Letters to our family (December 2014)

Dear Black & Pink,

I came across your newspaper from a fellow inmate. I had no idea that a paper like this existed. I’m so happy that there is support there for someone in this situation of incarceration such as myself. I really feel as a gay male that I really have allowed myself again to be put in this situation. I’m a fairly smart man, but I allowed drugs to take control of my life. Crystal meth is no joke. This time around I’m going to utilize the time to get treatment and formulate a plan so I can actually give myself a chance. I’ve been HIV negative by the grace of GOD. I want let all our B&P family know I love them, stay strong. Educate yourself. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Shout out to the creators of B&P. This newspaper means a lot to me. I have a feeling we’re going to do big things together.

Jermaine, Illinois


Dear Black and Pink,

Once again its Ms. Jazzie Ferrari writing to say that I love reading the newsletter because it’s very important to keep up with the straggle that L.G.B.T.Q. is going through, I have set back and realize that this is real. I’m sitting in the SHU for nothing. Everyday I wake up mad because they did me like this, yes they have abused their power, they have an unwritten policy that claims the officers are always right. So even when they’re wrong they’re right. Well I will fight for what I believe in and the more you know about the law the better chance you have to get them, even with the crooked grievance system- they are quick to tell you to write a (602) (HA HA HA)!! I have wrote a strong 602 and yet they still found me guilty. Yes it’s a joke to them until you start the lawsuit. Like I said before, the appeal coordinator is biased and abusing his power. But I don’t cry about it. ‘Cause I’m going to keep going, I’m going to demand my respect. By me being a transgender, I got to know the law by all means necessary. I have learn in our situation in the prisons, we really have to do for ourselves. And how to do it and get up on the law. Even though I have wrote a few legal-self-help groups and they haven’t wrote back. That don’t stop me from learning the law. I have expanded my knowledge and ability to learn the Law.

To all my family L.G.B.T.Q. that’s in the struggle this is for you. I pain inside knowing that a lot of my sisters are getting f***ed over by the system. And there’s lil that you can do if you blind to the law. Yes, I’m a victim of injustice. But that just made me want to fight, believe me sister. When I say I didn’t know nothin’ I mean nothing about the law. I didn’t even know how to write a (602) ’cause all I wanted to do was look cute on the yard, and stay fresh, didn’t think about picking up no law book, or think about learning the law. Sure the c/o’s come in my cell and take my make up, bras, and panties and I wouldn’t trip I tell myself that I get more, which I would, that’s my thing I love lookin’ good. Everyday female c/o would tell me to take off my makeup or they going to write me up, which I would sometimes, and other times I wouldn’t.

One day my boyfriend gets into a fight. And I was there. They put the yard down when the police came they made my man and his home boy prone out. They handcuff all three of us. Send us to the program office made us strip out, now mind you I’m fly as hell. I got on all white everything is brand new and I just did my hair. My make up is flawless, now I’m just knowing they are going to release me, my boyfriend and his homeboy, told the c/os I had nothing to do with that. But that wasn’t good enough. I talk to the sgt and girl they put us in the hole and charge with battery on an inmate with S.B.I. they hit me with a 15 month SHU. I wrote a 602 and got denied. I appeal that. I went to (ICC) and got a SHU. Girl!! You talk about being mad!! That’s a understatement. But anyway I didn’t like the way they did me so here I sit.

In the (SHU) but they wake up the sleeping giant ’cause now I stay in the law books. I mean everyday I refuse to just lay down and let them get away with this, see if I knew what I know now. I wouldn’t be in the (SHU) but believe me I’m in full time, so far I have wrote my own (writ of habeas corpus) that is something to be proud of. But I’m not done. My next step is my (1983) which I’m working on right now. Yes its hard work. But its all good because I’m starting to love it. Its got to be done. No one can fight for our human dignity better than us. But them doing me like this made me wake up, I’m become zealous in our fight. The prisons aren’t going to give us anything on a platter. We must take it. Girl I stay in the law books. You will be hearin’ from me again, failure is not an option. Remember what don’t kill you only makes you stronger.

Ms Jazzie, California


Dear Black & Pink,

This is my coming out story. I’m a 25 year old transgender person, I go by Tiffany Marie. I’m doing time in Oklahoma. I been a girl ever since I was a kid and I came out to my family a long time ago. When I came to prison life changed. It became hell. In 2008 I was raped by three guys. It was because I would not be with him. I’ve been beat by officers and inmates because of who I am. I would like to tell others that no matter what, people care, even when it seems they don’t. No matter what people say or do, remember people love you. So keep your heads up. Being a gay boy gangster, I stand up for my brothers and sisters. I love ya’ll.

With Love,
Sister James aka Tiffany Marie


Dear Black & Pink,

My name is Shawn, I am a black gay male incarcerated in a California prison. And I just received my first issue of Black & Pink. What a wonderful forum for the fam-bam to share their collective experience. I am at the end of a five year term, down to the last months. And I plan to continue to be a part of the Black & Pink community with my full support to the Fam.

The last few years have been an eye opener to the hardships that the fam must endure. I have been involved in the politics of prison, taking direct action against homophobic/transphobic violence on a daily basis. As you know, staff couldn’t care less how the fam is treated by other inmates or by staff themselves. So we organized and we take no disrespect at all and trust me the fam will act up and shut it down if need be. There is strength in numbers, that is why this forum is necessary.

We are organized. We are strong. Don’t get it twisted, weak and feeble we are not. Gay, Bi, Trans, Black, Latino, White, from up north and down south- we are one. So always make a distinction between your rights and your privileges, and fam remember in order to win the war, you must fight in it.

Peace, Love, Respect to you,
Your brother in arms,
Shawn aka 727, California

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