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Black and Pink News

artwork by chip thomas, courtesy of amplifier.org

October/November 2018


artwork by katie rita, courtesy of amplifier.org


blackandpink.org

Volume 9, Issue 6

A Message from Dominique... Happy Fall Family! Can you believe the year is almost over? It seems like it was January yesterday. But we all know a day/ month/year down means many of us are closer to the streets and our future. I wanted to say that the feedback I received from you all from my last letter meant so much to me. I had hoped my honesty about my fears and anxiety would be understood and y’all held me down all the way. In October I spent a week in Boston with the incredible Boston Chapter working on updating our mail process and transferring our mail processing hub to Omaha, Nebraska where our National Office is. I had the privilege of reading so many of your letters, kind wishes and even donations. Needless to say, I’m a Pisces so I was in tears all week. I’m in awe of the tenacity and strength you all possess. I want to thank the Boston Chapter for being the mail hub for years. Over the last year I’ve gotten to know many of the leaders in your chapter and I’m thankful for your dedication to Black and Pink and our mission. As y’all make your burritos and spreads over the holidays (Let me just say that I had some recipes hunney that would make your mouth water) that we are thinking of you all and sending all the love and light you can handle. Be on the lookout for our holiday card party deliveries and an end of the year “Letters Only” issue coming in December! Check our pictures Mailapaooza in October!

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Black & Pink News

In This Issue News you can use Powerful Gay Rights Groups Excluded Trans People for Decades-Leaving Them Vulnerable to Trump’s Attack

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My Missouri Name Change Journey

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Mike Africa Senior Released After 40 Years

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8 Native American and Two-Spirit People Who Are Changing the World

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Black & Pink family Publishing Opportunities

pages 5, 19 Art: pages

30, 43, 49

21, 29,

Letters pages 22-47 Poetry: pages 48-53

Submit to Black and Pink! page 54

Black & Pink Hotline The hotline phone number is (531) 600-9089. The hotline will be available Sundays, 1-5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) for certain. You can call at other times, as well, and we will do our best to answer your calls as often as possible. We are sorry that we can only accept prepaid calls at this time. The purposes of the hotline are: Supportive listening: Being in prison is lonely, as we all know. The hotline is here for supportive listening so you can just talk to someone about what is going on in your life. Organizing: If there are things going on at your prison—lockdowns, guard harassment, resistance, or anything else that should be shared with the public—we can help spread the word.

October/November 2018 work toward the abolition of the prison-industrial complex (PIC) is rooted in the experiences of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the PIC towards LGBTQ people, and we respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing. Black & Pink is proudly a family of people of all races and ethnicities. About Black & Pink News Since 2007, Black & Pink free world volunteers have pulled together a monthly newspaper, composed primarily of material written by our family’s incarcerated members. In response to letters we receive, we send the newspaper to more prisoners every month! Black & Pink News currently reaches more than 9,400 prisoners!

Give us a call! (531) 600-9089 Sundays, 1-5 p.m. EST

We look forward to hearing from you! This is our first attempt at this so please be patient with us as we work it all out. We will not be able to answer every call, but we will do our best. We apologize to anyone who has been trying to get through to the hotline with no success. We are still working out the system. Thank you for being understanding. Restrictions: The hotline is not a number to call about getting on the penpal list or to get the newspaper. The hotline is not a number to call for sexual or erotic chatting. The hotline is not a number for getting help with your current court case; we are not legal experts. Statement of Purpose Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. Our

Disclaimer The ideas and opinions expressed in Black & Pink News are solely those of the authors and artists and do not necessarily reflect the views of Black & Pink. Black & Pink makes no representations as to the accuracy of any statements made in Black & Pink News, including but not limited to legal and medical information. Authors and artists bear sole responsibility for their work. Everything published in Black & Pink News is also on the internet—it can be seen by anyone with a computer. By sending art or written work to “Newspaper Submissions,” you are agreeing to have it published in Black & Pink News and on the internet. In order to respect our members’ privacy, we publish only first names and state locations. We may edit submissions to fit our anti-oppression values and/or based on our own editing guidelines.


December 2018

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Volume 9, Issue 6

November 2018 (United States)

November 2018

Sun

Mon

28

29

Tue

Wed

30

31

Halloween

Thu

1 Dia de los Muertos All Saints' Day

(Day of the Dead)

Fri

2

S

M

T

W

2 9 16 23 30

3 10 17 24 31

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

T

F

S

13 20 27

14 21 28

15 22 29

15 P6 age 7 8

Sat All Souls' Day

3

Samhain

Saving Time 4 Daylight ends Malcolm Little released from prison, changes name to Malcolm X (1952)

Day 11 Veterans 4 anarchist labor

activists hanged for Haymarket riot, Chicago (1887)

Debs born 5 Eugene (1855)—union leader, socialist, ran for president while incarcerated

Day 12 Veterans observed

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Margaret Atwood born (1939), author of The Handmaid's Tale

slavery 13 Black abolished in Brazil (1887)

US Air Force bombs poor neighborhoods of San Salvador (El Salvador) to combat guerrillas (1989) Revolution 19 Mexico Day

(Birth of the 20 Mawlid Prophet)—Sunni

Mexican Revolution begins (1910)

Native American occupation of Alcatraz begins (1969)

Wilma Mankiller born (1945), first female Chief of Cherokees Day for 25 Int'l Elimination of

Violence against Women

Revolution' in Russia (1917) Diwali (Hindu, Jain, Sikh)

Nat Turner hanged (1831)

of Apartheid, S. 18 End Africa (1993)

of 7 Beginning the 'October

26

Transgender Day of Remembrance

activist and San 27 Gay Francisco Supervisor

Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet)—Shi'a

Harvey Milk murdered (1978) Jimi Hendrix born (1942)

gov't expels 14 Nazi Jews from German colleges (1938)

workers stage 8 20,000 interracial general strike, New Orleans (1892)

gov't 15 Nazi deprives

German Jews of all citizenship rights (1935)

Wall torn down 9 Berlin (1989) Mexico City legalizes same-sex marriage (2006)

Hofmann first 16 Albert synthesizes LSD (1938)

Russia sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for anti-government activities (1849)

Steimer born 21 Mollie (1897), anarchist

22 Thanksgiving Day

Friday 23 Black 2 Irish

Bradbury 28 Ray publishes Fahrenheit

Day of 29 Int'l Solidarity

Chisholm born 30 Shirley (1924), 1st

publisher of anti-war newspaper Frayhayt (Freedom)

451 (1962)

with the Palestinian People

Republican Brotherhood members hanged in Manchester, England (1867)

African-American Congresswoman

Sand Creek massacre of Cheyenne, Arapahoe (1864)

10

of the 17 Formation EZLN (Zapatistas), Mexico (1983)

33 WWI 24 Last conscientious

objectors released from prision (1920)

made 1 Marijuana illegal (USA) (1937) Matthew Sheppard murdered in homophobic attack (1998) World AIDS Day

Call for Submissions: Essays on Prison Abolition Dear Friend, We are university professors putting together a book on the abolition of prisons and the penal system. The book is titled, The Routledge International Handbook of Penal Abolitionism, and is already contracted for publication. eThe book will include chapters from people all around the world and we are thinking that it is really important that it also includes abolition thoughts from people who have lived and/or are living through the daily realities of imprisonment. We would be delighted if you would consider writing an account (anywhere between 1,500 to 5,000 words) about why

you think we should abolish the use of imprisonment and/or the penal system in general. We have already received good essays from academics and activists in the abolition social movement. What we are looking for from you, is an abolition essay from the perspective of someone on the inside. Write from what you know. If you do not have access to a computer or a typewriter to write such an essay, you could send us your essay as a letter, or as part of a letter. We could then turn the letter into a typed document and send it to you for any edits or revisions you would like to make. We would like to refund your postage costs for participating in

this project, if the regulations at your prison allow us to do so. Kindly let us know. All the very best, ​ ichael J. Coyle, California State M University, Chico David Scott, The Open University Please send your letter/essay to: The Editors, The Routledge International Handbook of Penal Abolitionism CARE OF: Professor Michael J. Coyle Department of Political Science California State University, Chico 400 West 1st Street Chico, CA, 95926-0455


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Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

Powerful Gay Rights Groups Excluded Trans People for Decades — Leaving Them Vulnerable to Trump’s Attack By Evan Greer

The Washington Post, October 29, 2018 The U.S. government is reportedly considering policy changes that would attempt to definitionally “erase” transgender and non-binary people from federal civil rights law. In practice, this could make it nearly impossible for many of us to get a driver’s license or passport, go to the doctor for basic medical care, get food stamps or rent an apartment. An attack on marginalized people from the administration behind family separation policies and Muslim travel bans is hardly a surprise. But there’s a reason the transgender community is in the government’s crosshairs. There was a target painted on our backs. And it was put there not just by the religious right and gender essentialist crusaders, but by the mainstream gay rights movement, which for the better part of the last century has repeatedly backed away from — and sometimes even fought on the wrong side of — the battles that most affect trans and gender nonconforming people. The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, two of the first formally organized gay and lesbian rights organizations in the United States, actively discouraged members from engaging in “deviant” expressions of gender and sexuality. Rather than challenge the

rigid and repressive gender roles of postwar America, they embraced them in the interest of political gain. For example, their “Annual Reminder” pickets for gay rights in the late 1960s had a strict dress code: Men had to wear white shirts and slacks, and women had to wear dresses. They fought against discrimination on the grounds that they were “normal homosexuals,” and trans people did not fit under that rubric. These groups thought that conforming to societal standards would advance their singular cause: acceptance.

later the Stonewall rebellion, where crowds led by trans and gendernonconforming people of color, sex workers and youths fought back against the police who regularly harassed, beat and violated them. Gender-defiant activists such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson emerged as leaders. As a direct response to the failure of other gay rights groups to fight for the most vulnerable, they founded the collective Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which provided a shelter for trans people in New York.

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, white, middle-class, cisgender gays and lesbians made advances in both legal protection and social status. States started decriminalizing homosexuality, the American Psychiatric Association declared that it was not a psychiatric disorder, and Elaine Noble, the first openly lesbian or gay legislator, took her seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. But those outside the mainstream continued to live in untenable conditions. For gendernonconforming people, it was nearly impossible to find steady employment, and police routinely raided bars and establishments where they gathered.

Still, the leadership of the Gay Activists Alliance cut trans people out of New York City’s landmark 1971 attempt to pass anti-discrimination legislation, by removing protections for gender identity and presentation. They claimed that such an “extreme” bill could never succeed. Even with this “compromise,” it didn’t pass until 1986.

Resistance swelled in uprisings like the Compton Cafeteria riot in 1966, in which trans women and drag queens resisted arrest at a 24hour eatery in San Francisco, and

Overt anti-trans sentiment came from the top down of the burgeoning gay rights movement. The predominantly white, cis, gay male leadership saw trans people as a threat to their slowly but surely growing social and economic power. It was echoed among some lesbian leaders who painted trans women as impostors and mentally ill, even as they fought against these labels for themselves. Some lesbian leaders even claimed that trans men


were traitors to their sex. These attitudes have persisted within the movement. When Rivera took the stage at a 1973 rally that would later be seen as a predecessor to Pride, she faced boos from the crowd and was referred to as a “man in a dress” as she spoke about the daily brutality faced by trans and gender nonconforming people on the street, in prisons, and at the hands of police. Later that year, Rivera and Johnson were banned from participating in the New York City Pride parade. In interviews, Johnson recalled organizers telling her that they gave the movement “a bad name.”

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LGBTQ rights organization, infamously threw trans people under the bus by cutting a deal that left gender identity protections out of the Employment and Non Discrimination Act after promising trans activists that they’d fight for their inclusion in the bill. In recent years, the organization has continued to face criticism for silencing trans people at events: At a 2013 rally, a staffer asked an activist to lower a transgender flag to keep it out of view of TV cameras. HRC still doesn’t have any trans people in top leadership positions, where our lived experiences would help shape strategy and priorities.

Despite their marginalization, trans people helped lead powerful LGBTQ organizing in direct response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and early ’90s. Leaders like Miss Major Griffin-Gracy provided direct health-care services, while others became prominent voices in groups such as Act Up that forced the issue onto the national stage when the U.S. government was trying desperately to cover it up. But the upper crust of national gay rights leaders continued to silence and ignore trans voices into the next decade. In 1993, the organizing committee of the National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington voted to keep the word “transgender” out of the official name for the march. While trans people fought for and gained more power and visibility within the movement and in society as a whole in the early 2000s, our advances continued to lag behind our cisgender gay and lesbian counterparts

To their credit, many large LGBTQ organizations have expanded their advocacy on trans issues. But the groups with the most funding, lawyers and lobbyists have too often focused narrowly on inclusion within institutions such as marriage and the military, while grass-roots trans activists fought on matters of basic survival: youth homelessness, criminalization of sex workers, systematic isolation and torture of trans people in U.S. prisons, police violence, forced unemployment and inadequate health care. Decisions at the top to leave trans people behind have always been justified as strategic considerations, couched in an ideology of “trickle-down rights,” whereby advancing the causes of the most powerful, least-oppressed members of the LGBTQ community will allow the more vulnerable and marginalized to eventually receive the same incremental gains. But these political maneuvers have had real life-or-death consequences for our community.

In 2007, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest

By prioritizing their acceptance within an unjust society, the

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mainstream gay rights movement helped sow the seeds that the Trump administration is now coming to reap. The government made a cold calculation: An open attack on existing gay and lesbian rights might fall flat — even to their base — but history told them that targeting trans people, who have fewer legal protections and less public understanding and support, would instill division among LGBTQ people. The White House wants to paint some of us as outcasts and extremists, and hope the rest will go along. There is no room for us to undermine each other’s struggles for justice. It’s time to fight not for assimilation, but for liberation. We are all targets. We are in this together whether we like it or not. The administration’s latest attack must serve as a wake-up call. The LGBTQ community needs to unite behind our most vulnerable members like we’ve rarely done before. To do that, we’ll have to grapple with our history. We can’t go back in time, or undo what’s been done. But we can commit to doing better. We can respect and honor those who fought before us, and learn from the moments where they failed.

courtesy of Josh MacPhee via justseeds.org

Volume 9, Issue 6


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Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

My Missouri Name Change Journey By Patricia Elane Trimble Throughout Missouri’s P.I.C. ‘s, there are Transwomen and Transmen who seek to change their name as a part of their transition process. Those who are lucky and have the financial resources can file in the Circuit Court and most will be assigned a judge who will not actively stand in their way. But that is not always the case as was learned by first Briyanah and then by me. I thought I had learned from the mistakes made by Briyanah, but in reality, Briyanah was not the problem. The problem was a Circuit Judge in Cole County who refused to give an inch, expecting inmates to know as much and have the resources of free world attorneys. With the very kind assistance of a locally based Transgender Health Organization, the funds were raised to cover the costs for three name changes. Now many would assume that you could file a court action as a poor person thereby having to pay only a partial filing fee. That would be correct, however, the filing fee is only the first step. Once the Court grants your name change (in Missouri), you have to have the change published in a local paper ‘at

your expense’ before the judgment is final! As you know, as soon as a Court permits a partial filing fee, the Department of Corrections takes everything over $5.00 until the full filing fee has been paid, leaving you with nothing to pay a paper to publish the decree. My Petition and the filing fee was sent off to the Court, a Judge was assigned and a hearing date set. Believing all that was required was a simple motion for a writ to appear via video link, I carefully drafted my motion and sent it to the Court. Denied! Everything I filed was being denied until I was at wits end and terrified I would end up having my petition dismissed for failure to appear as was done in Briyanah’s case a couple of years ago. Having reached the end of my legal knowledge and feeling I was fast running out of options, I desperately reached out, pleading for assistance or guidance of any kind. At last, a local organization stepped in to try and save the day. They managed to locate a sympathetic attorney in St. Louis who was willing to assist. He immediately filed for a change of Judge under Rule 51.05 and once a new judge was assigned, he had

me sign an affidavit under local rule 68.20 which allows for the use of and Affidavit in place of a formal hearing. On September 17, 2018, the Cole County Circuit Court Ordered my name legally changed to Patricia Elane Trimble! Publication is underway and the name change will be final in a few more weeks. Now that we have made it through the legal maze, Briyanah and Jasmyne are next! What I hope you will take away from this is that, no matter how many barriers they try to put in front of you, don’t ever give up! Put in the library time, write to organizations, attornies, anyone you can get an address for. There are good and caring ‘ people out there who are willing to help those who are trying to help themselves! In closing, I want to send my Love and Heartfelt thanks out to Jeanette Mott Oxford, Steph Perkins, Michael J. Colona and all of the others who worked so hard to help make my dreams come true. I also want to send my Love to Jessica, Briyanah, Jasmyne, RaQueen and Lay Lay; never give up and never accept anything less than the world!


Volume 9, Issue 6

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Trans Woman Wins $100K Settlement After Reporting Brutal Rape in a Men’s Prison By Aviva Stahl

Broadly, April 17, 2018 February 5, 2018 was a momentous day for LeslieAnn Manning. Exactly five years prior, on February 5, 2013, the 51-year-old trans woman says she was raped while she was incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility, a men’s prison located about two hours north of New York City. From that point onwards, she fought to gain recognition for the harm she had endured — a struggle that finally came to fruition on the 5th. In a settlement with the state’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), Manning was awarded $100,000 in damages. It’s a historic sum—one of largest amounts ever awarded for a failure to protect case involving a trans prisoner alleging rape or sexual assault, and also the first settlement paid to a New York state prisoner for sexual abuse, according to Manning’s attorneys. For the plaintiff and her legal team, though, the money is just the beginning. “I would hope that this will cause the Department of Corrections to take the safety of LGBT prisoners seriously, and to do what they are required to do under the law,” said Susan Hazeldean, who directs the Brooklyn Law School LGBT Advocacy Clinic, which litigated

the case alongside the Civil Rights Clinic at Cardozo Law School. “The safety of people like Ms. Manning, who are transgender in prison, will not just be an afterthought.” Contacted by email about Manning’s litigation, DOCCS declined to comment. The settlement states that the sum offered to Manning is in no way an admission of liability. Manning first arrived at Sullivan in August 2012. Shortly afterwards, she was given a job working as an assistant to an educational instructor. Her daily tasks focused on helping inmates with disabilities: typing letters for the blind and making coffee for those with hearing or sight impairments, handing out papers, and a bit of math tutoring. The position required her to work in an area of the prison known as Sublevel E—which, according to the complaint, was not properly patrolled or subject to video surveillance, enabling prisoners to come and go as they pleased. According to the complaint, Manning repeatedly told the educational instructor it was dangerous for her to work in the sublevel, but he said there was nothing he could do about it. On February 5, 2013, he asked her to take some paper to an inmate in a classroom. After Manning entered the classroom and gave the inmate the paper, the complaint states,

he approached her from behind, grabbed her neck “with such force that she was unable to scream or resist,” and raped her. “All the defendants were responsible for security in the sublevel, and all the defendants knew Ms. Manning was a transgender woman.” According to the complaint, DOCCS later disciplined her alleged attacker—who had sexually abused an inmate at another prison before transferring to Sullivan—by placing him in solitary confinement. Manning, too, was isolated from the general population, but ostensibly for her own benefit: Shortly after she reported the rape, she was transferred into protective custody (PC), a form of segregation from general population that often amounts to solitary confinement. Prisoners in New York and across the country who report rape are often placed in PC, sometimes against their will, in order to keep them “safe.” Transgender women across the country are also frequently placed in PC on the basis of their gender identity. For incarcerated survivors, being placed in isolation can exacerbate the trauma of the assault. “Psychological trauma of being locked in a cell for 23 hours a day is pretty traumatic,” Manning told Broadly in a statement released


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through her attorneys. “You feel like the walls are closing in around you.” While she was on the PC, she added, she was offered no counseling other than someone from the prison’s health department speaking to her from the door of her cell. (She was later allowed to receive rape counseling over the phone.) To this day, the complaint says, Manning frequently wakes up in sweats, with her heart racing, racked by nightmares. Manning’s lawsuit was first filed in January 2015, about two years after the assault. In the complaint, her attorneys argued that officials at Sullivan — including the superintendent, captain, and three junior staff members — had violated Manning’s Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to her safety. Eighth Amendment claims in the prison context are particularly difficult to prove because claimants need to establish “state of mind:” that prison officials knew about that an individual was at risk of harm but opted not to act. According to the facts alleged by Manning’s attorneys — which are strenuously denied by DOCCS — it appears that prison officials were well aware of Manning’s vulnerabilities, yet still failed to protect her. As early as 2008, advocacy groups warned state prison officials that Manning would be unsafe in an all-male facility, according to court documents. Four years later, Manning herself informed DOCCS of the unique risk of harm she faced, in a lawsuit she filed challenging the state’s refusal to permit her to wear feminine undergarments. (That case

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was settled in 2013.) “All the defendants were responsible for security in the sublevel, and all the defendants knew Ms. Manning was a transgender woman based on her file and letters that had been written advocating for her,” said Paige Maier, a second-year law student at Cardozo Law School who worked on the suit. (In legal filings, the defendants emphatically stressed that neither Sullivan’s superintendent nor any other prison officials “acted willfully or maliciously in disregard of plaintiff’s constitutional rights.”) But even if Manning hadn’t advocated for herself so strenuously, her team argues, prison officials can’t claim ignorance. Almost 25 years ago, in Farmer v. Brennan, the Supreme Court recognized the vulnerability to violence that transgender women face on the inside, and the responsibility of prison officials to provide safe and humane conditions of confinement. Congress has also sough to protect prisoners from sexual violence, including by passing the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003. A 2009 report issued by the PREA Commission identified transgender women as having a heightened risk of assault. Today, PREA requires correctional facilities to evaluate transgender and intersex prisoners on a caseby-case basis before deciding whether to house someone in a male or female facility. The prisoner’s own views with respect to her safety are supposed to be taken into consideration, and it’s expressly prohibited to make housing determination based solely

October/November 2018

on the individual’s external genital anatomy. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than one-third of transgender people locked up in prisons and jails experience sexual assault—the highest rate of any demographic group studied. Letting transgender women be housed in women’s facilities would drastically reduce their risk of harm, advocates say. But New York doesn’t actually adhere to the letter or the law—nor does nearly any jail or prison across the country, according to attorneys who work in the field. “They just don’t do what they are supposed to do,” said Hazeldean of the Brooklyn Law School LGBT Advocacy Clinic, “and I don’t get any indication that it going to change, at least in the near future.” Indeed, Manning may have won her settlement, but New York State has yet to fully recognize her as a woman. Today, she is housed at Wende Correctional Facility, a men’s prison that is located just outside of Buffalo. “Wende is better than where I was before, but there is still harassment from [corrections officers] and comments made about my sexuality,” she said. “Comments made like, ‘Is it a man or is it a woman?’ but if I try to report it they deny making these comments.” Asked if there was anything else she wanted to say, Manning expressed gratitude to her legal team and urged others to follow in her path. “I want to put accolades in for all the hard work the students have done over the years to accomplish this. Also, I want to say how important it is to never give up, to always fight for what is right, and to never be silent.”


Volume 9, Issue 6

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“I’m Ecstatic:” Black Liberation Prisoner Mike Africa Sr Released After 40 Years By Ed Pilkington

The Guardian, October 23, 2018 Mike Africa Sr has become the second member of the Philadelphiabased group of black radicals known as the Move 9 to be released from prison, more than 40 years after they were arrested for the death of a police officer in one of the most dramatic shootouts of the black liberation era. The 19 black radicals who are still in prison after four decades He was paroled from SCI Phoenix prison in Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning to be reunited with his wife Debbie Africa, who was also let out on parole in June having been arrested alongside him at the climax of a police siege in 1978. They were joined by their son, Mike Africa Jr, who until Tuesday had never spent time with both parents in the same room. “I’m ecstatic coming from where I was just a couple of hours ago,” Mike Sr told the Guardian, speaking from his son’s house outside Philadelphia. “I wasn’t convinced in my mind that this would happen until I walked out the prison gates.” He said it was amazing to be reunited with his wife, who was held in separate women’s prisons for 40 years. “I missed her and I loved her. She’s been my girl since we were kids. That’s never wavered at all.”

Move 9 prisoner Mike Africa Sr and his wife Debbie Africa reunited in Philadelphia after 40 years in prison. Photograph: Tommy Oliver/@

Debbie Africa said she was overwhelmed to have her family back. Mike Africa Sr’s release marks a big step in the struggle of black militants who are still behind bars decades after they were arrested for police killings and other violent acts in the late 1960s and 1970s. The Guardian highlighted their plight in July. Eighteen individuals, including two Move women, Janine Phillips Africa and Janet Hollaway Africa, remain in prison. Many of them insist they are innocent of the charges brought against them. In the case of the Move 9, they were convicted collectively of the death of a police officer, James Ramp, in the 1978 siege of their group home in Philadelphia even though only one shot killed him. Debbie Africa

was eight months pregnant at the time.Mike Africa Sr’s parole is of even greater consequence for his family, and especially for his son Mike Africa Jr, who for 40 years has never seen both of his parents together or out of prison. He was born in a cell where his mother Debbie gave birth to him a month after she and her husband were arrested during the siege. For three days Debbie kept her baby son concealed in the cell, hiding him under the covers, until she was forced to hand him over to prison guards. With both parents imprisoned until the eve of his 40th birthday, Mike Jr effectively became an orphan of the black liberation struggle. He was raised by relatives and other members of Move and now lives with a family of his own outside Philadelphia. “I’m

having

an

out-of-body


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Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

order was given for hundreds of police officers to go in and evict the residents by the notoriously hardline then mayor of Philadelphia, the city’s former police commissioner Frank Rizzo. In the melee, Ramp was killed.

Mike Africa Jr: ‘I’m having an out-of-body experience right now.’ Photograph: Mark Makela for the Guardian

experience right now,” Mike Jr told the Guardian as he drove his father back to his home to be reunited with Debbie. “I’m floating over the top of the car.” He said that this was what he had waiting for more than four decades – to be together for the first time with both his parents. “I’ve always hoped for this, but I never knew that it would happen,” he said. The 1978 siege of the Move 9 house in the Powelton Village neighborhood of Philadelphia was one of the most violent and visceral incidents of the years of black liberation struggle. At the time, 12 adults and 11 children were living in a communal house, along with 48 dogs. Move was a unique organization that mixed revolutionary ideology better associated with the Black Panther party with care for nature and the environment better associated with flower power and the hippy movement. The group still exists today, largely in the Philadelphia area, and continues to campaign for the release of its remaining members

behind bars. Mike Sr’s release reduces the number of still-incarcerated Move 9 members to five. In addition to his parole and that of his wife, two others have died behind bars from health complications related to their imprisonment – Merle Austin Africa, in March 1998, and Phil Africa in January 2015. Brad Thomson, of the Chicagobased People’s Law Office, who was part of the legal team presenting the released prisoner, said that Mike Sr’s record in prison was exceptional, making him a prime candidate for parole. “With this decision, the parole board recognizes that Mike, like Debbie, and the rest of the Move 9, poses absolutely no threat to the community.” The siege that led to the incarceration of five Move men and four women occurred on 8 August 1978. Tension had mounted for months between the commune and Philadelphia police following complaints from neighbors and fears that the group was stockpiling weapons. The

All nine adult members of Move living in the house were held responsible for the shooting and sentenced to 30 to 100 years. At trial they told the jury that they had no working firearms in the house, though that was disputed by prosecutors. With Mike and Debbie Africa now released, thoughts are turning to the remaining five Move members still in prison. Petitions for habeas corpus have been filed in federal court on behalf of the two women, Janine Phillips Africa and Janet Hollaway Africa, challenging recent parole denials. Bret Grote, of the Abolitionist Law Center, another lawyer for the Move 9, said: “This historic release of Mike Africa renders the parole board’s decision to deny the rest of the Move 9 all the more incomprehensible. For example, Janet and Janine have both maintained prison records that are as exemplary as Mike’s and essentially identical to that of Debbie, yet they were inexplicably denied parole in May.” Seven years after the siege of the Move house, a second trauma was dealt to the black radical group. The then mayor of Philadelphia, Wilson Goode, gave the go-ahead for an incendiary bomb to be dropped on top of another Move house. It caused an inferno that killed 11 people, including five children. More than 60 houses in the predominantly African American neighborhood were razed to the ground.


Volume 9, Issue 6

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Communicating While Queer Is Being Punished in Prison By Raven Rakia

The Appeal November 8, 2018 Mia Whatley, a trans woman from Chicago’s South Side, was incarcerated in a men’s Illinois prison in 2010. She had been receiving hormone therapy as part of transitioning before she entered the prison system, but needed information on how to get the medical treatment while incarcerated. That’s when her pen pal, told her about Black and Pink, an organization that supports LGBTQ people behind bars. Black and Pink sent her more than just the medical advice she sought: birthday and holiday cards, newsletters and chapter updates. Their mailings often include information on lawsuits, bills being passed in local government, and some times, medical care information. They also provide pen pal services to their 900 subscribers in Illinois prisons. In 2016, Whatley began having an issue receiving Black and Pink materials. While she was at Lawrence Correctional Center, Whatley says, she was told that her correspondence with Black and Pink would be terminated. Despite filing grievances, she kept hitting walls. Correction officers began intercepting her mail with Black and Pink, she said, and they told her that if she attempted to contact the

organization again she would face a disciplinary report. Shortly after she was told to stop contacting the organization, according to Whatley, correction officers searched her cell, finding old Black and Pink materials and letters that were saved from past months. Whatley received a disciplinary report for violating a direct order and violating mail privileges; she received 30 days in solitary confinement. “My experience with segregation was hell within your cell,” Whatley told The Appeal. “It’s a whole different deal, a whole different environment.” She later discovered she was far from the only prisoner whose subscription was being intercepted. On Oct. 18, Uptown People’s Law Center and the MacArthur Justice Center sued the Illinois Department of Corrections director on behalf of Chicago’s Black and Pink chapter for censoring the organization’s mail sent inside state prisons. According to the lawsuit, 11 prisons censored and refused mail from Black and Pink Chicago on over 200 occasions since 2016. The DOC’s censorship of Black and Pink material is part of a wider pattern of discrimination against LGBTQ people, the attorneys said. “LGBTQ prisoners are isolated in prison … I mean everybody is isolated in prison, but it’s isolation

within isolation,” Alan Mills, executive director of Uptown People’s Law Center, told The Appeal. “Therefore, the ability to communicate with people on the outside and know that they have supporters, know that they are not alone in there, is absolutely vital.” Across the country, LGBTQ prisoners report facing abuse and discrimination while behind bars. In Illinois, Strawberry Hampton, a trans women incarcerated in a men’s prison, has filed three lawsuits against the Department of Corrections stating she has been sexually abused by correction officers and abused, groped, and threatened by other prisoners. Earlier this year, Hampton filed for an emergency relief to be transferred to a women’s prison after facing more abuse and taunts at Dixon Correctional Facility. Trans women incarcerated in Pittsburgh and Colorado have also filed lawsuits alleging abuse and harassment from staff and fellow prisoners after being housed in men’s facilities. Last year, the American Journal of Public Health published a study that found lesbian, gay, and bisexual prisoners across the country are at a higher risk of sexual assault and being placed in solitary confinement than the general prison population. In 2014, Black and Pink conducted a survey of about 1,200 LGBTQ prisoners nationwide, mostly consisting of its prisoner membership. A report that the organization published in 2015


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described the findings as the largest survey of LGBTQ prisoners in the nation. The group found that roughly half of the survey respondents had spent two or more years in solitary confinement while incarcerated, and 85 percent have spent some time in solitary confinement. Fifteen percent of the respondents reported being barred from prison programs because they were LGBTQ, and four out of five respondents didn’t have access to any LGBTQaffirming books. Roughly four out of five transgender or nonbinary prisoners who responded said they experienced emotional pain from hiding their gender identity during incarceration or within the legal system. The lawsuit accuses the Illinois Department of Corrections of censoring Black and Pink introductory letters that inform potential subscribers about the organization’s services, as well as censoring informational zines, pen pal services introductory letters, birthday cards, chapter updates, national newsletters, and on three occasions, personal pen pal letters. The Department of Corrections said it could not comment on pending litigation.

The eight-page zine included artwork by prisoners, a report on Stateville Correctional Center, and testimonies from anonymous prisoners in Illinois about their experiences in solitary confinement. “Upon release we are left with a mental shell shock and unprepared to deal with the everyday life in society,” one testimony read. “We are programmed with this isolation that has dramatically down spiraled our very own thought process to full destruction.” It’s a sentiment that Whatley agrees with. She contemplated suicide when in segregation, and the isolation still has an effect on her mental health and well-being. After Whatley was sent to the segregation unit for 30 days for having Black and Pink mail in her cell, she continued to face disciplinary charges for trying to communicate with the organization. She said she was placed in segregation multiple times in part because of her correspondence with Black and Pink. As she faced more charges for her communication with

artwork courtesy of Josh MacPhee via justseeds.org

One of the most commonly censored materials was Black and Pink Chicago’s Stop Solitary zines that the chapter sent out in 2016 and 2017. The two zines were censored 122 times in nine prisons, according to the lawsuit. The 2016 edition included a list of prisoners’ rights groups and their contact information as well as information on proposed state legislation that would limit solitary confinement to no more than 10 consecutive days.

Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

Black and Pink, her time in solitary confinement increased. “Back when I was in segregation, I wanted to take my life,” Whatley told The Appeal. “I was telling myself that ‘Why should I care about me?’ I don’t have anybody out there in the free world that care about me. If they don’t care about me then I don’t have a reason, I don’t have a reason to fight, I don’t have a reason to fight for who I am today, I don’t have a reason to stand up against administration heads that come around to make you live for their own selfish games.’” To her, the singling out of Black and Pink feels like yet another way for corrections officials to target LGBTQ prisoners. “I feel like this is just a direct aim, hit of harassment, towards not just Black and Pink but a hatred act against those that chose to live their truth,” she told The Appeal. “Being in the LGBTQ community, I feel like there is no justice. … They have constantly, constantly repeated that they don’t care.”


Volume 9, Issue 6

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Colorado to Allow Use of X as Sex Identifier on Driver’s Licenses Starting This Month By Elise Schmelzer

The Denver Post November 8, 2018

Colorado residents who do not identify as male or female will be allowed to choose X as the symbol to represent their gender on their driver’s licenses when an emergency rule goes into effect this month. The change comes as state officials continue to grapple with policies that allow people who identify differently than their sex assigned at birth to alter their official documents, which LGBTQ advocates say is crucial for transgender and nonbinary peoples’ daily lives. The Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees the Division of Motor Vehicles, decided to make the change, effective Nov. 30, after two court cases in which judges found in favor of Colorado people attempting to change their sex on government identification. The department needed to adopt a policy in line with those decisions to avoid the possibility of being sued, the department’s executive director, Michael Hartman, said in an exclusive interview with The Denver Post. “This is an important step for the state of Colorado that the state documents reflect our values,” Hartman said. “People are people no matter their sex identification.” The change not only will be

personally affirming to people who identify other than male or female, it will reduce the discrimination nonbinary people face when their documents don’t match their gender expression, said Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization. When the documents don’t match, nonbinary people are often forced to explain their identities or can be denied service, he said. “It’s an incredibly affirming process when a person’s identification reflects their name and their gender,” Ramos said. “They no longer have the fear or anxiety of being rejected by a clerk or teller or anybody else.” It’s difficult to know how many Colorado residents identify as nonbinary, which includes people who identify as no gender, more than one gender or something other than male or female, Ramos said. The change to driver’s licences could help provide a better estimate, he added. A study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimated that about 20,850 adults in Colorado identify as transgender, an umbrella term for those who identify differently than their sex assigned at birth which includes nonbinary people. The addition of X to driver’s licenses will be a fairly simple operational change and won’t cost taxpayers any money, Hartman said.

artwork by sandra nadine khalifa, courtesy of amplifier.org

“It’s a pretty quick update to the system,” Hartman said. Discussions about adding a third option to driver’s licenses have been ongoing for years in the Joint ID Task Force created in 2013 by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Hartman said. But the department decided to move forward with the change after the U.S. District Court for Colorado ruled in September that the U.S. Department of State had to issue a passport to intersex Colorado resident Dana Zzyym even if they refused to choose male or female on the application. Zzyym requested to use X on their passport, but was denied. Hartman also cited proposed changes the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment could make to policies about changing birth certificates to represent a person’s sex identity that would include


an X option as well. The changes followed the settlement of a lawsuit filed against the department by a minor who wished to change the sex listed on a birth certificate but had not undergone sex reassignment surgeries, as current policy requires. The Colorado Board of Health will vote on proposals to add a third gender option to birth certificates and dropping the surgery requirement on Dec. 19, Alex Quintana, state registrar and director of vital records, said in an email. The changes would go into effect at the beginning of 2019 if the board votes in their favor and legislative channels approve the change, he said. In wake of the court cases, the Division of Motor Vehicles needed to make a change to avoid a lawsuit, Hartman said. “Someone in the community might take that step if we didn’t take proactive steps,” Hartman said. Applicants who want to use the X on their driver’s licenses will have to complete a form and get a signature from a medical provider or mental health counselor, but are not required to be undergoing any hormonal treatment or surgeries. The new licenses would be fully compliant with the federal REAL ID Act that sets standards for government-issued identifications and would be valid in other states and in airports, Hartman said. Four other states — California, Oregon, Minnesota and Maine — and Washington, D.C., have already adopted a nonbinary identifier on their driver’s licenses.

Black & Pink News

Oregon was the first to offer a third sex option when its Transportation Commission approved a rule change in June 2017. The change turned out to be very simple, said David House, spokesman for the Oregon Division of Motor Vehicles. As of Nov. 1, about 2,091 people in Oregon have a driver’s license with an X, he said. House said he wasn’t aware of any people who use X on their licenses who had difficulties traveling or using the ID outside the state. Oregon transportation officials briefly considered removing sex designations from driver’s licenses entirely, House said, but found that the Real ID Act requires that a sex be recorded though it doesn’t specify how. In contrast to Colorado, Oregon doesn’t require any certification from a medical provider for those who want to use X — people simply have to choose the option.

October/November 2018

120 days, Hartman said, though he could readopt it if the time limit expires before a permanent rule is made. Colorado legislators do not need to approve the change, he said. RThe Department of Revenue will hold public comment on the proposed change, though that meeting hadn’t been scheduled as of Wednesday. People can also submit written comments via email. Department officials have already contacted law enforcement, who said the change wouldn’t affect their ability to investigate crimes, Hartman said. So far, he hadn’t heard any criticism of the plan, though it had not yet been publicized outside the ID task force. “When it comes to rule making, we have a really significant focus on hearing from all different viewpoints,” Hartman said.

“We don’t weigh people. We don’t measure height,” House said. “You self-certify that.” State officials received minimal pushback to the change, he said. Only 12 of 83 people who submitted written or oral comments during the approval process opposed the change. Since the rule went into effect July 1, 2017, House has received only a few phone calls about the issue. “It’s pretty much dropped off people’s radar,” he said. Once the Colorado emergency rule goes into effect, officials will begin the process of making it permanent. The emergency rule is effective for

courtesy of justseeds.org

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Volume 9, Issue 6

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8 LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit Native Americans Changing the World assuming office in the House of Representatives in 2012. She is also the first openly lesbian Native American to win a state legislature race. “As a Native woman and lesbian I know what it’s like to be left out, to not have a voice,” she said after her victory. “When this seat became open I felt it was the natural progression of my life’s work to run for it.”

Sharice Davids, a Native American lesbian, won the Democratic primary in Kansas’ 3rd District.

By JP Brammer

Them.us November 8, 2018 Before Europeans invaded the Americas, also known as Turtle Island, in 1492, the land was host to a breathtaking diversity of Indigenous peoples and cultures. These cultures had their own traditions for and conceptions of gender and sexuality. Terms like Two-Spirit are modern linguistic attempts to harken back to a more Indigenous imagining of gender. European colonization brought with it a hierarchy that placed both Indigenous traditions and LGBTQ+ people outside the acceptable norms of civil society. But Native Americans and queer people endured. To celebrate that resistance, here are eight LGBTQ+

Native Americans who are changing the world for the better. Evan Adams You might recognize Evan Adams from his breakout role as ThomasBuilds-the-Fire in Sherman Alexie’s 1998 film, Smoke Signals. But the openly gay Coast Salish from the Sliammon First Nation is still representing his communities. Today, he is a respected physicist in Canada (Canada is part of the Americas) and he’s since been named Chief Medical Officer by the First Nations Health Authority in 2014. Susan Allen Susan Allen is a Lakota and a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who became the first Native American woman to serve in the Minnesota Legislature after

Jack Jackson Jr. A member of the Navajo Nation, Jack Jackson Jr. is an openly gay attorney and politician from Arizona who served in the State House after winning his election in 2003. He was appointed by President Clinton, and then President Obama, to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He has also served on the board of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center. Sharice Davids A member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a tribe in Wisconsin, Sharice Davids become the first lesbian Native American in Congress w. An ex-MMA fighter, Davids won the Democratic nomination for a Kansas House seat in the August midterm elections. “Having LGBT people sitting in the room while decisions are being made, and sitting there as peers, will shift the conversation,” she told The New York Times. “I think it’s important that the lived experiences


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and the point of view of LGBT folks be included in conversations that affect all of us.” Jewelle Gomez Jewelle Gomez is an author, poet, critic, and playwright of Black and Native American (Ioway, Wampanoag) heritage. She is the author of The Gilda Stories, a novel that explores slavery and racism in North and South America, and her work frequently tackles LGBTQ+ identity.

Black & Pink News

Gomez and her partner, Dr. Diane Sabin, were among the couples who sued California for the right to marry in 2008. They ultimately won that right for a brief period of time before Proposition 8 passed in November of that year, banning same-sex marriage in the state. Gomez currently serves as Director of Grants and Community Initiatives for the Horizons Foundation, the oldest LGBTQ+ foundation in the U.S.

October/November 2018

DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren A proud member of the Catawba Nation, George-Warren, who is Two-Spirit, works within his community to revitalize the Catawba language. He also works with youth development and food sovereignty (cultivating sustainable agriculture) in the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project. George-Warren is also active in art and performance, including work on “The Earth That Is Sufficient,” a theatrical work by Annalissa Dias to be premiered in Washington, D.C. in 2019. Storme Webber Storme Webber is a Two-Spirit Alutiiq, Black, Choctaw poet and playwright who creates bluesinfluenced texts exploring identity, race, class, and gender. Her poetry collections include Diaspora and Blues Divine. She has been featured in multiple anthologies and documentaries, including What’s Wrong with Gays These Days? and Living Two Spirit. Jenny Miller Photographer Jenny Miller hails from Nome, Alaska, and is Inupiaq, the name for the Indigenous inhabitants of Alaska. Last year, she revealed Continuous, a portrait series focusing on LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit people. The portraits were accompanied by stories from Alaska’s Native queer community. Of the series, she said, “Continuous is my small answer to the large question: How do we as Indigenous people decolonize our sexualities, genders, and the way we treat individuals who identify outside of the standard binary of male or female?”


Volume 9, Issue 6

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Call for Submissions: Essays on Prison Abolition The New Press, a public interest book publisher, and the Center for American Progress (CAP), a public policy think tank, request submission of essays for consideration to be included for publication in a book featuring criminal justice reform ideas from formerly and currently incarcerated individuals. The book has the working title of What We Know and is expected to be edited by Daryl Atkinson and Vivian Nixon, both formerly incarcerated individuals now leading criminal legal reform organizations. They are also members of the steering committee of the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People’s Family Movement (FICPFM). Essays may be from 2500-5000 words and should be focused on a specific, serious, well- defined suggestion for how to improve a particular aspect of any part of our current system, from police encounters and arrests, to sentencing, incarceration, and re-entry. Essays should contain elements of the author’s personal story in service of illuminating the suggested reform. Thoughtful, original ideas that are not already widely in circulation and under discussion are especially welcome. The top 12-20 essays will be published in the finished book, and the authors will receive $500 each. Authors of the top 50 essays that were not selected for publication will also receive $50 each. Coauthored pieces will be considered; additional payment for additional authors will be at the discretion of The New Press and CAP. The New Press, CAP, and the editors

retain full and final authority over the selection of the pieces that are published and/or receive a financial award. The New Press, CAP, and the editors reserve the right to reject or select essays for any reason allowed under law. However, essays will be selected based on the following: I. Policy Recommendation: Applicants should clearly identify a specific issue or problem within the criminal justice system and propose a well-developed, targeted policy solution to address it. II. Concept: Applicants are encouraged to propose new and progressive ideas for improving the criminal justice system. Policy proposals should be informed by lived experiences with the justice system. III. Feasibility & Impact: Proposed reforms should be realistic and actionable, with the potential to create meaningful change within the criminal justice system. IV. Readability: Successful essays will be engaging and combine narrative story-telling from the author’s own experience or knowledge, which illustrates a specific problem, with an original, constructive idea for how the problem might reasonably be remedied. To be considered, all submissions must include a cover sheet that includes the following information: 1. Full Name 2. Submission Category (currently incarcerated or formerly incarcerated)

3. Mailing address 4. Additional contact information: email address and phone number (if available) 5. Current Employer & Job Title (if applicable) 6. Brief description of criminal record, including the nature of the charge(s) and the approximate dates served in prison or jail. Please note: only authors who are currently or formerly incarcerated will be considered. 7. Preferred method for receiving financial award. If you’d like to designate a third party to receive your award, please provide their name and mailing address. Applicants may submit additional materials at their discretion, including a short biography, links to publications, a social media account, or resume. These materials are optional and will not factor into scoring decisions. Submissions should be sent to smartoncrime@americanprogress. org under the subject: “What We Know Book” no later than January 4, 2019. In cases where electronic submission is not possible, handwritten or typed submissions may be sent to: Center for American Progress ATTN: “What We Know” Book 1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Mailed submissions should be postmarked no later than January 4, 2019. If you require additional accommodations, please contact smartoncrime@americanprogress. org.


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October/November 2018

Black & Pink News

Letters from Our B&P Family Dear Black and Pink, How’s my lovely family doing? I am in receipt of your march 2018 news; reason I’ve received it late because I was transferred from the last institution. As I read the articles, from beginning to the end it touches how so many men and women are going through the LGBT fight alone. It’s a cold-cold world, so we must knit our own tough skin outfits. I support all you that has written in this news magazine, I myself have exactly 8 years to be released to the streets but I promise to fight for you while I’m inside prison and fight harder for all you once I’m released.

Antony C.

Dear Black and Pink Family, Good news! Bless be L.G.B.T.Q. community <3 I am a very lucky very happy girl. I am married to a wonderfull darling kind man his name (Jeremy aka Wolf). I love this beautiful darkling man with all my heart and soul. My beloved husband is at Lewisburg P.A. I am about to be transfered to Colorado. News for L.G.B.T.Q. comm: my prison is f***** up. THey have taken away the batteries and are feeding us two cold trays a day! everyday. Anyway I’m gone I gotta go to Florance to a A.D.X. step program called secured stages. I just wanna get my life right so I can be good solid widey material. I am so poud and got so much love and respect

for my family. I am a 35 year old white girl I am transgender all day everyday so stay strong stay proud my darling family much love hugs and kisses Mrs. Annabelle Pandora <3 Wolf

Ronald B. (FL)

Dear BLACK & PINK FAMILY MY NAME IS NICHOLAS THIS IS MY FIRST LETTER IM 36 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN ICARCERATED SINCE 2009 IN KY DOC BEFOR THAT I SERVED IN THE NAVY DURING “THE DONT ASK DONT TELL”. IM TRANS ITS HARDER IN KYDOC THIRE are a few of us That’s Been Trying since 2010 to GET A LGBT Group we Got one IN 2012 and GIVEN Permission to purchase panties & bra’s. LAST NOVber 2017 The BLACK & PINK FAMILY HAS HELPED US OUT THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAS WRITING IN THE PAST

NIKKI (KY)

Dear Black & Pink Family, After 9 months here in county jail. I finally am heading to prison for the first time. Worst case scenario 1 29 months which I honestly wouldnt mind doing one bit. I am looking forward to being around others like myself who aren’t afraid of being out about being gay. One thing is for certain is that I have been blessed to have met some really amazing

people during my time here and hope to see them again on the outs soon. Those that have been to prison keep telling me “there are tons of gay people in prison, don’t worry they will find you.” I’m excited! Anyways, to all those doing really long sentences or any time, know that I keep you in my prayers and I love you. A quick shout out to my sun and stars, snowflake. I love you very much and think about you everyday. I keep you in my prayers every night before I lay my head in hopes of seeing your beautiful face in my dreams. I cant wait to be by your sid again. I love you

Little Bruno (WA)

Hello Black and pink! i’m a 23 year old African American Bi sexual male. id like to shout out to all my “REAL” Queers. Since being in prison iv noticed alot of homosexuals have no respect For theyself and thats why they are always lonely and depressed. they allow people to disrespect them by referring to them as “Punks” as well as calling theyself a “Punk.” they allow niggas to expose theyself and dont even know the person. when a real nigga like me come around and treats them with respect, like u “Queen” all they do is lie and cheat but they swear they love you. im saying all this kuzz im tired of watching people disrespect homosexuals or treat us like sex toys because majority of them have no self respect. do you realize messing with a man who is not open is lowering your standards? do you realize our younger “Queens”


Dear Black and Pink Family, For starters I need to say sorry for all my dark past actions I have committed against LGBTQ community and other Humans. WIth that being said let me give you a bio of myself and why I am saying sorry. I was born to a white supremacist mother and father that lived on a white nationalist compound in Texas. I was home schooled and taught by white supremacist and white nationalists. A the age of 10 I started to get molested by my baby sitter. By the age of 14 I started to like it and that is why I first started to hate myself. Because it was drilled in my head from birth that gays were subhuman and wrong. At the age of 17 I was sent to TDCJ and became part of a white supremacist gang. In the years I was in TDCJ I was a very violent and hateful person. Because of this I became known fast and became a high ranking member. I was plaed in Add Seg due to who I was and the viollence I caused.

All my BullitProof Love!!! SNOW (CO)

Dominic B. (PA)

Dear B&P family, Far and few between, I would like to introduce the men of Cambridge Springs, Female Institution. My name is Dominic, but it was not given to me at birth. See, for 9 months they told my parents I

)

Derrick B. (TX)

was to be male and 26 years ago tomorrow I came to this world missing something important. I like to say they were 1/2 right, I am a transmale. 1 of 7 here 1 of 5 actively on HRT. I write to bring to light, on the brothers end of the incarcerated trans family. We are the grease on the shirts of our staff, every day is a struggle that we must leave in the dust. It took me 2 years of consistent badgering, to be the first transmale in Pennsylvania to ever receive testosterone through the system. I am now 10 months and 2 weeks proud, and have worked day and night to create a support group, where I’ve been able to start four of my brothers on T since. However, that is the end to our therapy, our availabilities. Because the policies have been ignored and so have we. So sisters and brothers, you fight with many beside you, know you are not alone. And if I personally have to be sacrificed, they will hear us, see us. The guys and I have begun a litigation case against Cambridge Springs and plan to see it to the fullest extent. To speak for those who won’t, can not and fear so. We are your candlelight in darkest times, remember us. To anyone with the power to do so, your help would be of great appreciation to us. Silence kills and your voice matters. Your 8th amendment is knowledge and power.

(SD

After a couple of years Texas decided to send me out of state to CDOC. There I came into control of all the white boys in the state. I commited some hate crimes and was placed in Add-Seg again. Alone in my cell for 23 hours a day I had a lot of time to reflect on myself and I came to realize I hated gays because they could be their selves and I could not. I started to find myself doing taboo sexual acts on myself. I was released on parole in 2105. While I was on the streets I found myself sneaking out to gay bars and having sex with queens and gays. I ended up getting my parole revoked and coming back to prison. When I got to my yard I told everyone I was not gangbanging anymore and that I was Bi. I got stabbed a total of 13 times and have been placed in the hospital 5 times since then because of me being jumped by multiple people. But I refuse to go to protective custody because this is my karma for all the people I have hurt and hated for no reason. That is why I am saying sorry! I am a Bisexual man in prison and I’m happier now than I ever have been. Even though I lost my family and old friends now that I have told them I am Bi. But I know who I am and I’m proud to not have to hide behind any walls anymore!

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Ja so nH

coming to prison watch and learn from the older “Queens”?? so when they see yall they think its ok to act that way and in reality its not. thats why we have no respect in our community but especially in prison. nobody takes us serious because we dont take ourselfs serious. we let our situations dictate our actions. ask yourself “am i a Queen or a pink??” if your a “Queen” continue to set an example, teach, and dont be selfish. if you a punk, ask yourself “do i want to live like this for the rest of my life??” if not start making a change and “Demand respect”!!!

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Volume 9, Issue 6


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Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

More Letters from Our B&P Family Dear Black & Pink Family, For all of y’all that know me this is Brittany in Terre Haute USP which is in Indiana. How are all my Trans sisters doing and of course the LGB folks as well?? I just had to write again after having read Kristin Schreier Lyseggen’s book entitled “The Woman of San Quentin.” I highly recommend it and give Kristin much Thanks and love that someone actually bothered to give us a voice. Not many people would do that. That is true testimony to Kristin’s character. She and the TGI Justice Project did an excellent job. It was written in 2015, however I just became aware of it this past week. Some of the girl’s names I recognized from having been subscribed for several years now, to Black & Pink. Who also has done a remarkable job at giving us all a voice over the 10+ years. I love this publication. So let me get to my shout outs now. First the girls I know personally that I am no longer on the same yard with. Trish, Kodiac, Markie, T-Bird, Jessie S., Rachael, Kelly and anyone that knows me that I may of missed. Now the shout outs to the girls in the book, this book is 3 years old and some of them may have gone home by now. So if anyone reading this knows them and is in contact please let them know about this please. Janetta from CA, Grace from CA, Ashley Diamond - You poor thing stay strong, Nicole needs her good friend, from GA... Donna from FCI Butner, North Carolina,

Shiloh Quine in the CDCR, Tanesh from Oakland, CA, Jennifer Gann in the CDCR. Keep the revolution alive Jenny I am on the same page as you with my politics as well as my friends. Then last but not least Jazzie from CA, you do great artwork. Oops, one more Daniella out in CA as well. While I am at it, I would also like to say that we all need to keep pushing to get our hormones, bras, panties, laser hair removal, gender reassignment surgeries, as well as any other gender affirming hygiene, clothing or procedure needs to be pushed. Ashley Diamond pushed and won a case, Michelle Norsworthy got her gender reassignment surgery. In the Feds we have hormones, bras, panties and a whole list of feminine hygiene products are coming. As well as pink shoes. So progress is being made albeit slowly. Also, for those of you who do not know Ontario Canada now assesses transgender inmates based on identity, not anatomy. Their policy also states that inmates are referred to by their chosen names and pronouns such as “he”, “she”, or “ze”. Lastly we can choose the gender of the staff person performing searches. Why can’t the USA be like that? A quote from the book that Jenny said. Let’s all think about this: “LGBTQ people should not support and be integrated in a system that oppresses and victimizes our community. Otherwise we are participating in our own oppression! How does this make sense?” A very good point I think she has here. So in closing out I would like to

leave you all with this final thought. “Ubuntu”. It is a South African Nguni term roughly translated as “human kindness”, “humanity toward others”, or more philosophically, “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” That is what we need to achieve. Love you all, Brittany (IN) Dear Black and Pink family! I would first like to say Hello! from Michigan! And thank you to you all who write! you have given me inspiration and help! You all helped me in a time of need not even knowing it! First thanks goes to the “Glamazon: (love that name, Ms. Camila D.F. from Texas (TX)! Girl you gave me the inspiration to come out! With your article in the May 2017 Newsletter! I am recently coming out the closet! I guess I shoulda started with this LMFAO! I am a white 18 yr old, transgender/ transsexual female. I am right now officially pursuing gender dysphoria diagnosis! Thanks to Ms. Camila D.F. from Texas! But yeah, prison has been hell! I’ve always been out the closet as queer! People though I meant I was gay! LOL! Nope you’re girl is trans! Ooh, I forgot this My actual name is Dakota James FisherStockinger! I am trying to change it to Rosalin Tommy Fisher! I go by Rosie now! I use to go by NEMO! LOL! I’ve always had love for Dory though! I do have love though for all my sisters + brothers, mainly my trans sisters! Trans Power! LMFAO! So y’all doing time I wish you the best


Volume 9, Issue 6

because this shit is hard! I am a trans prisoner with a CSC 1st. I caught at 15 and was charged as an adult! Life can be so CRUEL! People in Michigan like to “sell slum” or take shit! Like these people wake up + guess who gets this awesome ass girl! I’m famous! My name is in they mouth like I’m Carrie Underwood they love me! Unfortunately though some love me too much! Had to write a PREA last week cuz soemone thought my ass was available to grab! So humiliating! I get called a rat because I wrote a PREA! Ass backwards situation! But this girl will survive! Love + Blessings, Rosalin aka Rosie (MI) Dear Black and Pink, My name is Robert, but everybody in here calls me Rift-Raft. I would love to give a shout out to all those that make B&P possible. I spent years in denial, but a special someone that crossed paths with me helped me be comfortable with my sexuality in prison. It’s publications such as yours that gives me the courage to stand up to the homo-phobes and overcome the oppression we face in here. Shout out to my Dark Spartan our love and passion can never be quenched! Sincerely, Rift-Raft (IL) Dear Extended Family, I am a 52 year old 6’8” preoperational transsexual who is Caucasian and I am currently incarcerated in one of New York

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State’s most notorious maximum security penitentiaries locates in Comstock, New York. Great Meadow Correctional Facility. This is unfortunately my 6th period of incarceration in New York State. And my 3rd time here. There is a small community of LGBTQI people here. About 3 femme queens. And 5 butch queens. We have our little area in the yard where we hang out and congregate and socialize. For the most part we all have husbands or a significant other! No one bothers us! But the officers are horrendous people in their blatant, trans and homophobic ways. Calling us faggots, degenerates and rejects. I’m almost sure a lot of our beautiful brothers and sisters out there experience the same nightmares on a daily basis. I urge you all to hold your head high. Feel comfortable in your skin. And always be proud of who and what you are. God bless us all. And God bless organizations like Black and Pink. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the ACLU, GMHC and so many others that support us in our daily struggle against oppression. In closing and in solidarity. Kitty (NY) I’m just sitting here in my cell thinking that being a part of the LGBTQ community is hard. I mean it seems everybody hates us these days more than they ever have. It is only the natural human reaction to hate/dislike or feel uncomfortable about something that’s different to them. But for the past few years that hate has gone to [sic] far with

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the tragic shootings and mass hate crimes. What we need to do and what I’ve been doing for years is turn that hate into something good and shrug it off. You shouldn’t care what people think about you when it is on the negative side. Then for all those people “hiding in the closet” still there is no need to do that anymore. You don’t need to be afraid any longer, for you have a huge family in the LGBTQ community that will support you no matter what you do with your sexuality. Louie M. (MI) B+P, Hey everyone, my name is Harlow and i am a casualty to the War on Children. What is the War in Children? It is the system’s victimization of the most vulnerable class of citizens. As a teenager, I was with a friend who killed simone. I was charged under the accountability theory and received a 45 year sentence. In all four kids including our victim had their lives ruined forever. Now, all of us were LGBT kids though most of that came out after the fact. It was focused around the lesbian relationship of the victim and my rappy and partially what convicted her. The midwest rural jury couldn’t handle two girls kissing. Anyway... Momentum is shifting and the B+P family should get into the fight to end the War on children. Gay kids go to prison too, for them it doesn’t get any better. The least we can do is get them the chance at life they never had. Miller V Alabama, ct2455,2464(2012)

1132s. states


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that”children are constitutionally different from adults of purposes of sentencing.”

I’m Joel, rhymes with Noel, and I recently made my 28th trip around the sun. I’m a bisexual male.

Montgomery V Louisiana 577U.S._1365CT718(2016) “Miller did bar life without parole... for all but the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility. McKinley V Butler No14-1994 Argued Oct 30th 2015, makes the argument that de facto life should also apply.

Many of us have suffered while in prison, more so than others around us. It’s crucial for our well being to write and speak about our distressing thoughts and painful experiences. Some of us can’t even be ourselves, showing those around us just our shell or an elaborate cover story we struggle to maintain.. I tried to hide and go solo at first, but as time went by I became exhausted. I chose ultimately to be me. Instead of avoiding members of our community, I finally made deep and meaningful connections. Being truly yourself is the most free you will feel within these walls.

We who are the ones enduring the War on Childern must fight in the courts. Those who are not must demand that their children be protected, not criminalized. I never killed anyone. I did have a part and deserve to pay for my mistakes. My whole life is too much though. Even for my rappy who received 53 years, it was too much. I’m doing research and honestly am doing the best I can without knowing how to do law. Anyone who can impart legal advice or connect me with some activists to better myself, shoot me a scribe. Inmate letters not allowed directly xoxoxo Harlow (IL) Being human we have the ability to form an identity and to then attach a value to it. No other creature or animal in the world can do that. In other words, we have the capacity to define who we are and then decide if we like that identity or not. I came across this the other day and it’s just another amazing trait we have. I’ve been fascinated about the human mind and now even more so given my current situation.

October/November 2018

Black & Pink News

Being in here it’s so easy to focus on simply being ourselves. We humans are naturally social beings – our friends, family, and social networks like B&P are our emotional and practical support.

Dear Black and Pink, My name is Demon. I am #8 years old. I weight 172 lbs. My height is 5’11”. I have a bald head and brown eyes. I am a black bisexual male. i have been bisexual since I was 20 years old. I have been keeping it a secret for a long time. I will come out and reveal my secret when I get out of prison in 2020. I am looking for a companion. I will always support LGBTQ community until the day I die. i would like if Black and Pink can find me a companion... I would like to contact Ms Juicy (NV). I want to tell her I read her letter in the April/May 2018 issue of the Black and Pink Newsletter and she inspired me to come out the closet and be myself... I am right now incarcerated in a prison in Florida. Thank you Black and Pink. I love the Newsletter. Demon (FL)

Last week I read a book that said, “develop interest in life as you see it – in people, things, literature, music. The world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” Nevertheless, you can certainly face life’s hardships or joys on your own. However, sharing your deep throughts and experiences with another being forms an emotional bond our bodies have been craving for. Yes, these walls still surround us, but you can create something meaningful and know you aren’t alone. “In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

Your words encourage me Open my eyes so I can see No matter the degree of difficulty You are always there for me Sometimes I think life can be The chains that refrain inside of me Holding my peace and not letting release the chance I can be free of the turmoil inside which I try to hide So that no one can see inside of me I start to believe what I see In the mirror, the world lies to me Black & Pink, your encouraging words are happily A reminder that you are there for me to send your love No matter what page my life’s chapter may be. Thank you for just reminding me what love truly is designed to be !!! :)

Joel (RI)

by Thomas N. (NC)


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Volume 9, Issue 6

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In My Mouth: A Christmas Story by Vidda (OR)

velveeta.

Quite literally the most beautiful experience in my mouth... to date! It’s Christmas afternoon, December 25th, 2016 at 3:10pm. I’m in solitary confinement, in the SHU ( special housing unit), in administrative segregation - involuntary. (More like kidnapped!)

A huge let down was the cappuccinoin which a very small bag was mostly hot chocolate mix with a very little coffee.

During the month of December, the “suits” decided to allow us to be able to purchase food items from the “canteen”. Each Friday we get a canteen sheet slipped in through the crack in the door. (Normally we order store every two weeks - but December it’s every week). On the front page is the usual canteen list ie: soap, shampoo, conditioner, envelopes, denture cleanser, toothpaste, blah blah blah. On the new canteen sheet, on the back, is a special holiday “Seasons Greetings!” Of course it’s religiously & politically correct. There are snowflakes on it, purely decoration... we’re not allowed real snowflakes, although the ground outside is full of them. (We’ve not been allowed out). There are: Little Debbies, Hot tamales, Hershey’s “Candy Cane” Holiday Chocolate Bars, Chocolate covered peanuts, a couple types of Kool-Aid, some fish products, summer sausage, salami, a type of block cheese & a jalapeño squeeze cheese from

Also on this list was graham crackers and marshmallows. Both normal size containers - a large size box of crackers and a large normal size of marshmallows. Unfortunately, there were no regular chocolate bars to make s’mores with. Also a bummer, but i’m grateful for the chance to eat like a fat kid. “Prices and availability are subject to change without notice. We reserve the right to limit quantities.” Which means once they are out of a product - sorry about your luck. It also means: we can only order one of each product each week. So even though there’s a box next to each product & you could figuratively mark 3 on each box.... We are only allowed 1 of each. So i’ve been gorging on canteen all month, and i’ve gained a few pounds, don’t judge me. The cost of one of each of the products came out to $49.78, just the holiday list. I’m grateful that I could afford one of each for all 4 weeks. I haven’t been without since i’ve been down ( 3 1/2 years so far). Another reason to be thankful, my artwork has been the wind beneath my wings my whole life, why should prison be any different? Ok the point of the story: Yesterday December 24th, 2016, at 9:30am, just like every year, the

kitchen makes a cookie (chocolate chip) and a piece of chocolate fudge for every single inmate at the prison. (Plus I’m sure the correction officers get their share as well). Also we got a 16oz can of Pepsi each. As soon as I got mine I gobbled it up so fast, I was in heaven! As soon as I was done, I jumped up out of bed (yes I ate them - crumbs & all - in my bed!) I went to my door and yelled out that I was willing to pay 5 lopes (envelopes $0.58 each) for anyone willing to provide me with their holiday treats. 5 lopes for the fudge & 5 lopes for the cookie. I bought 2 fudges & 1 cookie (soda bottles won’t fit through the crack in the door. So sodas weren’t even on the table for discusssion). I immediately gluttons the second cookie & fudge. But... I was feeling a little hypoglycemic, so i put the last piece of fudge away & forgot about it until about 2:15pm today.... Christmas. So I lined the graham crackers & loaded them with a marshmallows... cut up the fudge and made little bite sized bastard s’mores. Let me explain the angelic choir of bliss that was “exquisitely exhilarating (pleasingly wonderful stimulated) to my taste buds”. I placed one (it made 16 total) on my back left row of teeth - molars and as I started to close my jaw,


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the first sensation was the spongey give of the uncooked marshmallow. As I gave more pressure to the “cupid’s gift” the cookie cracker gave way and broke into crumbly, sweet pieces of gum scratchy goodness. The first taste was of the graham cracker, but as I took another chew, the marshmallow and the fudge both melted into a medley of candy coated sin. My eyes closed, and mouth watering, I couldn’t imagine anything more complete. Of all the campfire s’mores as a kid or as a grown up kid. Self made or made and pushed into my mouth by my date... with substitutes of 3 musketeers or Recees peanut butter cup. Even a sticky mess made & offered by children couldn’t compete with the confection I’d ingested today for Christmas. Even though I’m alone, with the person I love & hate the most in my life, me. I’m grateful to have experienced this amazing moment in my life, that I felt that I needed to record this majestic picnic. Made on the “Jimmy-Jams” (long johns) with my legs folded indian style on my bed... on the sheets with covers pulled back. I’ll curse this Christmas day, tonight when I lay down to block out this entire Christmas. Just another Ground Hog day in the sentence I’ve provided for myself.

Black & Pink News

Dear B&P, My name is Shaun. I am 29 years old. Throughout my life, I have been in and out of psychiatric wards/hospitals, state psychiatric hospitals, adolescent treatment facilities, foster care homes, juvenile detention centers, juvenile correctional facilities, and now in an adult prison within the Kansas Department of Corruption (Corrections). I am currently a gay male, wanting to be a female Daisy Duke type (straight country woman). I want to give a shout out to my other half, Jamerrel “Hay” Everett, who is currently housed at a Secure Institution in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Just an FYI, I responded to your letter. I firmly believe that the institution where you’re housed at is not letting my mail get to you. As of right now, I do not know when I’m getting out as that will be determined by the KS Prisoner Review Board. I will see the board (for the 6th time) in December 2018. I was sentenced in August 2011 to serve 24 months in prison with a lifetime period of postrelease supervision. I received a postrelease supervision guidelines violation on October 30, 2012. My revocation hearing was held on December 18, 2012. According to KS Laws, I was only required to serve a six-month period of confinement to begin on the date of the revocation hearing before the board, but I was informed that even though I was sentenced under the new law (KS Sentencing Guidelines Act) the lifetime postrelease was being treated as the definition of life parole under the old law (preKSGA/before July 1, 1993). This is defined as cruel and unusual punishment which violates section 9 of the Kansas Bill of Rights and

October/November 2018

the Eight Amendment of the United States Constitution. If there is anybody that would supply me a law firm to write to that would help me that would be greatly appreciated and thank you very much. Much love fam, Shaun/Lil Mama/Ashley (KS) xoxoxo What an amazing life; the best of both worlds. The thoughts we think, the experiences we’ve been through. They don’t understand us or have any idea about this era and our power. They’re lost when it comes to our lifestyle. That’s why they’re against us and they say so many negative things about us. We bring brilliance to this world. To this life just by being ourselves. We bring emotions and a certain type of energy out of others that they never thought they had. We cause many to be lost for words. We attract so much attention in such a way that others find it difficult to express themselves, but they know their feelings towards this lifestyle. There is so much that have been accomplished and still much more to go, but when one can see things ahead of time or envision success for our people, a certain feeling will over-come you as you think these thoughts. “LISTEN” to it and take action to make a difference. We got gifts! We are something so many would love to be, but they don’t know how to let it out, or are afraid to just be themselves. As we continue to pave the way and make history; we


Volume 9, Issue 6

should know our life, be our life, get out life, and live our life safely. WE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD! LISTEN to “Life” all the time and love it. Our time is now. “Knowing” and “understanding” is the key. I love you my L.G.B.T.Q. people! Y’all are my heart. But please we need to continue to be as peaceful with each other as possible. We’re all in this family together... Please stick together! Love y’all “Joseph” aka “Knowledge” (IL) To my Brothers and Sisters behind the wall, My name is Chris, gay guy from South Boston, Massachusetts locked up in North Carolina. I have just recently started receiving Black & Pink and am impressed and pleased to find a national platform for the rights of the incarcerated LGBT community. Being locked up is hard, being locked up and gay is even harder. I’m 15 years into a 25 year bid and for a long time have been dismayed by the lack of understanding most inmates have of what their rights are and how to fight for them. It has also alarmed me how the “free world” has allowed their states and federal government to pass laws that put burdensome restrictions on the rights of those all ready marginalized by being incarcerated. The election of Donald Trump has created a national awakening of interest in the U.S. Constitution. This is a good thing. It’s about time the majority started paying attention

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to and fighting for what the minority communities have been fighting for tooth and nail for a long, long time, their civil rights, their basic human rights. The following is a brief overview of rights granted by the U.S. Constitution that apply to those behind bars. This is in no way an all inclusive list.. The courts have through case law given more specific rights to prisoners. On the flip-side, federal legislators and courts have put restrictions on some constitutional rights of prisoners, in some instances, allowing prison officials to outright violate the rights of prisoners. The “Privileges and Immunities” clause of Article IV, the “Petition” clause of the 1st Amendment, the “Due Process” clause of the 5th Amendment, and the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th Amendment all guarantee prisoners access to the courts. This means your prison system cannot keep you from suing them in your fight for your rights. In fact, they have to provide you with the material to do so. However, Congress enacted the “Prison Litigation Reform Act” that has made it costly and requires prisoners to jump through multiple hoops that no other person has to go through to file a lawsuit. The purpose behind this “Act” was to discourage prisoners from suing the government for their civil rights. Don’t fall for it. Fight to be treated like a human being. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of

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happiness.” The 5th Amendment guarantees “due process of law.” The 14th Amendment guarantees “the equal protection of the laws.” However, the federal courts have created, through case law, extremely narrow definitions of how prisoners can retain these rights. With the case, “Turner v. Safely, 482 US 78, 89, 107 S. ct 2254 (1987)”, the U.S. Supreme Court gave prison officials the authority to create policies that violate inmate civil rights as long as they could show that the policy was “reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.” The courts, as a rule, don’t like to micromanage prisons so they tend to side with prison officials when it comes to believing whether a policy has a legitimate basis to the safe and secure operation of a prison. With this in mind, being LGBT is not a crime. It has no impact in the safety and security of any prison facility. Homophobia is not a “legitimate penological interest.” Prison officials claim gay prisoners disrupt the prison environment so they allow staff to harass or put us in the hole. This is sexual harassment. The “Prison Rape Elimination Act” bans sexual harassment in all forms. It also bans retaliation by staff when you report them. Learn who your facility PREA representative is. Fight the bullies, for for your dignity. The 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” This means that when a staff member puts their hands on you, they can only use enough force to do whatever they are trying to accomplish. If sexual harassment is severe enough, it could fall under this Amendment. Multiple federal courts have determined that


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calculated harassment of frequent cell searches without penological justification may b e constituted as cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Congress has classified sleep deprivation as torture. Therefore, cell lights that are on 24/7 are a violation of the Constitution. If you believe your 8th Amendment rights have been violated, make sure you document everything, the who, what, where, when, and how. Make sure you document any medical attention you get or try to get as well. Doing all of this will make a difference when you fight to be treated like any other human being. Section 1 of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime where of the party shall be duly convicted.” This Amendment was meant to abolish slavery. It didn’t work. The “Power Elite” just exchanged the slave owner with a prison warden and the plantation with a prison. This Amendment is often referred to as the “Punishment Clause.” Is this not in conflict with the 8th Amendment? Whats is more cruel and unusual than being subject to the offensive and dehumanizing practice, a practice that carries nothing but haunting negativity, While the courts have made actual slave conditions (not really) illegal, the word slavery still carries with it the connotation of someone less than human. Being convicted of a crime does not make someone any less human. Nor does being LGBT. I hope this information helps not just LGBT prisoners, but all prisoners, stand up and fight for their basic human rights. I hope I have prodded prisoners to learn what their rights are and “free-worlders” to question their state and federal legislators

Black & Pink News

reasoning for restricting the basic human rights and simple dignity of those incarcerated, those that the courts have already punished for their crime. I implore all prisoners to learn about the U.S. Constitution, their State Constitution, their prison system Policies & Procedures, their Facility Administrative Grievance Procedure, the Prison Rape Elimination Act and how to navigate through the Prison Litigation Reform Act. We are human beings are deserve to be treated as such regardless of what we’ve done, the color of our skin, or who we love. LGBT rights have never been freely given, they have always been fought for. If you don’t know how to fight, please learn. If you can’t fight, please support those that are. Everyone has to participate in this struggle for our basic human rights. Everyone has to participate in the struggle to overcome the animosity toward us because of who we love or how we feel inside. I want to wish all my brothers and sisters behind the wall the best in finding an understanding ear to listen or a hug to help you through your day. Chris R. and Nash CI (NC) Dear Black and Pink Family, Before I continue my letter I’d like to respond to a letter I read on the Volume 8 Issue 1 Series, the One and Only Lance S Story. I am so sorry for your loss and want you to know that I can truly relate. My story is as follows. I am a transwoman that goes by the name of Luna meaning Moon in Latin. Anyway back to the point of writing. When I was

October/November 2018

born back in 1980 I wasn’t the only one that came into the world that day, before I entered the world my brother had came in 5 min before me. We were given the names Patricio & Dickey later to be known by are LGBTQ family and friends as Dark Sky & Dark Moon. My twin is my life he is who made me stronger. He is who made me realize that it is okay to be who you want to be. Growing up I was openly bi losing my soul-mate Lee in a car accident on July 4, 1998. I moved on never forgetting about him. In 2000 my twin brother was sent back to prison to serve a 40 yr prison term. I was so sad that he would never spend a physical B-day with me for a very long time. In early 2002 I received a prison term of 6 years in TDCJ. While there, I was allowed to visit my brother 2 times. I have never forgot those two visits. In 2007 my brother was diagnosed with HIV. I was mad at him for not taking care of himself. In 2008 I was released and swore to him that I would never forget him or write to him. Because of . Alcohol &Drugs I did not keep my promise. But I was eventually able to talk to him on the phone. In 2013 I was a proud father of my first son Cameron Patricio and a year later a proud father of my first daughter Naomi Maria. My twin was so happy that I gave my sons middle name as his. But my happiness was short-lived. On Thanksgiving of 2015 I was arrested for fighting with my kids’ mother. 5 months later the Feds charged me with a crime that I truly did not understand. Anyway I was given 262 months and said goodby to my formal life. I was sentenced in Sept 2016 my mother passed away 4 days after I was sentenced. That was very devastating for me. I wasn’t allowed to go to her funeral.


Volume 9, Issue 6

I was then transfered to the BOP system. On July 4 of 2017 I was sexually assaulted at the FCI . I was furious. I was put on suicide watch. After getting out I wrote my twin a letter stating that I was going to kill myself. I didn’t think the letter was going to go out because all the other letters were being stopped. But some how it went out. Only July 19, 2017 I was informed that my twin brother had took his own life. I blame myself for his death because of the letter I sent to him. I think he felt that if I was gonna kill myself he was gonna do it too. The pain & guilt I feel is so untolerable. I really feel like ending my life, but my dad has made me promise to not end my life. He told me to think about Cameron Patricio and Naomi Maria. So thats how I keep living. As for Dark Sky & Dark Moon we will again, one day, be together again. Twin Sisters 4 Life David G AKA Luna (GA) Black and Pink News letter, First and foremost, shout it out to all my sisters & brothers who are part of L.G.B.T.Q. community. I would like to say thank you to Black & Pink, for helping our community, our brothers and sisters, who are part of the L.G.B.T.Q. community by helping bring us all together with the Black & Pink newsletter magazine. I received a few Black & Pink newsletter magazine through one of our sisters who is locked up with me. I wish that I new about the Black & Pink newsletter at the beginning of my bid, because my bid would have went a lot smoother.

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I keep on saying to myself how amazing this is to know that this kind of magazine exists to help our community stay in-touch with one another. This is my fist time writing to Black & Pink, I would like to say thank you for creating something so special for our community. Thank you. My name is Kaitlynn, I’m a 29 year old white transgender female, who is almost done with her time. I’m currently on a max out of 2 to 6 years, for breaking an order of protection twice. So I got 2 counts of E felonies. But I’m putting my time to good use by learning different things. I’m just getting

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started with my gender dysphoria treatment by getting an evaluation done. My next step is hormone therapy program. Which I’ll start here in prison then complete in the streets by going through the S.R.S. - sexual reconstruction surgery. I’ve been living in a male’s body for a long time, 29 years now and been unhappy. I’m a female who is trapped in a male’s body which is always depressing. I’m jealous of females. They have everything I want & need. They don’t have this disgusting thing between their legs that i Do & I can’t stand it. So I envy females & I’m jealous of females at the same time. They have the body, the breast, the ass, & pussy that I

By Kaylin (TX)


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want, need, & crave for. I hate my body as a male. I kind of look like a female. My body kind of, eyes, long hair, & face and stomach. But no ass or breasts, or hips. Or a female pussy. Only a man’s pussy. I get attention from the boys or man. But I’m not really interested in dating people in prison. I’m afraid to catch something or abused by one of these people & since I go home March 2019, I’m good. I’ll find my special someone when I go home & he will know how to treat a lady. Besides that I want to say thank you to Black & Pink, for helping my brothers & sisters of my L.G.B.T.Q. community & say I love all of my brothers and sisters the L.G.B.T.Q. I love all of my brothers & sisters of L.G.B.T.Q. community and Black & Pink. Keep your heads up, know that you have someone out here who loves you all, who is thinking about you & who wants to tell you to keep out of trouble & keep fighting for your rights. Also don’t listen to them negative people who say biased things & discriminate against us. We are bigger than them & they are just jealous of us. Love you all & take care. I’ll write back soon.

Black & Pink News

I have been incarcerated for over 15 years. For the first time in my thirtynine years, I can see the possibility of getting out. I’m scared! I have always known what I felt inside, and who I was. Except to the world I was something all together different. I was a womanizing, guntoting, drug abusing gangster. All that to hide that I’m a loving, caring, sincere, artistic person... I’ve accepted who I am a long time ago, and for the first time I love me! But I didn’t come out to the world till 2000. I’ve lost some family and

October/November 2018

some so-called friends. I’ve never regretted my decision. I’ve kept my head up no matter what the whispers said, or how the officers harassed and degraded me. I think now when I get out, then what? I see the parole board in 2020, and it’s coming fast. I do have some family support. I’m grateful for each and every one of them. What worries me are the ones who used to know me, and what will come with that? I just want to tell everyone to keep your head up and never ever give up or give in! There’s a brighter

Very sincerely yours, Kaitlynn / Ryan (NY) Dear Black and Pink, My name is Antonio, and this is my first attempt to write to Black and Pink. I have really enjoyed reading some old newsletters. I’ve found them to be very helpful and supportive to me, and it lets me know that I am not alone in facing the challenges as an inmate in the MDOC. I feel so proud to know that I am a part of such a strong, loving, and forgiving family...

By Jack M. (NV)


Volume 9, Issue 6

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day ahead and you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Sounds cliche but it’s true. Thank you my fellow brothers and sisters for your help and I hope that your struggle and life is full with love!

One particular morning I woke up in a cold sweat and this is what poured out. I don’t know if others can relate or not, I just hope it touches someone and lets them know they’re not alone. Here it goes:

I will like to close by sending my strength and solidarity out to all of our family inside and outside of the walls. Most if not all of us have faced hardship, pains, and traumas that would have destroyed the wills of the average individual and caused them to back away from the perceived “sin” to society...

-To Who Ever Gives a...

The Realest Antonio (MI) Dear Black & Pink Family, My name is Ben and I’m doing time out here in the boonies of Colorado. I am new to the Black & Pink community, in fact the Oct/Nov ‘17 issue was the first newsletter I got and it was awesome, truly awesome. I hope to receive many more newsletters and be an active member of the Black & Pink family/ movement for years to come. Here is a little about me. I turn 35 yrs young at the end of March, making me an Aries. Like many, I’ve always struggled with personal identity issues and a sexuality crisis. About a year ago I met someone, here on the inside, who helped me see the real me and more importantly helped me have the courage to finally attempt to be the real me and show who I am to the rest of the world. A month or so after meeting this special person I chose to come out to my friends and family both on the inside and out there in the “real world.” Even though no one seemed to bat an eye, it was still one of the scariest moments of my life to date.

I feel like a newly born camel dying of thirst at the oasis, not knowing how to take a drink. Ever since I came out I’ve been lost, yet somehow free from the internal shame and self-loathing, but still lost in the fog of it all just the same. I feel alone in the density like the only one who’s been there, but I know I am not, there have been many more, maybe even you. Even though I feel alone and it hurts, there is a familiar/comfortable sting in the hurt of that aloneness and as much as I want to Love and be loved, to touch and be touched, to see and be seen, I am still hiding away in the fog. Maybe once I learn how to take a drink and be the real me (who/whatever that is), for once in my life, the fog will lift and my dreams will come true. Maybe then I’ll be whole, but until then I remain lost in pieces. Coming out in prison has been a glorious nightmare full of fear and angst, but coming out in general has been the most liberating and soothing thing I’ve ever done in my life. The contradictory duality of this messes with my head a little. Although I’m more comfortable and okay with living and being in my own skin than I ever have been before I am still petrified to show and share that blossoming process to the rest of the world, I knew how to be the old me, the fake imposter version of myself very well. It was easy. When

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I was always hiding behind a mask nobody ever really knew or saw the real ME and I never really had to get RAW and/or vulnerable. There was always a certain level of autonomy to it all, but now that I’ve removed the mask and others can see more of me than ever before and I finally get to be RAW and vulnerable there’s no more autonomy and that’s scary as hell. Since I have no idea how to be the new/improved version of myself yet I sometimes want to put the masks back on but I know it’s not really ME. Universe please take care of me and show me the way. I desperately want and need to know how to operate inside the new me coming out has created. (Stop. ) I’d also really like the thank Alana from Nashville, TN and Lyndsie for their holiday greetings. Y’alls warm and caring words really touched me. :) Thank you so much. With peace, love, & happiness, Ben from Colorado P.S. This is my first time writing in to Black & Pink. For those of you wondering whether or not you can or should...whatever... Yes! You can. & yes! you should. Believe me, you owe it to yourself to set yourself free. Yall are not alone. Take care everyone. I love you all. Be well and have an abundance of peace, love, & happiness in your lives. Dear LGBT Folks, In the last presidential election a large number of the sheeple sat back on their dead asses, watching sports on TV and smoking dope. They did


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not go out to vote against Trump. So now we are stuck with a fascist, right wing, fundamentalist christian supporting demagog who is going to pack the Supreme Court with black robbed monsters who think just like him. So folks, when LGBT, racial minority, and poor people’s civil rights (gains since the Civil Rights Act of 1964) get flushed down the toilet, don’t complain. You let it happen by your inaction and sloth. And women, when Roe v. Wade is overturned and the Court basically affirms that a woman’s body is under control of the State, then don’t cry when you are denied abortion and/ or reproductive rights. You too, like the male sheeple who did not vote, let it happen. So Black & Pink editors, hows about you do a short article (statement?) for your readers encouraging you readers to contact their friends and relatives outside, and tell them to get off that couch and get active in one or more of the activist/reform organizations around the country. Years ago a smart man told me a valid axiom. It was “Politics is like a club laying on a table. If you don’t pick it up and hit me with it, I will pick it up and hit you with it.” Sincerely, John T. (CO) Dear Black and Pink family -Hello my name is Jose H. aka Texaz. I am 35 years old and I have been bisexual since I was 12 yrs old. I started liking boys first I had my first 3some with two of my best friends

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at age of 12. One of my friends was 14 years old and the other friend of mine was 17 years old. I was in love with my oldest best friend or should I say we were both in love with each other until me and my family moved from Brownsville TX to Indianapolis IN where my life was terrible. I started getting molested by my father’s friend. I wanna shout out to both of my best friends Pedro and Giyermo for being there for me and showing me who I really am. I am here in this crazy prison for 2nd degree assault and engaging in a riot and sentenced to 4 years for protecting my girlfriend from getting beat up by some friend that went crazy over dope. I thought she loved me but coming to realize she never did. She knew I was bisexual so was she and I thought our relationship was good but it was all a lie. It was only for me to get her out of the past relationship she was in before. When she went to jail I was alone on the streets where I met this guy named Junior and he took me in and he was gay as well. The whole point of this letter is sometimes love is blind and sometimes it ain’t. Just to make sure that you or anybody that reads this is in love with that person cause love hurts real bad. Since I have been in this prison I have been single. Not trying to mess with anybody at this point yet. May be there is this one guy by the name of Carlos he is down to earth nice and easy to get along with but then again in this prison there is a lot of people who hate guys like us. I have kept it a secret from inmates here about my sexuality. But others that I used to live with in another unit know my sexuality as bisexuality. This unit I am in there are some that are real political if that’s how you say it. In a way it’s scary to let this unit I am in know that I am bisexual

October/November 2018

especially my celly I wouldn’t know how he would take it. I wanna send shoutouts to LGBTQ and Black and Pink for welcoming me to the Family. I have been getting Black and Pink newsletters for maybe a year. I have wrote to get penpals. I am lonely and wanting to get to know new people and want new friends. Thanks to my best friend that I had here. His name is Nathan Randall for introducing me to Black and Pink as well. If he still gets Black and Pink I wanna say this to him: I love you Randall I miss you buddy. Keep your head up and we will be together again soon. Thank you for accepting me in your family. I love ya everybody keep your head up and stay strong they can’t hold us for ever. Love always, Jose H aka Texaz (CO) My dear Black and Pink family, I hope and pray this letter finds you all in good health mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Let me start off by introducing myself. I’m a 37 year old transgender white inmate in a male prison. I’m currently working on getting started hormone therapy, but am getting the run around. I’ll keep fighting until I get them. Here at South Woods State Prison the LGBT community aren’t exactly well liked. I’m writing today to tell a little of my story in hopes that some brothers and sisters out there who are still afraid to come out and be who they truly are will be helped and comforted by my struggle. I want them to know they are not alone, as I have felt on many occasions. So, if this letter is printed, may it help someone who may be struggling with coming out


Volume 9, Issue 6

and being the real you. My whole life, I have always known I was different than all the other boys. I knew I was a girl inside, but didn’t know there were others like me. I was scared to say anything or to ask for help. I was terrified of what people would think, terrified of being shunned by my family and friends. So, I hid my thoughts and feelings, burying it all deep down inside. I would lie to everyone, myself included, always putting on a charade just to blend in with society. For years, I tried to be what everyone around me wanted me to be, always trying to please everyone else and hurting myself. No matter what I tried to be, the ladies’ man, the tough guy, the good son, nothing felt right. I was always living a lie. It took a lot for me to fully come out. I fought with coming out for years before I finally gained the courage. Every time I had a chance to be honest and come out, I would freeze up and deny or get defensive. I was uneducated on what was wrong with me and scared to try to research it in fear of someone finding out, and I didn’t even know where to begin anyway. For years, I buried myself in drug use, was very depressed, and struggled with suicide. I hated myself. I felt forced to live a lie just to fit in with society. I was the geeky, skinny kid with the big goofy glasses. I was the odd kid, always playing with the girls, playing with dolls, and watching girlie cartoons like Care Bears, My Little Pony, and JEM. I was always picked on for being a geek and a feminine boy, so I really didn’t want anyone to know my true feelings. About the age of twelve, I would secretly dress in my mother’s clothes and make-up whenever I

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was home alone. I even went as far as stealing some of my mom’s and cousin’s panties and hiding them so I could secretly wear them under my clothes just to feel more like a girl. As I got older, I tried more and more to be a “real man”; fighting, sleeping with multiple women, showing no emotion. But, the harder I tried to keep up the charade, the more depressed I became. I was far from happy, going in and out of jail for years. I first came out as being bisexual at the age of 25 just to judge everyone’s reactions. Surprisingly, people were accepting. So, about two years later, I came out a little more, telling everyone I am more gay than bi. Sure, I lost some friends, but my family and my real friends stuck by me. However, I was still scared to fully reveal my true thoughts and feelings, so I kept up the “manly” persona. In 2015, I went to federal prison in Marianna FCI. There, I met another transgender named Nicole. It was her, who helped me learn what my feelings truly meant, and to help me gain the courage to finally come out to my family, friends, and the world as who I really am: Lisa Autumn. Although I am still struggling to get on hormones, I am finally happy to be able to tell everyone I am transgender and I am proud. I hope hearing part of my story helps someone who may be suffering with depression or fear of being the real them. I want them to know they are not alone. Being free to be the real you is always better than living a lie. I’d like to say thank you to Nicole, Quack, Squinty, and Frankie. You’ve all been major influences in my life and helped me become free. And, to Jay (NJ) in the February/

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March ‘18 newsletter, you are not alone. I’m in South Woods, too. So, I know how you feel. Just be you. Forget about everyone else. And, to all my Black and Pink family, I love you all and am keeping you all in my prayers. I’m on the pen-pal list, so if you need a friend, write me. Blessed be! In solidarity, Lisa Autumn (William), NJ Dear Black and Pink: I did just want to say a few things to my fellow prisoners and anybody else. I can’t imagine ALL of the anxieties and struggles many prisoners go thru due to the stigma that comes with being gay or other especially inside prison. WHere you really don’t have any separate place, but are always, for the most part, around others that belittle you or frown on you because of your status. I didn’t know all that the Black and Pink magazine was about and I don’t agree with everything, but I do know that everybody is valuable and has life. Life to bring and life to brighten up situations all around us. I have also experienced rejection and despair. A loneliness that came weighing heavy on top of me. Feeling that I really can’t carry this burden. Or that I really can’t be strong, to go on any more. Having thoughts of how am I going to make it under the heaviness of the situation. I wanted to write because I know many are feeling the same way, and so I tell you that God does love you. He loves us. Don’t forget that. Regardless of how you feel.


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Regardless of how you think. Your beliefs or you think your alone, or unworthy. Because those things are not true. I feel like you’re so valuable you don’t even realize it. You don’t even realize your potential. If you could just see it. If we could all just look inside. Look what’s inside us. Utilizing that, to not just look at how the situation is, but how it could be. Remember the saying that sorrow may last the night, but joy comes in the morning. What truly gave me peace and joy about myself is when I looked at the life of Jesus. He was just like us - I mean he was hated, rejected by man. A man of sorrows, familiar with sadness, he was also disrespected. He was not regarded, but was oppressed. He was beaten and even was killed for his lifestyle. I really do believe that that’s the way. His way was right. To not just look at our circumstances (whether past or present) but looking at who you could be in your future. Written with good regards and wishes. Daniel (IL) Dear Momma, Listen, I have probably written this letter over and over, a thousand times or more. Each time I destroy it, because I can never find the courage to send it. I have learned with time that your motherly love is unconditional. Which I am more than grateful for. I just don’t want this skeleton that I dance with in my closet to be that straw that broke the camel’s back. There is much more to me than what meets the eye, and

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has been that way for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always been “different.” Never “one of the guys”. Always awkward and out of the place. I’m not the man the world has grown to know with time. The façade I created to mask myself, and blend in to the world around me, was nothing more than a lie. I am about to share with you my deepest and darkest secret, because I’m tired of hiding. This ‘hiding” has done nothing but harm to me mentally. Personality disorders, depression, drug use, etc. As I said, I’m “tired of hiding”. I just want to be happy and love the skin I’m in. Laying everything on the table, I’ll give you the details for the beginning. I guess I’d say the first time I noticed this feeling was when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It was during that brief period when Donna and Jody had temporary custody of me. It was Stephanie and Kimberly who gave me my first “makeover”. They dressed me from head to toe in Kim’s clothes, put makeup on me, and painted my nails. For that brief moment I felt a sense of completeness, like that was what I truly meant to be. Then, Melissa would do makeovers on me, when MawMaw Thomas would babysit me. I felt happy and pretty. Same with Kristy, who would do my hair and make up for fun. Don’t you remember all those times that women’s clothes were found hidden, stashed away in the bathroom over the years I was growing up? They were mine…. During that time, when the bathroom door was shut, I could be “me”. I could dress up for that brief time, look in the mirror, and be “happy”, if only briefly. I always hid it, because I was scared. I was scared of the rejection I was sure I’d receive. I’ll never forget the beating I received from Daniel, with

October/November 2018

him yelling “are you some kind of gay!” when he found women’s clothes stashed in the vent in the bathroom. I was raised to believe it was wrong. So, I hid how I truly felt from the world, resulting in my deep seated depression. My depression then resulted in my drug use, and all those years of womanizing. I remember a time when you said I changed my women like my underwear. I did that, breaking hearts, to seem like a macho badass, so to speak. HOW I FEEL INSIDE IS NOT WRONG! I was born this way. In 25 years it has not changed. Hiding it from the world, and not being myself is what’s wrong. I am still scared. Scared that after you read this, you will disown me and turn your back on me. Scared that you won’t support my right to be happy…. This is probably the hardest part of my transition. The opening up and expressing to those I love, that this is who I am. While in prison, I’m given the chance to work on myself from all angles. When I am released, I will be a whole new person. I just hope you will be there for me the whole way. I love you so much Momma…. For now I close…. With all my love…. Ex animo, Sinclair (NC) Hi! My name is Ms. Charlie E. I am a male to female however I label myself as a woman not a transgender. In May 20, 2009, I had received my first degree in biblical counseling which is the same type of degree for family counseling. In January 1, 2013 I had received an order for mthe Concil at St. John the Evangelist Fraternity and Pace e Bene Fraternity at Graterford, Pennsylvania. Welcomg me, Ms. Charlie E. as a High Priest. Which


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if you look at the Holy Bible (it does not matter if you never read the Bible or not) and go to Hebrews 6:20; whither the forerunner to is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Mel-chris-ed-ec then go to Galatian 4:1-7; Now I saw that the heir, as long as he is a child, differth nothing from a servant, though he be lorde of all; 2. But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the Father. 3. even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his on, made of a wen, (the man holds the egg not the women but the child can only come out of the women) (know how can a son be of a women?) made under the law (of man) 5. To redeem them that were under the law (of man) that we might receive the adaption of sons. 6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son in to your hearts. crying Ab-B Father 7. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, then a heir of God. That is my pedentrouls(?) of who and what I Ms. Charlie E. is about and I am not a heir say becaouse I have documents to prove what he says I am because I am the who I am thats letting you know that he is Father God that had spoken the words to prophets in the Bible. I am the continuance of the death on the cross of the one who died on the cross. I know how you all feel because the way we are born. Then we let others as well as our families know. But yet we are told by the ones who love us the most you can get it fixed, or I love you because your my brother, sister ,and etc. We speak to preachers, pastor, and etc. in a church they show us throughout the

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bible on what Father God supposed to say about homosexuality. Then we feel a lost worse than before. We are taken to see a head shrink, they tell us we can retrain your brain so you can be helped. We look at them and don’t say anything because what they said but yet we have no idea why they don’t add up to what we know and how we feel. Yea they do not understand a birth defect can also be someone’s sex organs.

you, in the night there will be two men in the same bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. v. 35. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37. And they answered and said unto him, where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

I Ms. Charlie E. am here to help you because I am like you with a birth defect of men sex organs when I am a woman. The truth about homosexuality is once you are born that way you can not change the way you are but the thing you do. If you’re a transgender you can get breasts and/or sex change.

Question on v. 36 who said which man is a heterosexual and which one is the homosexual? Otherwise who cares who you sleep with one will go well the other will stay. If you love a man or a woman like you love a woman get married and stop letting others control your life and happiness!! Live for yourself, then love Father God then your lover and family, children, and friends and everything else last. I am the Alpha and the Omega I am the first love I am the last love. I love Father God because he first loved me I love Jesus because he tried to help others and they called him a liar for everything they said. However, he showed me the real feeling of love and he shared with me in the happy and joyest times. That my love for him as a free gift from me to him out of a friendship we had ? over the year for the last 13 years of my life.

Know I’ll show you the God’s honest truth on what Father God says about homosexuals and transgender and the rest of you. We’ll go to St. Luke 17 32-37; which it starts out with a heterosexual couple: v. 32 Remember Lot’s Wife (she looked back at the city because she lived in the city, to remember the times he had) but she lost her life because she wanted to look for the memories she had in the city. v.232 whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose his life. “By the lies that we are told about they people we love and the way we love them.” and whosoever shall lose his life shall find preserve it. “We found our lives when we admitted we’re gay, lesbian, bisexuals or even transgenders so, you did not lose your life or otherwise look at yourself in a mirror and admit to yourself then ask yours so why should I care because I love me for who and what I am.) Then in v.34 it goes like: I (God) tell

I have 3 years and 2 days before I do see the parole board and I do plan on opening my own office and I would love to help others to understand more of the truth of the way of life. Instead the lies that Satan and others try to make us believe. Your truly in Love, High Priest Ms. Charlie E. (PA)


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Black and Pink, First and Foremost, I want to thank you for my first newspaper 08/09/2018. Accepting me in your family. My black and pink family, I am new to the black and pink family. So allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. My is Andrew, but people call me Drew. I am bi male from Warwick R.I. Born in Providence R. I. I did grow up with my bio Family they were not fit parents very abusive, drinking, lots of drugs. I have two older brothers and one older sister, I am the baby in the family. Our grandparents raised us when I was, I believed 2, lived in Warwick for 18 years. I am high school graduate from Pilgrim HighSchool. I am 25 years old going to be 26 this year. I am 5’9, 182 pounds. Never done any time in the juvenile when I was a kid, teenage. I am white with a short fade hair cut, brown eyes and hair. I knew I was bisexual when my bio-dad touched me not ones, twice, but three times. So I knew when I was 15, 16, 17 years old. My grandparents kept me and my brothers away from me dad. His brothers and all because that side of the family was no good. When I was 15,16 years old my grandfather has past away 2005 and everything went downhill. Family went there own ways my grandmother lost the house we had in Warwick. So I was 18 I moved in with two gay married friends and they have two adopted sons, Carl and Louis. I got arrested April 2014 serving a seven year sentence on a charge I should not be in jail for. I was charged with a sex charge and I was in the intake in Cranston R.I for 882 days. Transfer to Maximum security in Charson. I Balme this on my father for what he has done to me, he ruined my life. I was 21 when I ever first got

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arrested. If my grandfather was still alive I would not be here and my father would have gotten his ass beat. I can’t go to medium because I am the victim. My father is still serving time for what he has done to me and other. To be truthful with you all how come I let it happened three times, because I was scared to say anything to anybody. I would have felt embarresed. To what we did not to know my dad and his brothers their multiply sex offenders they are never going to learn, I am a (?). I know what I did was wrong but in my right state of mind at that time I thought it was ok. and it was not if my family reading this I am truly sorry. (...) I have. selected few friends Mr. Gomes, Davis and Drew. Thank you all for keeping me on my feed. I want to give out a shoot to my family and friends. I am still in the closet and I am scared to come out I don’t like the fact how people be judging.

October/November 2018

‘17/Jan ‘18, and I feel like I need to tell my story, struggle, and the challenges I face being locked up for the first time in almost a decade. I don’t know if you will print this or not ... but I hope you do, for the sake of all the other LGBTQ people dealing with the same issues. I knew I was different from the age of six, when my friend and I experimented. And I really liked it. My mother caught us sucking on each other under a blanket one day. She banned me from ever seeing him again. I never did anything with a guy again, until I was 15 in juvie. I lost my virginity to him, and took his. From that point on I was bisexual.

Dear Black & Pink,

That was until thee years into my prison sentence. After I have been in many fights, sexually assaulted, and raped. I decided to myself I was going to discover my true self. That is first what I did; last year, I started identifying as genderqueer. My identifiers are they, them, and their. I don’t identify as either male nor female. I am who I am. And I don’t care what people think about me. I am beautiful in my own way and I am happy.

I am a white 26-year-old male.

Dustin H. (MI)

To my brothers and sisters I want to say hello and thanks for making me a part of the family. Andrew (RI)

This is my first time seeing and reading your magazine since I’ve been locked up in 2011. [The] articles and letters you have printed in your magazine are very helpful and supportive to me. It lets me know that I’m not alone in facing the challenges as an inmate in MDOC (Michigan Department of Corrections). I just got my hands on your Dec

Dear B&P Family: First of all let me take the time to thank all of my LGBTQ family and extended communities on Pride Day it is such an honor to have so many people from all different communities come not only to participate but to also support our LGBTQ movement during the Pride Day parade and for that on behalf of all the LGBTQ communities


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incarcerated across the United States of America and foreing countries we thank you from the bottom of our hearts cause even when we cant be there personally with you we are there when we are watching the parade broadcast through the Channel 7 on ABC so we are there from long distance, and lets not forget one more important thing during the Pride Day parade i.e. there was no violent incidents meaning we are coming such a long way from the biggining of time when the parades first started in New York City so lets all give each other a big pad in the back for that. Now after saying all that lets get to the next second good news I Rona Sugar Love after a long battle with the New York State DOCCS officials and chief medical officer’s since 1981 when I first enter the NYC COCCS custody and care fighting for the LGBTQ that after thirty five (35) years of painful litigation and struggles for our rights to better treatment for transgender women incarcerated the New York state DOCCS administrators and the office of the chief medical office has reached an agreedment with me effective immediately for all transgenders whom want to get sex-reassignment surgery and other cosmetic surgeries i.e. 1. The NYS DOCCS will allowed transgender womens to have the sexreassignment surgery evaluations with the GID surgeon but only if the transgender woman has first been taking hormone therapy treatment for at least a minimum of one year or more. If a transgender women wants to get cosmetic surgery for her face or nose she must have over a year to go home or more cause the

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arrangements can take from six months to a year to schedual and thereafter it will take another four to six month to get it done. 2. As for the sex-reassignment surgery you also must have at least two or more years to go in prison or more to get considered for the sexreassignment surgery evaluation. 3. For those transgender women that want DOCCS to address them by their female pronouns DOCCS counsel’s office stated that if you already have a female name or change your name to a female name legally than all you got to do is notified your facility I.R.C./or/the PREA Dept Supt at your facility and tell them that you want your records in the DOCCS and medical to reflect that your pronouns are Ms.She.Mrs. of your legal rights under transgender women. 4. For all the girls that are seeking hormona treatment therapy you must get a GID evaluation done for GID confirmation if you have not gotten one done by the NYS DOCCS that is one of the major agreedments in order to receive not only the hormona therapy treatment but also in order for them to process the referral for your sexreassignment surgery no exceptions to the rules of the agreedment. 5. Now for the transgender women that came into the system already on hormona treatment therapy and have been on such for over a year and want the sex-reassignment surgery DOCCS counsel will veryfied from an outside hospital where you tell them where you was getting your hormonas from and where you got your GID confirmation from and if they can’t verified your information

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they will than have you go get a GID evaluation for the purpose of processing your request to see a GID surgeon for the sex-reassignment surgery. I am going to be evaluated for my sex-reassignment surgery by the GID surgeon at Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in the near future, and yes I am the first transgender women that is schedual to have the sex-reassignment surgery and thereafter I am going to be transferred to the Bedford Hills Correction Facility for Women. I am very happy that all that long painfull litigation finally paid off for all the transgender womens so to all my LGBTQ communitie around NYS DOCCS custody I fought this battle for all of us not just for me that is why it took thirty-five (35) years of hard work and finally we won the battle and the war. 6. Now I will asked all my LGBTQ communities in NYS DOCCS and all the prisons around the world lets all join hands and start treating each other with more respect lets educate those who are confused or lost lets open up a LGBTQ community group to educate one another let’s open up our hearts to all LGBTQ families that are incarcerated, lets not fight with each others and lets help one another if you see a sister or brother in need lets open up our hearts and help them out instead of gossipping or talking down on them lets show them love and give them that open hand to get them back on their feet and one more thing please stay away from the drugs and negative organizations that will only bring us problems. Now let me bring you the final good news


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7. For all those whom dont already know the good news NYS DOCCS has open up a transgender women unit at Marcy Correction Facility which is a medium security facility. 8. NYS DOCCS is in the process of opening the second facility for transgender women in Manhattan yes New York for state transgender women prisoners only they are in the process of hiring the staffs to open up the facility which I been told it wont be for another six to eight months before they have the medical, officers, counselors, mental health staffs they need to open it up the facility. For all those transgender women whom wishes to go to either Marcy Correction Facility Transgenders Unit please notified your counselor to put you in for the transgender women unit at Marcy Correction Facility. And for those whom want to go to the New York City Transgender State Facility have your counselor place you on the list for such transferred once it opens up. That is all the good news I have for all my LGBTQ families in the NYC DOCCS and around the world whom are still fighting and struggling with getting your needs met, but as a license paralegal I can help your free at charge to get all you need at whatever state you are in or country i.e. if you are having problems getting hormones or gender dysphoria evaluation or confirmation, or if your undergarments, pantie bra’s than I can help you with how to file the grievance or Article 78 petition and other legal steps to get it done all at free of charge it will only

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be my pleasure to help my LGBT communities to the best of my legal abilities as a certified license paralegal. All you have to do is contact me at my current address or have a family member you can trust or friend to contac me on your behalf and I will help you with whatever needs to be done. I hereby authorize the Black and Pink family to release my name and number and facility address to all those whom want to contact me regarding the LGBTQ rights in prison in obtaining all the medical care needs. With all my heart always fighting for all my transgender and trans men brothers and sisters and the entire LGBTQ communities. Sincerely in the struggle Ms. Rona Sugar Love (NY) Thank you for the newspaper. It has helped me realize that my lack of communication with my LGBT family has only hindered me. My name is James and I am a 28-year old bicurious Black male in the IDOC. I have been Bi for well over 10 years and honestly this was a part of me that just felt right. What I mean by that last statement is god put us on this earth to love one another in one fashion or another. I have always been attracted to both male and female. And truth be told I have always been fond of men more than woman, since I was a kid. When I was younger I honestly did not understand why I was aroused by by a man so easily. I have always been the more masculine type of guy, who always wondered what it would be

October/November 2018

like on the other side. I feel as if you only live once and should live life the way you want to. So with all that being said, family, I ask for your support and guidance as I step out the closet into a life I have always wanted but never conquered. Thank you family for the support. Love and peace - stay full of curiosity. James T (IN) Dear Black and Pink Family, First and most importantly, a shoutout to Vanessa your submission on page 29 of the March 2018 issue was the final push I needed to reopen a door I thought impossible to unlock again. So thank you. Mow I believe introductions are in order, my given name as of right now is Tyler but in all honesty I have used Alex far more often, I am a 25 year old gender fluid transgender, most days I identify as female, but ocassionally I have a very male day. When I was ten I told my mom I was a girl, when she asked what I meant I said “ can’t you tell I am in the wrong body.” I’ll never forget my mom crying and hugging me, for 6 months any time I tried to talk to her about it he would say maybe some other time we’ll talk, fast forward 4 months, I had given up trying to tell my parents, it was my birthday I just had a party at the pizza hut the next town over, when we made it home my mom told me to cover my eyes. They led me to my room and when I opened my eyes it was completely redone. My closet was full with a brand new wardrobe my bedding everything pink and green.


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My two favorite colors, when I started school the next month I was introduced as alexis, I lived as myself for about two years. I was 13 when it happened, my parents went on a trip out of town for 3 weeks, my uncle was tasked with babysitting, it wasn’t long before I realized he was not happy having to spend his time watching an abomination, I spent 2 weeks of those 3 being brutally violated, the last week was worse, when he put on a fake smile bought me ice cream, and on the day before my parents came home gave me 200 dollars and threatened to come by more often if I didn’t keep quiet. Well fast forward to today it’s been 12 years since I even thought about publically being me, it’s a huge stress off my shoulders. Currently I am not able to transition to my true body but upon my release I have a surgeon lined up and willing to help my journey proceed. Thank you all for listening to me rant, looking forward to reading more inspiring stories. love and peace, Tyler (MN) Dear Black and Pink family, This is Angel O writing out o I’m currently doing this 50 yr sentence and I have 5 more till I see parole. So pray for me fam. Well, for 3 years I’ve fought the system to get my male hormones and was denied. They would send me to mental health and put me on Celexa for depression. I knew I was only depressed and suicidal because I felt

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alone and was trapped in a twilight zone AKA prison. Finally some advocates reached out to me and told me I had rights and there was a policy G-51 11 which is treatment of offenders w/ gender disorders that has been effective since 2012. So I fought and was sent to medical. Medical sent me back to mental health. I went thru this for 3 yrs. I finally wrote my grievance and fought harder and guess what. I seen the transgender specialist on DMS this yr in April 2017 and on Sept 13th I seen Dr Meyers in Galveston and he approved my hormones and on Sept 20th I was given my first shot. I almost gave up fam. But there is hope okay. Don’t give up. We just gotta stick together. I’m working on my underclothes, hair grooming, and hygiene now. It’ll take some time. But my goal is to get it all so the younger trans men that come thru will not go thru what I went thru. 20 yrs of mental and emotional abuse. Being forced to grow your hair out, wear panties, and use girly hygiene, causing us to have serious mental issues, suicidal thoughts, depression, and cutting just to feel pain some where else. These people, the wardens especially don’t car about us transgenders. So we gotta stick together and lift each other up. Things will happen. I promise. We’ve came a long way. Shout out to my boyz, White Boy and Angel. I love you both. On hobby and crane on hormones too. Whaaaaaat. I heard! We’re family and can’t no system break us. One day we’ll be free of these people’s meds! To all the trans ladies....I just love you beautiful women. Stay strong, you have rights too. Til next time. I

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love you Lil Cuz Flaka! Much love and respect, Angel O. (TX) Karma I look down and hate what I see, they’re not supposed to be there, they don’t belong to me. Crazy thoughts run through my head Sometimes I just wish I were dead If my mama were alive she’d understand For it was her the 1st to say, “you should’ve been born a man.” She never turned on me or my gay brother She told us that we’re still her babies And to always love each other Being persecuted for what I am these people in TDCJ just don’t give a damn they point their fingers and laugh at the way I walk Not realizing the damage they cause when they talk I just want to be treated right and respected for who I am, I want my rights not pumped with Celexa cause of a treatment plan. How much more abuse will I be able to take they can’t change who I am, it’s real pain I feel it’s not fake. Haven’t they read Matthew 7: verse one “Judge not, that you be not judged.” I hate God gave me this curse, please help me Mama, I can’t wait till their Judgement Day cause I believe in Karma. My dearest family, I love you all very much, and I only wish I had a picture of each and every one of you, so I could send you each a personal prayer,


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that you experience all the love and affection you deserve every day, for the rest of your life! I want to thank all of you who write to share your stories because they inspire me to persevere and teach me resilience, and I feel empathy and love for all of you who suffer from any form of oppression. Remember, as a member of our Black and Pink family: You are valuable; you are loved; and you are not alone! Although I requested a pen pal last March, I haven’t gotten one yet. I listed it under the affectionate name my family uses for me -- Robbie, but I prefer to be addressed as S/ HE to my closest friends which would include all of you. I go by She for several reasons, chief among them, I’m androgynous, but I can actually represent all of the letters of the LGBTQA acronym, depending on the day of the week, and I could even add more letters to the acronym because I’m not limited to it, nor do I wish to limit my sexual orientations to those of societal norms. As Amber Heard, a beautiful actress recently said in Allure magazine (to paraphrase it), “We’re already up to five letters in the acronym (LGBTQ); when are we going to realize that we can’t confine people’s sexual orientations to acronyms -- we’ll run out of letters -- and just admit that we’re only human, with distinct sexual orientations.” And, I want to add, that only those persons who are intolerant of others sexual orientations, should be considered outside our family. Family, our sexuality is as distinct as our finger prints, as Jesse Bering, a homosexual psychologist, states in “Perv: the sexual deviant in all of us,” a must read for anyone who wants to understand human sexuality. And we must remember

October/November 2018

Black & Pink News

that sexual freedom for the majority will come with sexual freedom for the minority. The LGB movement excluded the trans-person for a long time and this was demeaning to our trans brothers and sisters, who had a huge fight on their hands to get the support of LGB persons. I believe what we have to do, is start accepting all persons who express their sexuality in innocuous manners, regardless of their sexual orientation, if we wish for all persons to be tolerant of ours. I would even go so far as to agree with Jesse Bering when he says that we should allow persons to view the porn of their choice, even if we consider their sexual orientation to be deviant, even if that porn has to be computer generated to protect the innocent, because denying persons the innocuous expression of their sexuality can be harmful to them and society. In closing, I coined the term “moral force,” and I posit that all of us Black and Pink members are a part of it: let us of the Moral Force unite and fight for what’s right, with all our might, in order that we may make Earth the paradise it has the adequacy to become! Keep your heads held high and your spirits also, because remember: suffering can quickly turn into relief if we persist. With all my love, respect,, best wishes, and tolerance, Love S/HE. (TX) Note: The heart around S/HE represents my love for humanity.

P.S. I belong to a super church that is LGBTQA welcoming. We have over 700 prison members and 1300 free world members. Our denomination welcomes all religions and religious beliefs, including earth-centered, atheist, humanist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. They send you great literature that teaches you how to be the best possible persons for yourself and society. We call ourselves the Love People and we believe in working together to make Earth the paradise it has the adequacy to become. Write the following address and request membership information. But only if you want to be loved! Prison Ministry Church of the Larger Fellowship Unitarian Universalist 24 Farnsworth Street Boston, MA 02210-1409 Hey y’all, What’s good, y name is Jordon but some people call me Suge ‘cause I look like Suge Knight, lol:). I’m 23 years old and on my way out the door from SCI-Man in PA. I want to write you guys and get some stuff off my chest. Just a couple weeks ago I was placed in the Hole for fighting one of my LGBT friends because one heat wave day he was playing around too much and he got me mad. So all that day he tried to apologize to me but I told him to leave me alone and I will speak with him (side note: he wanted to have sex with me too). He got mad when I told him that. He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day until the next morning going to the yard. The crazy thing was, he tried to get our other friend involved


Volume 9, Issue 6

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for no reason. Then he switched up the story about something entirely different from the last situation we had. Homie started to get all hype and then he punched me in the jaw but as a friend I let him slide with talking a lot of other bullshit. But right when we got inside the yard homie punched me in the back of my head.

he’s aggressive. Before I wrap this up, all I want to say is - stop fighting our Brothers and Sisters - come together as one.

At that point I just snapped and told him to watch his back in the yard. My whole thing is we could’ve settled this like grown men or women. But he wanted to do it out in the open in front of other gay bashers and other LGBT people also. So I went off on my own an grabbed three nice rocks and put them in my socks. While I’m doing that, my homie girl Maserati sees me and tries to stop me but I wasn’t being deterred from this situation.

Black and Pink,

I started looking for homie. While looking, I see my husband Mohamed and I told him to hold all my stuff like my cigarettes, lighter, watch, and long-sleeved shirt. After I gave my stuff to my husband I went back to look for my prey. I finally caught the dude and like I told him to watch his back, he wasn’t. So I went ham and swung my rocks and socks and hit him on the side of the head. Come to find out he needed six stitches and tried to get another one of our mutual friends involved too. So what I’m trying to ask is who was in the wrong and do you think I should’ve had my husband handle it for me? Or do you believe I should’ve talk to my husband first before I snapped? Me and homie have been cool for 2 1/2 years and I remember him when he first came. I should’ve known I shouldn’t have led him on because

One love, peace, God bless, Love always, Jordon AKA Suge (PA)

This is my first time reading the newsletter. I love how real people in prison write and talk. It brings hope to me that I may get out there to someone that can help me and maybe understand me. I have a lot going on. Ok first am bisexual. I love women and men. I just find both to be sexy. But I read books that say you’re Gay or not there is no between. And most people look at it like that too. Most Gay’s and all don’t like bisexual people. I been called fake due to it. If am with a man it’s good but when I go with a woman am not part of the group. There is so much hate in it. Am still new to it. I never been around people to ask real questions. I have not been with many men. I came out before I got locked up. Which my family disowned me. They will not talk to me at All. To them am dead because of it. Th only one in my family I talk to sometimes is my sister we were super close. And we did it all together. She helped me try all the things then. But now we older am to grow up and become a man. That it was fun as kids but i need to find a girl and stop the rest. Or as she says keep it under wraps. She’s bisexual but will not say nothing. She 2 year older than me. We dated the same guy at the same time back in the day. No one knew i did. I was ashamed of it. I played

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baseball and my team would have none o that. Or my so called friends. Yes i used to be the one to pick on Gays and make jokes with the rest, I felt really bad cuz I liked it. And these people were living how I wish I could. I was weak. They were strong for being there selfs. There was one boy he used to dress like and act like a girl. Everyone hated him but he never changed. I liked him or her. When no one was around I talked to her. She liked me and would always come to my games. What was crazy when she dressed like a girl she looked like one. We talk and hang out at places no one would come. One day she got egged and I couldn’t help cuz of fear if i did i be called out and all. She moved not long then. I wish I could stood up. Am a white male 28 years old. But am crazy and don’t understand what I need to do. What’s right what am i. who am i. I still have fear. see i like to dress up as a girl at times. I find it to be freedom. And I go all out when i do. I love women but also men. I like to take and give. Even with men. What is a bottom and a top. I see this but I don’t know. I never been to LGBT outing. Never to a Gay club. Never really talked to one. Don’t have friends that are. Am alone. I tryed dating 2 men in prison it didn’t go well I got used and they never was going to come out. I have so many questions. I have so many questions. And no one to ask them to. I like what i read in the Black and Pink newsletter. I want to be of a family. I love to draw and write. I love cars. I want to open a clothing store that has no Men/female signs in it. You just shop in it. Theres so much for me to learn. And i want to do what i can to help. And i don’t know where to turn. Love to all and


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no matter what don’t let anyone down you. everyone is beautiful. No one should be judged ob there life. I been called names and picked on. So I know how it feels. Name’s like Gay bitch, fuck boi, chain gang sassy. Incest and all. I told one man my story and he told everyone and they try to hurt me by words I am who i am. So what. It hurts but what can I do. My sister is the one to show me how to take it by dildo. We helped each other. Many look down on it. Well i hope everyone is loved and is doing good. I send my love to all. Christopher G. (GA) Hello, Black and Pink friends and famm, This is my first time writing in, so please bare with me lol. I would like to tell my story if I may? I haven’t always been open or happy. Growing up around my brothers, uncles, and dad I haven’t been who I am today or who I will be once I’m released from prison. I always got teased by them for complaining about getting dirty and not wanting to do the “manly” stuff; always getting teased for wanting to go shopping and hang out with the women instead. I learned quick to hide who I was and to do what others expected out of me until being incarcerated in August of ‘12. I used and abused everyone I knew and could growing up! I hid who I was behind meth, liquor, and sex and if I couldn’t get what I wanted out of you, then I got rid of you quick! For my 18th birthday my mom took me to a Drag show in Springfield, MO, oh I was so happy and excited to be around people that I was comfortable with and that I could be

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myself with! An hour into the night I was sexually assaulted by an older big guy. I was horrified and wanted to puke while thinking, is this how all of them are? I ran out of there without telling my mom and her friends. When they finally found me, I told them what happened but wouldn’t tell them who did it. Ihid even more after that, but I also knew that’s not how all gays are. Before prison majority of my friends were LGBTQ and I went to all the LGBTQ Bars and Clubs in Joplin and Springfield, MO, which isn’t much, lol. But I still wasn’t open and denied it even to my friends. I didn’t even tell my step-sister who was open to being a lesbian to my dad and stepmom since she was young. Even though my dad was okay with it and opened his arms to her girlfriends, I still couldn’t tell them that I was Bi-sexual for fear of being rejected and teased by him and by his side of the family! Since coming to prison in 2012 I have come to love who I am and love being sober :) lol. I have also told my mom, 3 sisters, and older brother. My younger brother knew before his death in ‘08. I can confidently say that I am a 29 year old Bi-sexual male that is feminine, more times than others, I am a Top, I am 5’10”, 200 lbs (I have been told by everyone that I do not look 200+ I hold my weight very well, lol) with longish light to medium brown hair. Now, as for telling my Dad, stepmom, and them, let’s just say we’ll see how things go when I’m released in 2021. I hope to come to know mot only more about myself but also Black and Pink and the LGBTQ community as time moves on! Love Always, R.J.B. (MS)

October/November 2018

Asalaam Alakim (Peace be upon you) I’m writing this to everyone important to me, that include you. If you feel like nobody cares about you or wants the best for you, I do. You, as the perfectly imperfect person you are, matter to me. To me, you are beautiful just the way you are. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Shayd (like lampshade), the brothers call me Shaeed. I’m 28, 6’5”, 230#. I’m white and I’m a Muslim. Islam is an integral part of my life. Before Islam found me my life was out of control. It felt like I was speeding down the highway with my hair on fire screaming, “more, More!” Now I have a solid foundation to build my life on. Islam taught me how to not only a better man but also a better son, fried, lover, and brother. I strive to live my faith each day. I’ve been reading Black N Pink for some time now. letters to the family always invoke strong emotion in me. I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to share pieces of yourself with the world. I was born in Detroit and raised in Wisconsin. In 2004 the judge sent me to Lincoln Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility. There I was brutally raped by a male staff member. The rape lasted years and I was so traumatized by the events that I was unable to think about, let alone talk about, it for a long time. It wasn’t until I sought out professional help that I was able to come to terms with my past. Now I’m persuing {1983 federal lawsuit. I’ve contacted the Just Detention International, DOJ Civil Rights


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Division, and some attorneys in Chicago. The ACLU of Wisconsin and Juvenile Law Center recently filed a class action lawsuit against Lincoln Hills. I wonder if I’m able to pursue individual litigation and still participate in class action? In closing I’d like to offer a hand of friendship to anyone interested in communicating with me. Prison can be a sad and lonely place. I an receive letters from inside and outside. I’ll respond to anyone. Everyone is important to me. In Loving Solidarity, Brother Shaeed (WI) Dear B&P, This is my first time writing a letter to your organization. And what inspired me to do so was the article/letter from Si(NY) and Chelsea Manning. I can relate to both because they remind me of my own struggles throughout my whole life. I was afraid of the negative criticisms of being gay and still is to some degree. I came out of the closet January 21st, 2016. It was really hard thing to do because I used to be a Muslim. Not to mention before I was a Muslim I was also in a gang. I’ve been hiding who i really am for 31 years. I am 32 now, turning 33 in November. I battled with my true self for so long. I hated myself. I’ve contemplated suicide several times. I spent most of my time in solitary confinement just to be to myself. In solitary I felt good because that’s when I became the girl I wanted to be. I felt like Trina (the baddest b****). But I still was not happy. the reason being is because I was hiding my true nature from the rest of the world. I wanted to just break free and let it all out. Which I did on

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that 21st day of January. I remember being in open population one late night lying in bed. I was like “you know what? I’m tired of hiding. As soon as the doors open I’m going to let it all out.” And that’s exactly what I did. I came out looking like Tyra Banks performing for Victoria Secrets strutting down the runway. All I seen was jaws dropping, and voices saying (WTF). That;s the first day I introduced myself as Unique. But as the day progress, what I feared the most started to happen. All my friends started deserting me. Some people who knew me from the streets got out and told my family about my transition and now they’ve also deserted me. I’ve

By Greatne$$ (GA)

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lost all my support system from the streets. I started feeling lonely as ever. But as time went by I learned to embrace myself more and more. Everyone who turned their backs on me, I realize they never loved me for me. In prison you have to be careful how you carry yourself because you can get hurt, so therefore I kind of suppress my greatest potential. But I only have 8 years left to do on a 20 year sentence. I can’t wait to get out and be as flamboyant as I would love to be. Yours Truly, Unique (FL)


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Black and Pink family, Greetings family my name is John Leavens aka Casper I have been one of your subscribers for a few years now and I love when I get the LGBT news it makes me feel good that we are sticking together as a family for our rights. I have been Gay ever since I can remember at the age 12 yrs old and I got outed by my mother in the act of when I was 14 yrs old. I am very comfortable in my skin being in prison I disagree with a lot of the things but i will only list a couple: 1) "All gay homosexuals are punks and take the pen**" I'm a male who is gay who is a versatile top... 2)the staff single you out and have favoritism! and being chastized and being told that I'm just catastraphizing. I would like to send a shoutout to my partner that is at Arizona. I love you baby boy. It's Casper keep your head up stay strong I love you 6-11 Casper (NJ) My loving family @ Black and Pink It’s your little sister Makayla here, for those of you who don’t know me, I am a 29 year young 5’5” 155Ib. Brown haired Hazel eyed Transwomen beauty. I had struggled with my identity since the age of 7 mostly or of far off what others would think of me and ‘cuz I had Nobody to talk to, due to this I locked away my identity for nearly 21 years Not realizing just how much harm I was causing myself. I was scared and confused growing up and then around 12-14 yrs old I was molested by my own father and his new ex-girlfriend so sooner if you can imagine what I had went through

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and why I hid. I created the facade of being straight and the lie ended up so real for me that I believed it myself, then I got locked up when I was 17 for CSC 2nd degree person under 13; I am not proud of this nor is this my “thing”I wholeheartedly believe that all Shield Renee should be bread and protected cuz they are the future, but I am also not a judge of others, we all make mistakes, some worse than others. Anyways, back on track, I was locked up at 17 and slowly throughout this last 12 years that “straight” mask I created begin to chip away at first with me coming out as “Bi” then gay but in 2016 I met a gay boi who was sooo happy with himself and who he was I began to question myself. I realized that I wasn’t truly happy with myself cuz I realized I was living a lie, I remembered being happiest when I was dressing up with my sisters, playing with them and their toys I felt free to be me as I felt I was supposed to be. It was that freedom and honesty that I long for and missed, that was when I crumbled. I realized that I wasn’t happy and remembered that I was happiest as a little girl, although nobody at the time knew that was why I played with my sister’s all the time, I remembered the fear of people finding out, the feeling of being alone with nobody to relate to and even though all that fear and pain seemed overwhelming the happiness and love I felt for myself far surpassed that. I finally came out to myself December 2016, then to my sister, cousin Grandma and Grandpa, all of them were open and accepting, my next step is to come out to my parents face to face, this is going to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever

October/November 2018

had to do but I can’t truly be happy if I’m not honest with everyone in my life. I have been fighting for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since August 2017, was approved for HRT May 2018 and I am awaiting finalization of consent forms to sign for HRT nearly a year has passed since the beginning of my fight. I admire all the girls who have been fighting for HRT, GRS, and the right 2 present as female, there are those of us new to this fight and Veterans for the struggle love to Ms.Norsworthy, Ms. Naturalite, and Ms. Loomis veterans to the cause, and more love to my favorite and my heart Charlete (MI) and my sisters, keys and Brazil. No matter our struggle, how long each of us has fought, whether we are black or white, gay, bi, trans or lesbian, we are all family we are Black & Pink! Set aside your differences, stop fighting over trade and live to love, help your sisters and brothers, pick up a pen and write legal teams, find out how to write news stations. It may not seem like anything is going to happen cuz you wrote but at least you spoke out against the indiscretion! Always remember silence goes unheard so if you speak to help, Enlighten, encourage, and love somebody somewhere will hear your message and respond! One person can win a fight but it will take all of us to win the war Stand up for each other! Don’t know who to write? Start with this: Transgender Law Center 1629 Telegraph Avenue Suite 400 C/O Iona Turner


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Oakland, CA 94612 Southern Poverty Law Center C/O David C Dinielli 400 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 Lambd legal 105 West Adams Street Chicago, IL 60603 Stay strong, Blessed Be Loved Makayla Rose W (MI) Dear Black and Pink Family, I just received the May 2018 newsletter and have to say so many emotions ran through me. I was surprised and shocked on the fact that there were a couple of responses to one of my first letters. A letter that was written over two years ago. So many things have changed since writing that letter, so I am here to update everyone about my progress. To begin with, I want to thank both Mark B. (KY) and especially Ms Jazzie F (CA). Love you both for you honest words. OK, like I stated so many things have changed. For starters, shortly after writing that letter, my mom and I had a long and serious conversation about my identity, sexuality, and future. She also told me that she would never call me McKayla because that was the name that my father used at times while he sexually assaulted me. At first I was upset because for so many years that was how I id’d myself internally. After a couple of weeks mom and I talked about this subject again and I asked her opinion about another name and surprisingly enough both my mom and dad (step-dad) liked and accepted the new name. On

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that day, I took control over my life, disregarding any evidence that my father existed and Samantha Lynn was given life. Since then, both my parents (mom and step-dad) have passed away due to health reasons. The words that was spoken to me will live forever in me. “You have always been stubborn, strong, and smart. Be proud of who you are and never give in.” That statement has driven me since then, I continue programming to learn ways to live a healthier way of life through the SOTP-R program, working as many hours as I can at UNICOR to learn new skills. Most of all I have fought many battles inside these walls and though I lost some, I have won many. I have been on my hormone medication for almost 2 years now. As a group the transgenders here at Marion can purchase Bra’s, panties, shoes, watches through SPO’s and makeup, hairspray, curlers, hair clips and razors through commissary. This is a huge victory for the sisters in Marion. Since standing my ground with my mother, I have realized that I am no longer a victim, I am a survivor. Best of all, I am a woman and I will finally match my outside to my inside and no one can take that happiness from me. For those who feel there is no hope for happiness or that no one on the outside will ever love you. I say this to you, Pray! My angels showed up out of nowhere, thanks to Black + Pink Pen Pal. They have offered me so much love over the past year or so. I honestly am blessed to have them in my life and if you two read

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this “Thank you so much Linnea and Carl.” I don’t know what I would do without you. Ms Jazzie, I have been advocating and helping other inmates as well as new sisters who wish to begin their process of transformation. A lot of my motivation came from not wanting others to suffer the way I had and also from your words of wisdom through my letters you have sent to the newsletter. Upon my release in May 2019, I am going to continue this process and fight for the rights for sisters throughout and those afraid to come out. I will speak and tell my story so others know that they are not alone. If we share our stories, our brothers and sisters will know that they are not alone and together we are strong. I wish there was a way to talk more one on one with both you Mark B. and Ms Jazzie. Both of you sparked my life in this newsletter. Thank you again and I love each and everyone in the Black + Pink and LGBTQ family. Love and Strength Samantha (IL) Dear Black and Pink, Let me just say thanks to all the beautiful volunteers and staff as well as the many brothers and sisters for making me feel more welcome being apart of this beloved family. I pray that this letter will inspire what it mean to step out and over come inter bondage. Well my name is David K. but known by many as “Dee” and some as “Unique” and I’ve been doing


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time in a Alabama prison system for over 15 years on a 23 year sentence. I’m a 34 year old bisexual African american male that has been enjoying my newsletter for about 6 months every month now. I am happy to say that I am blessed to be at home with Black & Pink. What I wanted to say is that I’ve read an article on “Sarah McBride who was sexually assaulted within months of coming out” “She is LGBTQ and #MeToo”. For which it has inspired me to share for the first time with all my brothers and sisters of this LGBTQ community and others my story. Well, at the young age of 13, I too was sexually assaulted and for awhile I kept it to myself because it was happening months at a time by someone in whom I thought had the trust of my family and my best interest but only had interest in me. After awhile I felt different because I was being promised this and that but I gotten scared and told the one person that I knew that was going to protect me but to my dismay they didn’t believe me; for which it only took that one person that I trusted to turn the blind eye from seeing that I was scared, hurting, and lonely. So as I was getting older I’ve become enraged, guilty, envy, lonely, unhappy, and suicidal doing what I wanted to do gang banging, cocaine addict, even playing the tough man role but all along all I ever wanted was for somebody to love me and protect me. That’s when I knew that I was different because I thought that I could find what I’m looking for having different partners...I was wrong. So once I came to prison on this

Black & Pink News

long bid, I didn’t know how I was going to get through 23 yrs. until I met my first trans lover whom help me to see past the pain. I decided to do my time the way I knew how and become honest with myself and realizing that it wasn’t my fault; I come to realize after years of trying to play it safe in a male prison and being a bisexual male I could turn that person who was victimized into that person that’s strong, inspiring, encouraging, respected, loyal, and unique to stand for something than to fall for anything just to have found what I have always been looking for and that’s love...Love within myself first and foremost and knowing that being different is love and having the love for my people in the struggle, my LGBTQI family. In saying that #IToo wanted to let it out and share my story and overcome the shadows of a sexual assault and tell all my brothers and sisters that every story, every letter, and every poem I have read, I have not only felt you all pain, I have shed the same tears, and have tasted the bitterness that has connected us to this fragile thread, to understand that all the hurting and pain we’ve felt is what keeps us strong, special, unique, and empowering to continue to stand and say: I am beautiful, I am loved, I am somebody and that my rainbow shines brighter than the sun. Before I go I want to thank you all for letting me free myself and to encourage everyone that through whatever we face in life we’re still somebody special!!! I would like to give a shout out to Sarah McBride for standing strong, to all the brothers and sisters at love lock; keep ya’lls heads held high and march on, and to Jakaelynn D. (NY)

October/November 2018

keep fighting the good fight because sunshine will come after the rain. Forever with Love, David K. (AL) Dear Siblings In Struggle: Whenever one of us is harmed or murdered in the name and interest of hate it is a wound we all bear. When the Amber Gwen Arojas of this world are shamelessly tortured by those she believed to be her friends, and then slain merely because she offended a gender bias... Well, that shames us all. As a people-as a collectivewe should be holding candle light memorials for our fallen to commemorate them... To affirm their lives on the very eve of the day that each lost it. People need to see the solidarity, dignity and pride we have. It is no better epitomize than in showing our reverence and respect for those who have died for us . And make no mistake, they did die for us! LGBTIQA individuals die every day in the prisons across the United States. Admittedly there are different ways to grab attention for the cause. One of holding vigils in prison parking lots on the anniversary of slain LGBTIQA prisoners. I suppose another might be a rally or some other organized event, like a run or march, where awareness can be raised. I’ve entirely been trying to partner with someone in the outside community to get my concept magazine ouf the ground. FUCHSIA Magazine. In concept it intends to be similar to PRISON LIVING, but


Volume 9, Issue 6

geared specifically to Transgender, Transexual and LBGIQA prisoners. I have yet to find that someone with the requisite interest, drive, resources and know-how ideally, the magazine would be set up as a not-for-profit corporation. I am not content to rectify passively in the world. o want to be an influence. That’s why there is an article and on Op.ed online about me and my struggle against Oregon Doc. (Goggle “Tara Ellyssia Zyst” add y’all pull them up.) Currently, Oregon State Penitentiary is organizing an LGBTQ club. I have pushed for that for sometime, as some others. For a prison administration to approve this is phenomenal and really shows how progressive things are becoming. Tolerance if turning toward acceptance. Major media sources have been helpful in this. The article in National Geographic about Transgender and Gender Non Confirming children and teens really made an impact in here. As to my writings, you can always feel free to Pete down and condense my words to a more amenable length that is suitable for publication. For that matter, you are free to cherry-pick for sentences or stand-alone paragraphs that you feel would benefit the magazine. Anything I send us fair game for use by you, whether sent addressed to publication or not. Thank you for the thoughtful letter... And don’t sweat the lag in support or reply My love & respect Tara Ellyssia Z. (OR)

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Untitled Reflection By Evy Vanguard A. (WI) Girls with a thing called penis. To her the word penis has a ring to it much like the word cancer or aids. One that kills you very slowly but never let you forget its there, preventing you to ever really truly living. Why did she has the curse... This parasite attached to there body she told to herself? Where did it come from? Was someone angry at her for being born so they attached this hideous thing called penis between her legs as a way for punish her she wondered? She would watch other people with the same curse she had... Only they seem happy and proud to have it. This confused her because she couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy having something that felt like a parasite attached to your body, chewing away at the nerves. Never letting you forget that its there and it doesn’t belong... How anyone like having something that felt so uncomfortable and disgusting? Then she thought, well maybe there was just something wrong with her and just had to figure out how to fix it and then she too would like her thing called penis like all the other people did... maybe there was some secret to it that she hadn’t figured out

yet. Some untold power that she hadn’t discovered yet and that everyone felt that way she did about that thing called penis, until they discovered the secret power and that ones she fin it she too would be happy and proud like all the other people. But as time went on, that day never come... In fact the hatred for this thing called penis only got worse. The overwhelming feelings that is parasite did not belong on her body grew more and more intense with every year that past. Then she thought well maybe all the people who seem to love having this thing called penis are really just as miserable as her but just really good at pretending to be happy to be. So she studied these people even closer and thought maybe if she tried really hard acting like them... pretend loving to have this thing called penis between her legs, it would eventually come true. Maybe that was the secret. tricking yourself into liking it. I mean I crave love and intimacy she told to herself... She was sexually attrachted to women and had sexual thought, fantasies and desires about women but this thought and fantasy the thing called penis did not exist.


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Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

Poetry from Our Black & Pink Family “A Woman” Everyday that I am in Here I get judged for being me, I get mistreated and denied certain rights. Because I am Trans, deep down within myself, I live in fear, That I will never be able to truly be myself, “A Woman.” With the courage and help from other Trans inmates, we’re the ones doing all of the legal fights. We stay strong and true just like a Roman. Through perseverance, friends, family, and the ACLU, eventually we the ones fighting for who we are, can finally be what we are “A Woman.” by Trista Scott Lynn Hermann H. (SD) I AM Caring, Daring, Unique, Strong, Loyal Respectful, Honorable, Wonderful, Bashful, Beautiful, Helpful, Loving and most of all Gay. If I am who I am then why do you judge me so. for I am who I am because the great I AM created me to be who I am And because you do not see who I am or know who I am you judge, but I say, judge not because of what I am, but judge for who I am and the Great I AM will enter your heart and show you who I am.

Love rules all hearts and conquers over all hate. Learn to love and live and live to love........ I luv always. MY ANGEL When I lose sight of the path before me, you softly cast a light before me. When I lose my way to the heart, you gently take my hand and lend me home When I feel lonely you surround me in a warm embrace You are my angel by Gonzalo P. (AZ) Room of Pain In the corner of a childs mind is a room of pain from darknest past he could not contain: Thinking of locking himself in... with ourselves. Trying to escape the past darkest secrets of fear, terror and horror twisted pains: To find repressed in the darkness of the unconscious, begins to emerge, as well as the weather, mimic inward looking universal forces collide. There is a stain, a sensation of the overlapping of past and present. First Note: The past is a ghost which haunts our present lives constantly. Second note: The room of pain was a mentle block of mine that opened up as an adult breaking me into pieces. I’m fine now. 21 years it crushed me as an adult “room of pain”

Wild and Uninhibited Wild and Uninhibited The wind stirred and shadows moved clouds darkened from gray to black the tree limbs began to creek warm breath vanishing in midwinters air Full moon rays streamed in through branches crooked and spiraling: of eerie abnormalitiesby Jeff M. (MO) Contemplating Suicide I‘ve been confined to this cell now, for damn near four years. When I lay down at night, I find no more tears. My memories are fading. My heart is breaking. I’m only one step away, for my life to be taken. Is there life after this, I’m not really sure. But the stage I’m in now. I know there’s no cure. Tell my family I love them. I’ll tell God I tried. Before I step off this toilet, I’ll leave with pride. by Jason M. “J-Mac” (NC) Glass empty or half full A hard time doesn’t always dictate a hard life. A hard life is what molds, Builds, and distinguishes our characters. Hard times will get us through until the next. Hard times will also prepare us for


Volume 9, Issue 6

a rainy day. Hard times is what you’ll get from me When I fully decide to make you mines. And hard times is what you’ll get when you fully open your eyes And though hard times may seem too hard, It’s the hard times that makes our friendship/relationship so strong. by DaQuawn B. (KY) PLWA Pain Let me tell you about Pain your standing in Shelter I’m covered by Rain My Life and boby Change From one unknow Act tear Flow as my boby Attacks How will I cope with Such an unknow Fate Will I grow old are is it to Let At night I talk to God Laying on my Back But How do you Here Answer From a Voice that dose Not talk Back Im comfuse and want Someone to talk to about My Health But everone Here is celfish and worry only of them Self Where do I Turn Where do I Start only I understand the Fears way Down Deep in My Heart by Douglas W. (MD)

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Seasons Passions 2-25-2018 (Old Japanese poetry style) Seasons passions Style fashions Winds blow Colors flow Sea waves Swimming whales Desert sands Cactus stands Leaves change Birds sing Spring rains April greens -

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Winter cold White snow Opening day Sun rays Stars bright Moon light Summer brings Day dreams Lovers passions Desire imaginations Sweet kisses Mid-night wishes Wide open Blue oceans Gentle breeze Shadows lean -

By David C. (RI)


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October/November 2018

Black & Pink News

My Heart Beats Fast 3-10-2018

A lonely flower in the desert 3-11-2018

Pages of a poet 3-19-2018

My heart beats fast: Because the pain is strong to last No matter what errie way to block it,

A lonely flower in the desert By itself was never hardly seen, but A passerby seen its beauty In this barren hot sandy Land. So each day he would go Out on his camel, and water it to grow. Then one day decided to take the purple flower Home with him, as he was lonely for Companionship being by himself Of no other family left. Together in seasons made him happy to be. Being different from each other he found a friend in thee. A different love I realized to see.

Pages of a poet: In the shadows written On the walls of his soul. Secrets hidden! But, to himself the truth shall not be bent.

Seems to still linger there. In the August heat of summer, Pain burns in my head of a fire. The fast comes back To meet Unexpected. Her Long Red Hair 3-10-2018 Her long red hair She tied white & yellow wild flowers. Her smile like the sunrise in summer’s hour. Her beauty took my break away, Dizzy in thoughts. The sunset in soft colors display of the horizon, changing painting pastels in play. Her kiss was soft as rose petals in summers closing day. At night her eyes reflected the stars by The moonlight sky. She pulled me in by her beauty. Over passions, I floated with her to the galaxies: Lost in love I could not pull away. Fear 3-10-2018 Fear into the night we cannot see Imaginations at play: Monsters or beasts, maybe just a strong ghostly breeze?

I leave you this letter 3-19-2018 I leave you this letter, As writing you today feels better. Put a smile on your face today I’ll always keep your close to my heart. Some day I hope to be a star In the cosmos making your wishes come true. Maybe we will both be a shiny star so that we will never be far. Spring Showers: Bring May Flowers 3-19-2018 Spring showers: brings may flowers Kisses of love: brings petals of a rose Her smile: brings the sunrise Summers desires: brings stars in her eyes Silver moonlight: brings dancing into the night’s fire -

Scars 3-9-2018 Scars on top of scars outside my skin. Fighting fire with fire puts a forest fire out. One day cutting on his arms and body to feel pain, By blocking out his childhood pain of the past. Then the same time building their walls that begin To lock it all away, so the pain of fire don’t start Again in memories once forgotten. Years and seasons slide by like clouds going past. But one day triggers set an amber that burn Through his walls, letting out The past forgotten pain. It took him by pulling him into its flames that sent Him in the past: within the present time within. Without knowing the difference, controlling pieces that Was shattered deep within the past driving him insane. Scars on top of scars is what is left Inside, and out. As the hours of time Goes by, but once stopped for him: It Ages that he cannot see or to accept within.


Volume 9, Issue 6

It’s Always Lonely When the Sun Goes Down 3-20-2018 It’s always lonely when the sun goes down Without you around. Rain of silver running down my window Tonight with tears on my pillow. I wear your shirt Smelling your cologne in through the night. The telephone rings, As I answer - hearing Your voice: Wanting to come back since Your love spell has a hold of me. Not wanting to be apart Of our beating hearts. I have your perfume On my clothes, as I’m coming back to you. I made a mistake Turning my back. I’m running in the rain To wash away this pain I caused to you, Keeping our love. When the sun goes down I promise to always be around. by Jeff M. (MO) 1,000 Summers I know you, though I never met you. Where have you been all of these summers? I’ve died 1,001 times, there’s been so many wars and so many storms. I come back to life every time hoping to hold you. I know you, though I never touched you. I thought that was you when I heard the word love exit the lips of this girl I kissed but she changed fast on me oh what a diss. True Love never changes I was told. I dreamed we would meet in this lifetime I

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saw your soul glowing on an island in the Bahamas. Where are you? I stil don’t know. I know you, though I never held you, soulmate. 1,000 summers. by Joadanus O. (CA) I do believe in God above, created you for me to love, he chose you from all the rest, knowing I’d love you best. I had a heart that was true, Then I gave it to only you. Take care of it as I have done, For you have two and i none. On the day that I should die, Hold back your tears, don’t cry. For I will prove that my love’s true, And my heart still belongs to you. I’ll ask the lord to keep my wings, Golden Halos and all those things. Whatever else that I must do, Just to spend eternity with you! I hope the reader enjoys. by Legistine North What Am I Supposed to Do? Words from a country song have it;... “your heart won’t always tell your mind to tell your mouth what it should say...” Those words haunted me yesterday and today and no doubt they’ll do so come tomorrowme, a broken man of so much pain and sorrow. I reached out to hold you but you weren’t there. In my mind’s eye I stood there as I watched you walk away - such was tantamount

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to locking poison from my own hand... I, a brokenhearted, hurting, pain filled man. You’d promised you’d never leave me but, you did. There for all to see, my shattered heart on display for even the blind to see, the hurt your leaving is causing me. Rhetorically I ask what on Earth I am supposed to do, when my bedsheets still smell like you. I know that’s it’s wrong for me to feel and think as I do but, I cry and fall apart when I simply think of his arms around you. ~God Almighty did the impossible for mine eyes to see, as he proved only he could love you more and take you away from me~ <3 by William R. (FL) Moving Inside Out / Reflecting Inside Out Abide by your principles in everything you do, we must carry out our tasks according to principles And not let our principles by our tasks, We cannot love when filled with suspicion We cannot trust when filled with doubt We cannot forgive when unwilling to believe So Continue even when it’s hard to go on, Release even when it’s hard to let go and Endure when it’s hard to bear. Remember


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The future is an illusion, The past is a memory Hold on to the present Even if it’s just for a moment It’s easy to reflect on major mistakes, Yet Hard to eliminate small bad habits. To shoulder a burden is an inspiring choice but To admit to a mistake is a powerful force So I want to leave you with this: Life is too short So laugh when you can, Apologize when you sould, and Never worry about things you can’t change or control, And the hardest thing I mean really The hardest thing for people to see... Is themselves. by DJun Wilson (FL) I think I’m losing my mind in the first one If I die by the end of this verse, then the hurt won It’s not that I’m weak, it’s the power of pain and the strength of the painful slug like broken hearts they mend, but broken souls they caint washed away like blood in a river of paint I pray! Lyricistically indicate that pain can easily take a toll on a person eventually turn in to hate I say Better yet I can vouch for that Discriminatory people Screaming bitches, punks and fags But what they fail to understand Is that everybody bleeds the same

October/November 2018

Black & Pink News

and we all suffer the very same pain Instead of us working against one another we should be uniting amongst each other stop the hatred and stand together trans women, gay boys, lesbians, queer men and women, intersexes, and all who are LGBTQI we all are human and one should stand together and force the justice system to recognize us as such by Amber M. (NV) “Bonded as 1” Ur the light in my darkness, My heart when I was heartless. My sunshine, thru my cloudy days My everything, in so many ways. Ur the very life in my veins, Remember, when we played in the rain? It rips me apart, Every moment we’re apart. It drives me insane, Being without u is 4ever, Heartache an pain. U poured ur past life in2 me, Opened my eyes, An made me see. Souls bonded as one, That can never be severed. 2 lives intricately women, Like a love song, melodically, endeavored. 4 my Jazmine By Pariseer (FL) You If I loved a boy he’d be tall and lean.

Funny, sweet, and charming with a tiny hint of mean. If I loved a boy he’d give me his devotion. Tough, yet not afraid to show emotion. If I ever loved a boy he would treat me as royal. Because he’ll know that to him I’d be loyal. Deep down he’ll know that my love is true blue. On my heart would be his name inside a Tattoo. If I loved a boy I would not have to choose. Because if we’re being honest my heart has chosen you! I miss you My loneliness like the air in the night, it blows me away. When I think of writing you but have no clue what to say. I know that right now you may need me more than ever. Because of the things that drastically changed since we got together. When I lay down at night I go back to that rough December day... The day that I met the most handsome face. And it’s been so long, I wonder if I still cross your mind. And if I still have your heart the same way that you have mine. I reminisce on the times that I’d kiss you. Oh how I hated anyone who had the courage to diss you. This here is just to let you know that I miss you! by Keith C. (IL)


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Volume 9, Issue 6

Poem I See I see her smiles, to see her wife hold their newborn child I see him and his husband watching their child running a 50 yard dash I see queens having talk shows and winning Golden Globes I see a Pink&Black flag hanging with a new generation sanging it Acknowledgement by Xavier B. (FL) Freedom? A year or so until Release; Yet my mind is not at peace. What awaits now is not a home; But days spent homeless and alone. I’ll be glad to be free, dispite the cost; even wandering as one who is lost. A year or so till I’ll be free, But what will that mean to me? A year or so, I guess I’ll see. by Shawn M. (MA) Doubtful Hope My friends are all so fake, they’re never truly a friend, only two aren’t a snake, I pray in the end, I don’t know who I can trust, “no one” says a voice, I’ve known only snakes and lust, love and care not a choice, I’ve been hurt too many times, by people with a smooth word, I’ve become more sour than limes, from the things I’ve seen and heard, two people I think are true, have given me care and hope,

meaning it I hope they do, when they threw the life rope, will the saving line pull me in, or will it be cut from me, was it really there to begin, or will I be lost at sea, I want to believe in them, and the hope they kindly gave, turning me from coal to gem, and riding on a wave, in the end hope is over doubt, though doubt is never far, of hope there is a drought, so I’m wishing on a star. by Harley (GA) HERE’S A MOMENT I love you my darling You set my heart free Always and forever Like birds in a tree I know I’ve hurt you forgive me me I’m outside your window upon my windowns We’ll travel the world and make sweet love I’ll promise to hold you like a tender dove To me you’re an angel from heaven above Need you my darling to give me your love by Melody M. (CA) WE You are not alone, there are gays everywhere. You are not alone, the “Queer” ones are the ones that stop and stare. You are not alone, We were “normal” back in ancient rome.

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You are not alone, What’s “Queer” is that they care what you do at Home. You are not alone, Some of (Them) aren’t even really (Straight). You are not alone, one of us was Alexander the Great. You are not alone, We’ve been here through mankind’s entire past. We are not alone, and if they don’t like who we kiss they can kiss our _ _ _!...(You know) by Doc (TX) Be Proud of who are you in a place that looks to bring you down. Be proud of all the things you ever had to overcome. Be proud of the family that’s helpin us through our hard time because at the end we will be judged by others around us and we will be talked about but at the end of the day let them see that you are proud of who you are and the person you’ve become. Because it’s all about what you think of yourself and only you can accept and be Proud of who you are in your heart and mind just as long as it’s some daylight the sun will continue to shine. by Justin H. (TX) As the Goddess moves through the sky in her chariot of silver I look up and wonder why Why am I not clever To know I’m a man with all the parts but I’m also a woman which is worlds apart when will I be in this world or the next The whole of me and not a text by Nathan F. (WI)


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Black & Pink News

October/November 2018

Buscando Contribuciones

Call for Submissions

¡Hola hermosa familia hispano-parlante de Black & Pink!

Seeking erotic short stories, poems, and art by Black & Pink incarcerated and free-world family members for a new zine. To be mailed, art cannot include full nudity. Please send submissions (and shout out to the authors from the first issue mailed in January!) addressed to Black & Pink — HOT PINK. This is a voluntary project, and no money will be offered for submissions, but you might get the chance to share your spicy story with many other readers! The zine will be sent one or two times per year.

Estamos buscando contribuciones en español para nuestras secciones de Cartas a Nuestra Familia y Poesía del Corazón. Por favor envía tu contribución escrita en forma legible y de no más de tres páginas a: Black & Pink — ESPAÑOL Damos la bienvenida a cualquier escrito de tu creación, pero dado el espacio y la variedad, no todas las contribuciones pueden ser aceptadas. Al enviar tu contribución, das permiso a Black & Pink para publicar tus escritos en forma impresa y en internet.

To subscribe to upcoming issues of HOT PINK, write to our address, Black & Pink — HOT PINK.

Black & Pink Mailing Information Write to us at: Black & Pink — [see table below] 614 Columbia Rd. Dorchester, MA 02125 Please note that you can send multiple requests/ topics in one envelope! Due to concerns about consent and confidentiality, you cannot sign up other people for the newspaper. However, we can accept requests from multiple people in the same envelope. There’s no need to send separate requests in more than one envelope.

If you are being released and would still like to receive the Black & Pink News, please let us know where to send it! Penpal program info: LGBTQ prisoners can list their information and a short non-sexual ad online where free-world people can see it and decide to write. There will be forms in upcoming issues. Mail info: We are several months behind on our mail. There will be a delay, but please keep writing! Email us: members@blackandpink.org

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Black & Pink News Volume 5, Issue 6—October/November 2018  

Black & Pink News Volume 5, Issue 6—October/November 2018  

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