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Letters to Our Family (September 2016)

To my Black and Pink family,

How is everybody doing? Both behind the walls and in the free world. Well, my name is Edward a.k.a. Sincere. I have been receiving this newsletter for some time now, but, this is my first time writing. So, real quick, I’m a Black and Indian bi-sexual man locked up in Rhode Island’s (A.C.I.). I’m 29 year’s old serving a 24 year sentence and been locked up for 12 1/2 years and counting!! Yes, I been down since I was 17 years old.

Well, there’s a whole lot I’d like to speak about that’s really weighting on my mind. This past month has been crazy and there’s event’s that brought tear’s to my eyes. Homophobes like “Omar Mateen” gunning down our sister’s and brothers in the month of gay pride, their has been two more black men murdered in cold blood by police, and five officer’s has been killed. Now, those in power are trying to paint the Orlando attack as “radical Islam” as a way to point finger’s at all Muslim’s. Its just wrong.

First, the attack on our LGBTQ community in Orlando although it’s labeled as one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history, its only one of many racist and hateful act’s that we, as a family, live with today. It just never been this bad for our people. In 2016, LGBTQ people are still not accepted, we’re looked down on, and hated.

Understand that LGBTQ people, and people who are non-white has never been loved, respected, or treated equally in America. In my eyes, it’s been that way in the past and the present. Even though we’ve come a long way from the past, we still have a longer path to march down. So, as long as we still have to fight for our right’s these act’s will still be committed.

This is a time when we can’t allow the media or the government dictate our future or allow them to place distrust among us as a community, and family. We need unity among us all, and protest, demonstrate, and what ever else we have to do, to receive and demand our respect, equality, love, and trust. Demand a end to discrimination, unemployment, police brutality and the end to prisons. It takes unity, and do what need’s to be done by any means necessary. We need the unity of all people white, black, straight, LGBTQ, all religions (Islam, Jews, Christians, etc).

My heart goes out to the polices family as well. While keeping it real with you (my family), I dislike cop’s. But, at the same time I do not agree with the act’s of senseless murder. No matter who does the murdering (US, cop’s, the government with the death penalty, etc.) to me, murder is murder and all should stop. And let love and unity murder hate.

I’m going to end this now with hopes of everybody coming together to fight this fight as one. I’ll leave you with something that “Karma” from Georgia said in Junes Black and Pink paper “I challenge each and everyone of you, my brothers, sisters, & those undecided or indifferent either way, to fight along my said as i fight along yours. Why you experience defeat, push on harder. When you feel weak or in despair, just know I have too. But continue & you will win! Wars are won through many battles, & a battle lost is not the war! You must be stronger than the opposition!

Love you all. Xoxo
Sincere, Rhode Island

 

Dear Black and Pink,

My name is Lance. I’m a 46 year old uber healthy gay black male. And I’ve been down since 1989. I’ve been receiving Black & Pink since 2012-13. I love the up to date news and historic political articles and the poetry is very powerful. I often shed tears reading about all the different struggles that my brothers and sisters go through.

I just got done reading the June 2016 issue and would never have known about that massacre at Club Pulse in Orlando. The young lives that were needlessly lost just broke my heart to pieces.

In today’s society homophobia and transphobia are not fears they are a deep seated hatred towards us. Like racism it is taught. Any-phobia starts out as a fear. Fear of expression, fear of being seen, fear of not being accepted, fear of not being loved, fear of loss. These are the only fears people of that -phobia- feel. In time that fear becomes so suffocating and confining that for one who is not but wants to be, that fear morphs into anger and hatred aimed at that desire to be like us. Some people can break through that prison and become that beautiful butterfly. For others, unfortunately, that inability to break through, the cowardice all become a boiling pot of hatred, first for the self then for us (LGBTQ).

Islam does not prescribe to self-loathing suicide, it is a sin. I think Omar loved everyone in that club and because he feared to express it he destroyed the object of his desire and that my friend is the saddest part of this tragic story. Rest in Peace Omar Mateen, I forgive you.

In spite of the anger we feel we must continue to love. I’ve lost 49 beautiful family members, but this tragedy only fuels my desire and ambition to work for and join forces with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth ages 24 or under. Suicide prevention is my biggest concern.

All my life I’ve been gay and I’ve fought for and protected gay people. Some of my closest friends growing up and in prison were gay and lesbian. Although all our lives are precious and for all areas that I still don’t fully understand I’ll always have oceans of love and emotional support and physical unity for all of you.

Stay strong in solidarity.
Lance, New York

 

Dear Black and Pink Family,

This is my first time writing, so please bare with me…Before I further apply these words of true feeling to this paper; I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all my brothers and sisters out there, by hoping that every last one of you that’s in solitary confinement like myself are remaining strong and emotionally, mentally, as well as physically!! Properly introducing myself my name is Kevin, but prefers to be addressed as “Kev”, I’m a black 36 years young bisexual male who is currently confined at CCI in Tehachapi, CA. I’m in the cell with an individual who makes degrading statements and comments about individuals who are gay, transgender, and bisexual, but watches Ellen on tv every day. Which shows and demonstrates to me a negative, confused, cold-hearted and unempathic person…seeing all my LGBTQ brothers and sisters go through the unthinkable at Pulse nightclub in Orlando touched me emotionally and I grieved and felt all those who were killed, their families their pain and hurt. I have a auntie who is considered a “dyke” and that could’ve been her there..The dumb and stupid comments my cellie made about those innocent people who were at Pulse enjoying themself really and truly not only pissed me off, but also made me lose a a lot of respect for him, and made me have a different perception of him as a human being. Before I terminate this missive, I would like to tell all my brothers and sisters behind the walls to stay strong emotionally and mentally, don’t let no one get you down, keep ya head up, and most importantly continue on being who you are and don’t let no one stop you, this missive is concluded!!

Respectfully,
Kev, California

 

Dear Black & Pink Family,

First off let me shout out to all LGBTQ’s world wide! This is my first time writing so bear with me ya’ll. I go by the name of Baby J I’m a 26 year old gay male-top, from the Dominican Republic on lock-down in the great state of Texas! I’m serving 15 yrs for agg assault with a deadly weapon. I’ve been getting B&P for a few months now and I must say I love it, I love it, I love it lol!

Thanks to Black & Pink I have come out of the closet!! I am no longer hiding who I really am. For too many years I have lived how others want me to live and I’ve never been more happy with myself than I am now. So I want to thank Black & Pink and the whole LGBTQ community for helping me see that I can be me, myself and I all day everyday! I see now that I am not alone, I have the whole LGBTQ community behind me! It feels so good to be loved, to be accepted, to be me!!! The only support that I have in prison is Black & Pink and I look forward to the newspaper every month.

I’ve been locked up now for 3 yrs and it has been pretty hard. Due to me being a known member of a organization/family I have had to hide my sexuality, but no more…… I have given up my position in the nation, laid down my pitchforks and brought out what I’ve been hiding since I was 12 yrs old. Although I am uber-masculine still have a feminine side! I decided I’d leave the organization not only because they wouldn’t accept me anymore, but out of respect for my brothers and myself. I couldn’t lie to them any longer and most importantly, I couldn’t continue to lie to myself.

I want to touch on what Kidd-G said in the June 2016 newsletter. Kidd-G you said that the love of your life came running into your life and told you if they can’t accept who you are then they are not a true brother anyways…. Man if that ain’t a true statement I don’t know what is. Shout out to Kidd-G from Ohio!!

Well let me stop running my mouth and come to a close. Sometimes I seem to develop a bad case of motor mouth lol!! Once again thank you Black & Pink and thanks to all LGBTQ’s for all your love and support!! My heart and love will forever go out to the lives lost in Orlando and they families que descansen en paz y en poder!! Until next time mi familia……

Tu Sabre Qen Ye Soy,

Amor,
Baby J, Texas

 

Dear Family,

I have wrote once as “Alexia,” but due to a choice I like more, I now go by “Melaina.” I am a 26 year old transwoman who is passionate about being a woman, and strongly believes/supports the LGBT community. We are who are, choice as not – it’s time we are accepted.

This week has proven interesting, as the events that have taken place are signs of pure ignorance and refusal to understand. The first event that has occurred is the Mass Shooting in Orlando, FL. May God bless those who survived, the families who lost, and those we lost. Hatred is not the answer, but it does make us stronger as a community – it shows us what we need to improve.

The other incident I speak of has taken place here at the Wyoming State Penitentiary. As a transwoman, I am wanting to be able to shower separately – as allowed under PREA -, be pat searched by females, have female under clothes; the lovely warden here informed me that I would receive NOTHING!! Even though policy and law state that I can receive once accommodation. I have made the choice to take the battle, not just for me, but for my future sisters who may come through. No one should have to be forced into being someone they aren’t, all because no one wants to understand.

I will keep my family updated on this process, I do ask for support, letters would be great. Luckily I do have a supportive sergeant and officers, I’m thankful for both.

Not only do I have the supportive WDOC employees, I have my supportive Brothers here who have not given up on me. Thank you, all of you, for your continued help! I love you!!

One day we will have a world full of people who can be themselves. A world with no hate. We cannot give up.

My best goes out to all my Brothers and Sisters! We are strong, we WILL WIN!!

Love Always
Melaina D. Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

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