is the beginning and end for me, it’s where I start living as the woman I truly am; dedicated to help my people and put an end to my haunting past. I want all you ladies and the greater LGBTQ family out there to know I am here for you. I cry, laugh and love with you all in spirit.

I also want you to know we the Providence chapter of Black and Pink need your beauty; strength and intelligence in our community. You’re needed, wanted and loved so if any of you in the LGBTQ community of Black and Pink seek/ need to relocate and seek to build a community with us in Providence, Rhode Island, seek support, new friendships and family and are willing to fight the good fight to help save lives then contact us at: Black and Pink PVD P.O. Box 29444, Providence, Rhode Island 02907.

Before I end I want to give a big loving shout out to our national director Dominique Morgen. I see you love and to my loving family Danie; Hanna; Trina; MJ; M; Sincere; Bethlehem and AJ and to anyone I may have missed. I love you all, soon the gates of hell will open to let this angel of god do the work of the righteous.

Nuff said I’ve spoken.
Arya Serenity (Rhode Island)


Live From The Plantation

The point here is that the very mindset that gives police the license to kill gratuitously – ie, even when they are clearly in no danger, this situation also tells prison officials that they are entitled to inflict both physical and psychological torture on the people in their custody. These are patterns apparently well known to head prison officials but ignored because equal and human rights stop masters/the over-seer profits. This is slavery in upgraded form and its backed by the 13th amendment. Slavery is being kept alive through systemic impunity.

When you let a certain group know that they are above the law, that they can do as they please to other people and they will be protected, you create sadists. When you promote higher wages and rank for only who show fascist tendencies, you create over-seers. I would like to say there are some good prison staff, proimperialist goons, but there are none. There is no such thing as a good prison staff member because the same ones who kick it with you and won’t be involved personally in you being brutalized by their colleagues and not only don’t try to stop the brutality, but don’t say a word, won’t even report it to the proper authority. Job scared, or in fear of friendly retaliation. We are warehoused, mistreated and this is the place where I’m supposed to be rehabilitated! DOC is afraid of genuinely rehabilitated, selfdetermined, independent thinking, politically conscious men and women. It’s no different from when the slaves learned how to read, they had to be freed. The system, this crooked fascist system is safe as long as the slaves/prisoners remain politically unconscious. Instead of “real” rehabilitation, they try their hardest to prevent the development of any kind of organized political movement or resistance to improve our quality of life. Since I’ve unfolded into a conscious prisoner, my goal to play a role in the upliftment of fallen humanity is at an all time high. There is a systematic problem of cronyism which has created an environment that lacks transparency or accountability. If the common people don’t compare prison to slavery, I don’t know where they been living. I have done my part and will continue to passionately fight for the rights of the human beings who have been thrown away and forgotten about.

May Black and Pink live and strive for greatest to free the minds of the people. We focus on things that have no merits while the capitalist class eats and we fight for the scraps. Let’s build, grow, learn, smile, cry live our freedom.

Travis H. (Missouri)


Black and Pink..

I will join your fight… Let’s not give up… I would also like to join Black and Pink and share this letter I would like support from my new Black and Pink Family. Trans lives matter. LGBTQIA ours lives matters. Right to get feminine products. We fighting for our rights and respect as transgenders, our rights to be us.

Hello, my name is Terry T. and I am a Transgender who goes by and preferred to be announce and write by the name of Ms. April Tamela Cassidine. as my former stage named. I’m here all alone in this prison in the need of a special friend; advice, help and support for me as a transgender. 1 incident cause me 25 years of my life and freedom. Sad but true my accidental crime change my life like a blink of an eye. I wish I could turn back the hands of time. I am tired of being pushed around by staffs verbal harassment, discrimination, emotional abuse.

Every time I files incidents reports or write a grievances it always be swept under the rug like at times I just wanna give up I also pray at times too about my mistreatments and neglected verbal harassment and also my discriminations acts against the staffs here by most of all I know my God will answer me one day I even begged them with tears to leave me alone. But it’s like a child yelling for Help and nobody is there to save him I wanna file a suit but would it help. I even gets to the point where I would rather commit suicide by taking my own life but is it worth it. I just wanna be at peace.

The wardens here don’t let me and others transgenders womens here get to treat ours hair nor buy feminine products off commissary they force us to live like other men please help us. However my new pink-black Family your support for this matter and concerns would make a big difference to a transgender like me. I have suffered a lot and damages hair because of failure of treatments due to our warden Aw. Pittman over treatments and operations and transgender inmates failure to take ours concerns and criticized us to force to live and act like guys. I mean why I can’t be me but we all know thats torture and discrimination why can’t we be happy and explore our sexuality. Everytime I ask her about our needs she always say mean and rude things and threatening me and other transgenders with segregations.

We don;t have any access to anything to do with womens items like hair products gel, perm, relaxers, no womens body wash no salon for us. But the guys here got their own barbershop. Only thing we got thats feminine is bras/panties and the state had to get that for us. I am just writing the truth and my words. Please share this story any support or advice is great. Thanks. Homophobics are not welcome on, or in ours breakthrough. LGBTQIA lives. Respect etc do matters.

Ms. April Cassidine (TN)


Peace Be upon you and yours,

I’m another brother caught up in the drag-net of California Penology System Without Knowledge of Self, and my true – History and Culture. I’m a first termer in the penalsystem and as a 24 year old Black American my education in school as to history – consisted solely of Indians and Pilgrims. Up until last week I though the Alex Haylee’s, Roots picture was something that occurred in Africa, and not in the United States. I’m a blank canvas whose only picture – painting thereon, was the Christian faith because it was the religion taught in my house hold by beloved one’s grandparents, mother, etc. were miseducated, and on their way to Hell. Being frankly honest with myself kept me from learning what was the true religion of my ancestors… Teach me! One love. To love one’s at Black and Pink, I will like to take the time to say “thank you,” to the love one’s at Black and Pink for all the love and support you show to LGBTQ people inside and outside or prison.

We as LGBTQ people need all the love, support, and positivity we can get in the struggle for survival and freedom. Thank you Black and Pink much love.

Deonta (CA)

Message from Dominique (July 2018)

Hello Family,

I’m sitting in my car listening to Fantasia’s version of the song “You Are Always On My Mind”. It’s very appropriate for there my mind has been the last six months.This ride of being at the head of this organization is something I couldn’t have planned for—but it’s been amazing.

As we think back on Pride month, more than ever what Black & Pink stands for and who are are evolving as is at the forefront of my mind. I think of the evolution of my understanding of Pride. Coming out at 14 years old in Omaha, NE— my exposure to queer culture was minimal. Honestly it was going to Prison that opened my mind to the spectrum of queerness. The Queens walking the yard, the trade pretending they weren’t living for us lol. My good Judy Carla was transgender. I remember when she explained that to me and at 19 I really didn’t understand but she was my sister so if she wanted to be referred to as she then that’s what we were going to do. I often advocated for her with staff and the administration. I even went toe to toe with her husband who was being too rough with her. Prison taught me that Pride meant unity. We ate together, we laughed together and cried together. Group survival.

I was shocked when I came home in 2009 and realized that Pride in the community was a different creature. Bars, parades and cliques. Where was the solidarity? I think that’s why I joined our Pride organization here in Omaha. I wanted to build the unity I experienced inside. It never quite came together. However, I’m grateful for the experience and introduction to non profit and organizing it gave me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

So for Pride month I ask y’all to lean on each other. Stand closer together. Find strength in each other. That’s what Pride is about. Women of color and drag queens in the streets saying no more shoulder to shoulder changing the world for us. Queer folks continue to shape the world whether it be outside the walls or inside. We are change makers. We are revolutionaries. We are Pride.

Pride exists because of a woman.

Pride exists because of a black woman.

Pride exists because black trans woman.

Pride exists because of a black trans woman who was a sex worker.

Pride exists because of a black, bisexual trans woman who was a sex worker that threw a brick at a cop.

Pride exists because of a black, bisexual trans woman, who was a sex worker, that put herself on the front lines of a revolution – regardless of the consequences to herself.

Don’t lose this month in rainbow capitalism and unabashed racism because the privilege of being white while queer.

Queerness doesn’t cure white guilt and racism.

If you aren’t supporting the queer people of color, trans woman, and queer sex workers, you aren’t celebrating pride, you are celebrating rainbow capitalism and police brutality.

Marsha P. Johnson gave us this season, make her proud.


Letters from Our Family (May 2018)

I would like to bring to everyone’s attention, the life endangerment, abuse and torture, I as a senior prisoner, am receiving and enduring at this extremely corrupt and illegal family operated Alaska, Spring Creek Correction Facility. I have been sexually assaulted/abused, by inappropriate touching of my genitals, and an unauthorized, illegal cavity search of my opening my digital penetration, by a sexual pervert female, AK. D.O.C. employee, which of course has been corruptly and illegally justified. I have had my legal filings and other legal documents stolen (4) four different times, and numerous pieces of artwork worth several thousand dollars stolen at the hands of the wife/spouse of the assistant superintendent, which of course is a fault of mine, however that can be. She was removed from the hobby shop and placed in a higher paying position in probations, for lying, cheating and stealing. This is called progress, and is the norm at this corrupt and illegal family operated facility, and these actions justify putting me in a life endangerment position, where my life could be taken at any minute for no reason, by AK. D.O.C., supervisor and socalled staff, and selected prisoners that will later be rewarded for their actions. I will not be the first to lose their life at this facility by the use of this manner and tactics. To all of our Black and Pink Family, take care, stay strong, and don’t give up. Because one battle is lost does not mean we or anyone has lost the war on prisoner abuse, harassment and torture.

Love to all, always,
Earl (AK)


Dear Black & Pink Family,

My name is Charles and this is my first letter to our magazine. I am 28 years old and have been incarcerated since 2007. Being bisexual is hard in prison and trying to keep it hidden is devastating. There are risks that all LGBTQ people suffer and face, but there is no other way we want to be.

We want to be who we are and do not want to hide, and we shouldn’t. I am bisexual and proud of that. Prison is not good for anyone, true; but it takes greater toll on us than many of those incarcerated choose to be aware of. An old saying is that “Who guards the guardians and who watches the watchers.” This came from an old Roman phrase that is translated from its Latin form. This is a major problem with the prison concept and its application: There is nobody watching those who hold the lives of the prisoners in their hands; no system of checks and balances.

I am a young man with an old soul and often portray a wisdom and maturity that is far above that degree shown by many people my age. Sadly, this tends to leave me isolated and lonely. In prison this is worse.

On top of being bisexual and convicted of an SO offense, I suffer from a developmental social disability known as Asperger’s Syndrome. It is part of what is referred as the autistic spectrum, however, it is not the same as being autistic. The major difference is that autism is a disability that has a very isolative and anti-social desire; whereas Asperger’s is a disability which displays “normal” or “higher” degrees of intellectual adeptness and a desire for social interaction. However, while Asperger’s patients crave social interaction, there are issues we face with interpretation of social cues. In my case, I have a “high function” Asperger’s diagnosis. I am highly intelligent, very inquisitive, and observationally astute. In prison the traits are dangerous to possess, because the staff really hate it when you maybe—or are—smarter than they are. Oops, can’t have that. Worse, however, is that I am also possessed of a tenacity and persistence that shames much else. When I latch onto an issue, I won’t stop until I am satisfied with the result.

These traits do not make me very well-liked. Indeed, they are very difficult for those who choose to be my enemies to overcome and accept. They also make me rather abrasive and irreverent. I love a good argument, but I dislike violence strongly. I avoid it if it is at all possible. That is not good in prison as people tend to think that you are a pushover if you exhibit control—particularly other inmates.

Prison is unfortunate and is a massive place of suffering and those who run these human sweat shops would rather view us as animals than as humans. In 7 plus years, I have learned that well. Psychologically, it makes it easier for them to disregard their harmful actions to see prisoners as lesser beings. I am big on the concept of analogy as it is very effective. In this case, go back to World War II and consider the racist slurs used by American GIs for the enemy. Japanese people were “Japs” or “Nips”; Germans were “Krauts”. American troops did this as a subconscious psychological defense in order to kill the enemy without feeling the natural distress of a human killing another human. The slur hid the fact that the enemy is just like you. Prison officials do the same: “Staff” and “Inmate”, “Prisoner”, “Convict”… sound familiar?

I have received the Black & Pink newsletter for about a year now and it is always a joy to read. It is comforting to know I am not alone in my suffering. I love all of you. Your strength gives me courage and hope to continue my battle for justice and to defeat the P.I.C. Many letters I’ve read speak of torment, torture, harassment, and abuse at the hands of prison officials. I am no stranger to that! The problem that I see as the biggest obstacle is a lack of unity in the prisoners. Prisons exploit and encourage that. Prison is a microcosm of the “Class warfare” we see in the outside world macrocosm. Without division of people into gangs, clicks, and such garbage, prisons cease to be justifiable because the conflict does not exist. Prison amplifies this by placing large numbers of people in spaces of insufficient size with too little of every resource.

This encourages competition for resources, which causes conflict and fighting. Such activity is how prison officials justify the abuses and deprivations they employ. It is a self-perpetuating cycle and many prisoners blindly participate. The march to the trough, never aware of the slaughter that awaits them. It is so stupid that I would love to just scream: “YOU IDIOT’S. DON’T YOU REALIZE WHAT IS GOING ON!?!”

The problem is that it isn’t just us, LGBTQ family, that need to unite and face the P.I.C. and its cronies. We are strong, sure, but not THAT strong. We can’t fight this battle and win alone. We need allies. We need to unite not only the LGBTQ community, but all those who share the common ground of desire for change and dismantling the P. I. C. Common ground is what we need. I love you all for giving me hope and strength. When I read what each of you contributes, I know I am not alone and I take heart from that. Brian, in Pennsylvania shot my heart out in the December 2014 paper. He stole the very words that I hold true. His letter is a light for me and proved to be the very support I need and still need now.

So, my family, keep your will strong. Never give up and never give in. Your hope is mine and my hope is yours. We are strong because of each of us, but we are stronger together. We don’t have a local “chapter” of Black and Pink in Wyoming, but I got a card from Sage in Boise, Idaho. I am grateful for that. It was a great gift and I am grateful for your care Sage.

Keep strong my family.
Charles, (WY)


Dear Black and Pink Family:

My name is Fatima Malika S. I am an African American Transwoman currently incarcerated in Corcoran CA. I have been receiving B&P for a long time, so firstly I really would like to thank B&P for all the work Jason and the family does with their activism always working for the cause of the GLBTQ community.

However, what I would really like to address is a bit different. I am a level One Inmate housed here on a level 2 yard, a couple of years ago this yard was designated a medical hub for transgender inmates, one of only two yards, so essentially I like many others trans woman are stuck here. This could actually be a good yard for transgender inmates but for the fact that we are in many ways bothered and harassed for simply being who are are. This facility is not very conductive to allowing us to really live expressing our chosen gender identity.

We have been fighting tooth and nail just to be able to wear a tank top t-shirt, because female staff (presumably) are bothered by a bra strap sticking out, yet we are not allowed to order more modest style tanks from the womans section of our approved vendor catalogs. At one point there was even talk about the staff getting together and banning the wearing of these t-shirts by any inmate, which apparently has been done at another prison, this is obviously a spiteful and vindictive move as well as a clear statement that “we will never recognize you as a woman.”

According to elements and standards set by the World Professional Association for Transgender health, trans men to present in our chosen gender identity, could be harmful to us psychologically, yet we are not allowed to order or wear makeup of any kind, and when we create our own we are harassed for doing so.

Staff here speaks to trans women in any way they choose, and maintain an air of invincibility. I staunchly believe that this situation is exacerbated by the fact that no one here will take the time to put forth the effort to write the disrespectful and discriminatory offenders up for their treatment. The reason is because no one wants to be retaliated against. I however feel that whenever you do not stand up to these ignorant bullies, you are in effect disrespecting all of the people that came before all of us and put themselves on the front line for us to be able to have what we have coming, and live openly without fear. This is a fight that is still going on today, every day, and every night.

If you are willing to allow someone to walk over you, just for the benefit of a bed move, then your character is and should be questioned. At which point do you stand up for yourself, for your gender. When do you stop disrespecting the people who have been hurt and some even killed for our cause.

So my call now is not only to people in the free world, but also to every trans woman and trans man in every jail and prison across America, Stand Up, no one can ride your back if you stand up straight. STAND UP, be the women and men you are supposed to be, not the one they tell you you are but won’t even recognize. Use your voice, by way of your ink pen. I know you’ve heard it before, you either stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.

Fatima Malika S. (CA)


Dear Black and Pink,

What up Fam! Heyyyy dis is Juicy, Ms Juicy aka, you can’t handle the truth. I’m a Sexy Native Queen. Well, I’ve been getting the newspaper for a few years now! And I pass it around to all the (LGBTQ) fam here in Ely. Alot of inmates try to hit me ip on the low to get me to live with them due to my sexy juicylicious body and swag. But I do not put myself out there like that. I get with who I want, and any one who I feel is deservent of my company. I conduct myself very respectful and loyal to all my (LGBTQ). A lot of my homeboys don’t know about my juicy ways yet. But since I’ve come out 5 years ago I do tell all my closest bros. So far they’ve all said we got your back and accept me as a two spirit. I read about all out bros and sisters struggles and victories and that gives me a sense of comfort in here.

I lost contact of my girl Delicious, she’s a two spirit as well. She don’t know that once she left home I became a girl too. She taught me very well and really helped me find myself as a girl, and now I do my best to help and better any LGBTQ that I meet. I don’t care what others think of me b-cuz I am who I am, and creator made me the way I am, I’m hell of sexlicious with my long redish hair. I will not stop Rep’n our family to all my (LGBTQ) Be part of who god made you. Pray and don’t be selfish. You must play your part in out struggles. If you give some one one arrow, he can break it with one motion over his knee. But give him 10 arrows to break, It’ll be impossible.

Much love to yal all.
Your native girl,
Ms. Juicy (NV)

Message from Dominique (May 2018)

Hello Family,

I’m writing this as I look over the Boston skyline. I’m in Boston for the week working on the National Office transition from Boston to Omaha, Nebraska. This week has been a whirlwind and it has made me think about the relationships I cultivate and how they build me up and how some tear me down.

I remember during the eight years I was incarcerated the ups and downs of love, friendship, and my relationship to myself. My time started at 18 so I was a completely different person at 27 when I walked out of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services fences. My ideas and understanding around what Love looked like, what honesty was, and how I showed up for those I cared for had evolved as well.

Inside of these institutions we have to be the version of ourselves that put us in the best position to survive and be respected. Sometimes it’s adding to who we are (white lies that we see as inconsequential but that can affect the authenticity of our relationships in the long term) and sometimes it’s holding much of who we are back. I usually erred on the side of holding back. The less folks knew about me the less opportunity they had to hurt me. Now you couldn’t tell me I didn’t have a harlequin romance or two in my number LOL—I just knew these men were going to be in my life forever. I gave and gave—trying to be the best partner I could be. But I wasn’t focusing on myself. What made me happy. Who made me happy.

On March 19th I’ll be 36 years old. Nearly a decade from my release and 20 years from my first experience with a relationship. What I’ve learned is that Love is Love. Whether it’s for yourself or a partner. Your parents or you’re bestie on the yard who you’ve ate every meal with for the last five years. It’s about loving authentically and purely.

*starts the intro to “Best of My Love” by The Emotions*

Ask yourself how do you love YOU? How do you show up for YOU? Is it consistent? Is it real? Is it healthy?

Then look at your friendships and use the same set of questions.

Last but not least grade your romantic relationship as well.

If one is getting more than the other it better be YOU loving YOU in ways that are brave, limitless and audacious! Because as you love yourself that way you’ll get in better practice of how to love others that way. You’ll also recognize when love doesn’t look the way it should.

Someone recently asked me when I started to feel normal after I had been released. Honestly, my feelings of being “normal” again were deeply connected to creating a network of people who saw me for who I was and the value in that.

Black & Pink sees your value. We see your strengths and we don’t judge you by your weaknesses. We understand that we are layered individuals who are working every day to be the best versions of ourselves.

Thank you for allowing us in your life. For giving us the opportunity to be your family. I can’t say that Black & Pink will always look the same but I will say the foundation of who we are as an organization will never change.

I’m sending you all love and light. Strength and limitless endurance. Joy and hope.

With Love,

Letters from Our Family (January 2018)

To my Black & Pink Fam,

How’s my family doing out there? My name is Edward “Sincere”. A Bi Black man locked up in America’s Prison industrial complex in Rhode Island. This is my second time writing.

First let me say that I love Black & Pink and I respect everything ya’ll are doing for our LGBTQ community and all oppressed people. I have a chance of going home probably this year after being warehoused here at the RIDOC for 13 years. About 7 of which were spent in solitary confinement. It’ll be my first time back home Since I came to prison at 17 years old serving 24 years. If I’m lucky to come home this year I look forward to joining the Providence chapter of Black & Pink to fight the wrongs or us all and I look forward to assisting chapters from other states If you need help. I refused to stop until you make change!!!

I received a pen pal from Black & Pink some time ago about two and a half years now. Her name is MJ. that’s a really good person, I love them, they have helped me out so much since we’ve been talking. But they are in the middle of watching something for me on Facebook to start a type of platform for myself. If anyone has access to the internet please check it out. It’s called Red Art. it’s going to have art, limes and essays from myself and close friends from inside. Red Heart stands for Reaching Every Dream and Risings Together. Everything will be based on issues surrounding prison, LGBTQ and just life in general.

Before I forget, I won a lawsuit here. The RIDOC had a ban on some black history books, Muslim newspapers and books, and Black & Pink for some time now. I have won the lawsuit and they had to dismantle this list and I’m now receiving Black & Pink again.

A small note to Kara from Ohio: Hello there I read your letter and I want to help you so bad because I myself thought in law but only know RI law. So you don’t have a lawyer, you really don’t need one. You could do it pro se, i.e. you represent yourself. Unless you rally a few people up in OH to sue wth you, you could do a class action and the courts will be forced to give you a lawyer. But I did find two addresses for you to use to your ability:

ACLU ℅ Jeff Gamso
4506 Chester Avenue
Cleveland, OH, 44103

They help you with legal assistance. Also there’s this place called Ohio Justice and Policy Center that I found for you that also may be of some help if you write them. They educate and assist Ohio prisoners dealing with conditions of confinement. They also litigate on significant prisoner rights issues and run an empowerment program for Ohio prisoner:

Ohio Justice and Policy Center
215 East 9th Street
6th Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45202

I really wish you well on your journey Kara. Cause them hell.

Sincere (RI)


Dear Black & Pink,

Wassup Family? My name is Damon and I’m currently doing time in Ohio. I’ve been receiving the newsletter for about two years and each time it comes I read it cover to cover. When I’m done reading the articles I feel “liberated” but also happy. I feel that way mainly because I am now totally aware that there are many people that feel the way I feel. Like the things I like and see things the way that I see them.

I wrote y’all about two years ago with a letter similar to this one but it never got printed. I still look for it in the newsletters to no avail so I decided to write another letter hoping that this one gets printed. I’m not doing this just to do it either. I’m doing it because I’ve finally found a place where I can be exactly who and what I am without being judged and that place is with y’all. My Black & Pink Family.

I haven’t always had the courage to just be like “yeah, I like men and women,” but as I get older I realize that people are gonna hate us for whatever we do so if I’m going to be hated, I’ma be hated for being exactly who I am and not for who I am pretending to be. Hopefully, these words can and will resonate with someone and inspires them to just do them.

We the LGBTQ community are a beautiful dynamic. Love yourself and be proud of you. I’ll be getting released soon but I plan on staying loyal to Black & Pink. I also wanna give a shout out to Michael Moore from Lima, Ohio. You were the first person to introduce me to this lifestyle and just know that I love you for that and I always will. To the rest of the family, stay strong and keep y’all head up. Don’t let nobody hold you back. Well, I’m out but I hope to see this letter in the pages of Black & Pink.

Love Always Me…
Damon (OH)


Dear Black & Pink,

My name is Charles and I’m a 35 year old Puerto Rican and Black Federally incarcerated male. I’ve been down for five years and I’m shocked at homophobia. LGBTQ community has no protection behind these walls. Often they look the other way as inmates from mobs to simply attack the different. It’s ok to be a murderer or thief but god forbid if you love different or express who you are how you want to express yourself.

I’ve heard about your penpal service and felt compelled to join your fight. I received the newsletter and guards began asking about my preference. I asked why does it matter? But I know why, people want a reason to hate. They feel the LGBTQ lifestyle is sinful. I feel the same way about them. The majority isn’t always right. Be happy who you are.

W/R in solidarity,
Charles (MS)


Dear Black & Pink,

Hi it’s me Crystal. I am doing 20 years at 75% at Logan CC. I am into girls! This prison sucks. The CO’s just do us anyway they want to. I have seen a good friend of mine die. She hung herself. Her name was Shorty Bang. RIP.

We are just a number here. If you don’t have a support system at home, you’re screwed because state pay is $10 a month. Things are so much here you can’t even get all your personals with that. They don’t give us no help here. People donate us stuff, we don’t get them, the CO’s do. I struggle everyday. I am one of those people who have no support. The women here really don’t have nowhere to turn. We have very few CO’s or teachers looking out for us.

Thanks to everyone. Just remember Logan CC needs a lot of prayers. R.I.P Shorty Bang, We all miss and love you. We’ll see justice soon if not God will judge on Judgment Day.

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