Black & Pink Family,
Hey, my name is Koriana, I’m 21 years old and I’m in Chillicothe Correctional Center. I’ve been locked up for 2 1/2 years and I still have another year and a half left. I’ve been getting these Black & Pink newsletters for a while, but I feel like this last one was the only one I actually took the time to read. This is the first time I’ve written to you guys…
Some of you talk about the things we have to go through in prison with these officers. I’ma tell you a little about my situation…OK, well, basically I’m in the hole for “Creating a Disturbance.” Because I was getting patted down and the officer who was doing my search was purposefully being rough about it, which I thought was unnecessary and I asked her why she was searching me like that. The guard who was doing my search doesn’t like me and to be honest, most of the other officers in Chillicothe don’t like me either. She said that there was nothing wrong with the way she was searching me and stated that “she knows how to do her job” and “doesn’t need me trying to tell her how to do it.” That’s when I said, “I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, I’m just saying you don’t have to be rough about it.” Then she said, “Why are you creating a disturbance by arguing with me?” I said, “I’m not, I’m just saying you’re being unprofessional about the way you’re searching me.”
After that, she told me to go have a seat, which I did, and about 15 minutes later the “white shirt” game in and told me to come with him and the guard in the back (away from all the other offenders). He asked me what happened and I told him and I even said, “You can ask all the other offenders who was watching the whole thing.” The white shirt told me that he doesn’t listen to offenders and went on and on about how he thought I was just trying to get attention by creating a disturbance. Then he told me to turn around and cuff up. They took me to the hole and lied on my violation saying that I said, “Don’t touch my tits and my crotch.” I never said no shit like that! But whatever these officers say goes. They gave me 30 days in the hole for this.
In the meantime, I wrote the caseworker, the F.U.M., and the warden about how I need P.C. from certain offenders. I signed P.C. and put all the names of the inmates I need protective custody from and how I don’t feel safe on this camp with them. So would you please transfer me to a different prison? So I’m sure I’ll be sitting in the hole for quite a while.
I think I’m mainly just writing this letter to vent and maybe even get some advice on some of the stuff I go through in this prison. I’ve been in prison a little over two years and I’ve spent pretty much the whole time in ad-seg for things I didn’t even do. There’s a lot of racism that goes on with these officers and writing an IRR or grievance or grievance appeal doesn’t anything but make the guards act worse. I’ve written so many grievances and every single one has gotten denied because I didn’t have enough evidence that the guard said or did something.
I was told by a “white shirt” that if I keep on with my attitude, the next time he puts me in handcuffs, he was going to break my wrist, pepper spray me, and put an assault case on me saying I assaulted him. And that he was going to “fuck [me] good” and treat me like an “AIDS-infested child molester.” And he would make sure that I never got out of prison. I wrote a grievance on him and he lied and said he never said those things, but tried to counsel me on my behavior, so my grievance got denied.
I’ve had guards come in my cell and throw my stuff around just because they don’t like me. I know it’s just a “power issue” with most of them. A lot of the guards have a lot of hate in their hearts and take it out on us for no reason. And there’s nothing we can do about it because most of the time when you do say something about it, it just makes things that much harder to deal with. I feel like being in prison has humbled me, but at the same time it’s made me bitter and angry inside. Writing grievances doesn’t help, dropping kites to the warden doesn’t help, having the little bit of family I have left calling down here doesn’t help. So what will?
Also, I wanted to say I’m sorry for all the inmates who have lost someone very special to them while being in prison. It’s hard, it’s really hard…I lost my mom last year, 1-31-15, and I’m still not dealing with it right. She’s all I really had, she was the only person in my life who never gave up on me. I mean, I still have family I talk to and they help me out while I’m in prison. But things will never truly be the same for me now that my mom’s gone.
So yeah, my heart goes out to all the prisoners who’ve lost their mom or dad or child or anyone who has ever meant anything to them. Everything happens for a reason, and for real, I’m blessed to have been locked up while my mom passed away. Because if I wasn’t, I feel like my life would have been a lot worse than what it is now. There’s no way I would have been able to deal with that! I’ve never really been big on drugs, but I probably would have been if I was out on the streets. I was in the hole when I found out. the guards came and got me out of my cell and gave me the phone and a number to call, which I recognized it as my brother’s number. When I saw it was his number, I knew something bad had happened…I called him and that’s when he told me that my mom got in a car accident and hit her head and suffered brain injury and that she was gone…
To everyone who’s locked up and going through something and feels like they have no one and that no one cares, always remember…God cares and even though it may seem like you have no one, you always have him. Smile, keep your head up and stay strong…
Hey there Black & Pink family,
My name is De’Andrea but you guys can call me Andrea’Rahkayle. I am a 36 year old transgender woman nine months into a 16 year prison sentence in California. That alone is a story itself. We will dredge upon that in a later submission. I want to thank Jason and the entire Black & Pink family incarcerated or not, for your love, support and stories of experience. I encourage you all to continue the spread of love and compassion in much needed times as such. I encourage you all to keep fresh on the mind, our young and adolescent family members out there free in the world and in Juvenile Detention facilities who are being bullied, molested, abused, abandoned and neglected because of sexual orientation and gender identity. I encourage you all to pray for the lives lost and taken because of hate. Remember we have a voice whether young or old, and we all deserve an opportunity to be heard. To all the incarcerated and non-incarcerated Family defeating HIV, I encourage you to be strong in faith, to take care of yourselves by adhering to all instructions regarding medications, exercise, and nutrition and safer sex. To my girls and creative gay boys, prison is no fashion show nor a candy shop nor a dating retreat. Hurry up and get out. Rehabilitate, get some degrees, get out so we can purchase your extravagant Spring collection and ballroom designs. I know the men look scrumptious, but your freedom and success tastes better. To my best friend Russell G. I love you and miss you and thank you got introducing me to Black & Pink. Jason we love and appreciate your time, effort and patience. Black & Pink, you all are amazing people with super powers. Let’s take over the world with love.
Dear B&P Family,
My name is Richard, a.k.a. Stefana. I just got a chance to read the January/February 2017 newsletter. A lot of the letters & poems in this edition struck my heart and I’ll explain why. First I would like to say to Anjela S. from Texas that I totally know how you’re feeling right now. Your poem totally nailed exactly how I’m feeling. I even tore your poem out to save it in case I pass my copy of the newsletter to someone else. To Antonio H. in Pennsylvania: do they mess with your mail at all? Because they can’t and should not be able to do anything w/ legal mail. I myself am trying to get things together to file a lawsuit against the PADOC for violation of the Eighth Amendment, which is cruel and unusual punishment, for not providing adequate mental health services and letting me endure emotional and mental stress and abuse by 90% of the inmates at my facility (over 2,500 population), and a good percentage of staff who cause it directly, and because the ones that do care about helping us can’t do much. So, through no fault of their own they end up furthering my pain. If they mess with your mail I advise that you send a letter to:
PA Institutional Labor Project
Attention: Angus Love, Esquire
718 Arch Street, Suite 304 South
Philadelphia, PA, 19106
He helps those who are in prison and don’t have funds or not enough funds to afford a regular lawyer. He specifically handles cases that deal w/ state and U.S. constitutional rights. Ask if there is any way he can have an immediate injunction put on your facility and have the state police transport you to a different facility. To get you out of harm’s way (whether it be from others or by you if you get that scared or depressed). NO one deserves to be treated like they’re a door mat. Hold on there and hopefully things get better for you. To everyone else out there that’s suffering like me or Antonio H. or Anjela S., remember you have others who are riding this violent storm also. In parting I would like to say I’m Wiccan and I will pray to my Goddess that we all be blessed with protection and that our futures are close to being like paradise. I would like to send out all my love to everyone. Till we meet again, may your days be plentiful and healthful.
Richard G. (PA)
AKA – Stefana
Hey Black & Pink World!
My name is Kelsey and I’m your newest brother in the Family! I’m a 28-year-old single white bisexual male. Before I got locked up, my “intimate friends” used to know me by the name Keko. This is my first time writing a letter like this so please bear with me. This is also the first time I have ever openly admitted to the world that I am bi. I was inspired to write this letter after reading the Dear Family letters some of our brothers and sisters wrote in the last couple of issues of this amazing newsletter. Hopefully this is only my first of many letters to you all. I’m not writing to simply introduce myself. There is something I would like to get off my chest. After reading about Marsha Johnson in the January-February issue, I was not only disgusted but pissed off at the lack of an investigation into her death. I understand that 1992 was over twenty years ago, and times were much harder for members of the LGBTQ community. Especially for those as open and outspoken as Marsha. But she was still a human being, just like any straight man or woman. How could the police ignore the testimony of her family and friends, of those who knew her best, who saw and spoke to her on a daily basis? Didn’t her life, her hopes and her dreams, her struggle—didn’t any of that matter? Don’t ours? And what scares me and makes me even sadder is that Marsha is not the only one out there that this has happened to. I look forward to the day when horrible injustices like this don’t exist anymore. To all those who fight everyday to bring that day closer, for our equality and our rights, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please fight on. Yours is the voice of those who cannot or simply do not know how to fight. And to the family and friends of Marsha Johnson. I am sorry for your loss and if my words have made you relive your pain. If there is ever anything I can do to help, please let me know. Now, I simply can’t allow myself to leave off on such a somber note. I’m sorry, I just can’t. Call it a character flaw. So before I wrap this up, I’d like to give a shout out. I’m a huge nerd who is into Anime, Manga and video games. At my last facility I played Dungeons and Dragons with a lot of my friends, but my game of choice will always be Magic: The Gathering. That being said, I think I’ve got a crush on Princess Harmony from Black Girl Dangerous. An Afro-Latin trans woman who’s into Anime and video games? UNICORN! Haha! Alright, everyone, be safe and take care of yourselves and each other. And remember a little love makes the world go round.
Kelsey “aka KeKo” K. (CO)