Prisoners Submissions

Clean Water is a Necessity

There is an  on-going life-threatening clean water crisis in the Stateville Correctional Facility in Joliet IL. On Dec. 7th, Chicago-based Community Renewal Society member congregations joined with 17 community organizations to protest and to deliver 62,250 bottles of safe and clean water. Access to safe and clean water is a human right, in prison and out. It is a matter of economic and racial justice. At a press conference before the demonstration, speakers demanded that the governor of Illinois resolve this crisis immediately, saying that human life depends on it. And it seems like the least the state could do – provide clean water.

photo of rally

New Amendment Needed

The Abolition Amendment has been introduced in the Senate and the House. Co-sponsored by Senator Edward Markey MA, Senator Jeff Merkley OR and Congresswoman Nikema Williams GA, it is currently pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The resolution would amend the u.s. constitution by adding a new Article prohibiting the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. It would end the damaging slavery loophole that still persists in the U.S. Constitution. The 13th Amendment, passed in 1865, formally ended slavery but included a clause allowing it as punishment for convicted persons. The Abolition Amendment would include language that nobody should be stripped of their basic humanity and forced to toil for someone else’s profit for any reason. The amendment would be a step towards abolishing prisons altogether but it would have to be ratified by ¾ of the 50 states. ABOLISH PRISONS NOW

Still Standing Tall

Hi Family. I’m an individual who made plenty of mistakes, even tried to do right but still landed back in prison. But now I am close to getting out if I get parole this year, I will be good, if not I max out next year. I am writing this story to say I lost my mother this year in January. I blame myself because standing up for myself and protecting myself, I missed the chance to see mother’s service and burial. I did get to talk to my mother on the phone and I knew she wasn’t going to live much longer because she needed a lung transplant and didn’t have the money to be put at the top of the list. But … God took her home to stop her pain and even though my mother passed away, she got to see me graduate high school and go on living my life. Even though I made mistakes, I am still standing tall living the life as the woman I want to be.

I, Ms Juicy queen bee, in Pennsylvania send a shout out to my friends and family across the states that are in prison trying to make it and a special shout out to my friend and other half, Mr. E Stuges and kisses. William Coward #ML5077 SCI Houtzdale PO Box 33028, St Petersburg FL 33733 [address for letters to PA prisoners]

Lost Soul

Hey there to all of my LGBT family. I just received my first UltraViolet issue and I want to say that I feel your all’s pain. I am in prison for 2 violent murders. I have 2 life withouts and will never get out of prison. I am transgender and when I first came to prison in 2011 all gay people were targeted. We were looked at as sicko’s, weak and weird. Even the staff looked down on us. So instead of me being who I am, I acted like someone who I wasn’t. I was mean toward everyone, always fighting and trying to be aggressive all the time no matter the situation. I figured that as long as I held that reputation then I wouldn’t have to worry about getting picked on. I stayed like that for 10 years, up until the beginning of 2021. I realized that I didn’t truly love myself acting and doing the things that I was doing, so I eventually started carrying myself who I really am. Even though I get treated bad and get picked on like I do, I realize I can say that I love myself and no one can ever take that away from me. So I want to say that don’t let no one ever make you do things or act a way you normally wouldn’t act. Always love yourself, that’s the only thing that matters and don’t let no one take that away from you. I’m always open to meet and write new people so let’s be friends … Marion Parker #139284, EKCC, 200 Road to Justice, West Liberty KY 41472

Pen Pal Resources

BLACK AND PINK, 6223 Maple Street, #4428, Omaha NE 68104

Black and Pink is an open family of LGBT prisoners and free world allies. We provide a free monthly newsletter of prisoner written material, host an online listing of pen pals, coordinate an art program, provide direct advocacy when possible, and offer religious and erotic materials upon request. Donations of stamps are always welcomed but not required.

SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJCT, 147 W. 24th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Provides free civil legal services and a pen pal program to incarcerated people in New York who are transgender,intersex, or gender nonconforming. We are a collectively-run organization that seeks to make systemic change and

increase the political power of our communities.

PRISONER CORRESPONDENCE PROJECT, QPIRG Concordia c/o Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal QC H3G 1M8 CANADA or info@prisonercorrespondenceproject.com

Pen pal service for prisoners in u.s. and canada. (postage from u.s. to canada is $1.20)

Shorts from Inside

Thank you for being the first newsletter to publish my short script. I opened up your newsletter on 11/2/2021 and turned to the Shorts from Inside and seen my own wording and started crying. It took me around 5 ½ minutes to gather myself. Until next time. BGR, San Luis Obispo CA

I just received your latest Fall 2021 issue and wanted to thank you all so much for keeping tabs on me and updating my address.  You guys (and gals) are awesome. Your publication has been a bright spot during my time down and I always look forward to each and every issue. With love and solidarity, DE, Devens MA

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” MW, Florida City FL

I love your UltraViolet newspaper and find comfort in the fact that I’m not alone. I’m incarcerated. I’m female with a desire to finally live freely with in the prison as a male. I’m ready to break free of this shell of a woman and emerge proudly as the man I am meant to be. The Florida women’s prison system finally has a Transgender Program. The program allows us to receive male hygiene products, wear men’s clothing and has Hormone Therapy. I’ve submitted several requests of my desires to enroll into this program. I’m terrified of being denied. Do you have knowledge of any Florida Transgender Advocacy Groups? You are greatly appreciated for all you are to the LGBTQI community and are the voice for us incarcerated people. Trans4Life!! Amanda Blair #E44286. Lowell CI, 11120 NW Gainesville Rd. Ocala FL 34482

Greetings from Ohio to all the amazingly strong and resilent beautiful people reading these words. I am a transwoman looking to build and network with other trans people incarcerated across the states who may need some help/support as they continue to fight for a voice. I am going on my 5th month on H.R.T. after over a decade worth of blood, sweat, tears, lawsuits and all the ugliness that we know so well. I had strong people encouraging me and still do as I continue. I would love to pay it forward. Inmate-to-inmate is allowed in Ohio prisons. Victoria Drain #726-985, Ohio S.P. 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd. Youngstown OH 44505

I want to thank all who wrote me after my short, “Cherish Cupid no matter where it strikes” (Fall 2021).  I have a problem with my mailroom as they are unauthorizing all my letters for inmate-to-inmate correspondence. This has been an issue I’m dealing with – luckily I was able to get a few in. If you wrote me and did not receive a response or have not written but want to, please write to the new address and I will write back guaranteed. Wayne Walker, 1861 Jeane Ave. Pahrump NV 89048

I enjoy getting and reading your UltraViolet newspaper. I just got volume XXXIII, #2 and it is very interesting to read. I always read it word for word , I love reading those articles. RLA, Perry FL

I’m getting released!! Cancel this address and I’ll write with the new one. JT, Mt Olive WV [ed. Note – CONGRATULATIONS]

I want you to know you’ve been really keeping my eyes open so I can be understanding of my daughter once I am released next year. LE, Canon City CO

Today I received the Fall 2021 issue of UltraViolet and recently got the Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 issues to catch me up to date for the ones I missed during my long (frustrating) transfer process to this prison. There is a surprisingly large LGBTQ community in here at FCI Ashland KY and I have shared those three issues with others in my unit. I’m helping spread the word … your words.  I’ll keep all issues to share with new arrivals in our community here. Keep a song of joy inside your heart. DP, Ashland KY

I love UltraViolet! The articles are well written and speak the truth. Please include some information about organizations and groups that offer LGBT prisoner resources. AC, Bushnell FL

I’m transmale in prison in Florida. My facility just started recognizing Gender Dysphoria and they are actually giving me testosterone as hormone therapy. KT, Ocala FL

Hi. It’s me again, I hope all of you are well and safe from COVID. As you can see, I’ve been transferred, maybe the mailroom will be more lenient than Union [C.I. Raiford FL] was.  It has gotten a little better here in Fl. I’m now close to Tallahassee, nice time to cuddle-up but I can’t at the moment but in time, I will.  Love ya!! Rosie, Live Oak FL

A friend let me read some of your newspaper. I just love the articles on tranz-injustice. I am on a life sentence. I’ve been down 25 years, since 196. On the streets, I was forced to play the role of only a guy without a girl. I’m from Ogden UT where there were only 2 gay bars. It’s sad that I had to come to prison for a few years just to have the courage to come out. In 2005 I changed my name to Melissa. Not legally (I wish). This shows how oppressed we have been for so so long. This needs to change. I’m grateful for people like you who give a damn about rights for everyone. Respectfully, MM, Draper UT

I am a proud Gay black man incarcerated in the Michigan Department of Corrections and I’m very interested in your group. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the men in prison like us! JJ, St Louis MI

I am so humbly and thankfully writing to you all for the first of many times. I am a transgender at Coastal S.P. who goes by the name of Queen Zora Siege. I am currently serving a 13 year sentence. While being here I have been sexually and physically assaulted but I am still standing and surviving. People need to know and understand that things are still pretty hard for some of us in prison. And not everyone is okay with trading relationships and sex for protection and sustenance. Al though we are now able to partake in hormone replacement therapy and are being allowed to express ourselves in some gender-affirming ways, things are not always rainbows and butterflies. Yes we are in prison but we are still human beings deserving of some form of dignity if we are going to one day be productive citizens. We need to continue to fight for our right to safety and safe-housing. I love all of you and I am so thankful that I was able to come across a newsletter of y’alls! It has really brightened this dark journey through prison. Queen Zora Siege, Garden City GA

I recently read a copy of your newsletter that someone here had. Your front page article about abortion, Texas and Witchelm was great news and made me very happy! The story of the Drop from the sky did not make the news here. I have been hoping that someone would do something to help the women to make decisions for themselves! It is their right. MTH, Coleman FL

Hello LAGAI, I want you to know that you guys are my heroes. I really enjoyed reading your newsletter and I thank God for your UltraViolet rays that helped light my path today. You empowered me to keep Pushing on. I am in Ad-Seg in SECC and it’s awful. It’s the worse conditions of confinement on Earth.

Who Am I?

A very wise woman once told that the best gift you can give yourself is the gift os knowing who you are!!  I am a TRANSwoman (Taking Risks and Never Stopping). I am stronger, wiser and much better than before because I have that gift. To all my TRANS bros and sis’ do you know who you are? I pray that you do and if you are still searching for your identity, I pray that you find it. I recently embraced my transformation and every day since has seemed like a holiday. Bro and sis, I stand in solidarity with you all, those of us behind barz and those of you in the FREE World..

I have a question for you all. Do you believe that a 12 year old is capable of knowing what gender he/she chooses to be? Recently rapper “Lil Boosie” blasted Dewayne Wade because D-Wade is allowing his son/daughter to get gender re-assignment surgery. Do you agree? I do not. I had the gift of knowing who I was at 9 years old.  I applaud D-Wade; he is an All-Star on and off the court. He understands that his child’s life will not be one without trouble, but he also understands trouble don’t last always.

Pursue your transformation diligently, train your mind not to dwell on your fearful thoughts. You are not alone, the Queen Mother Summer Breeze is with you. Love you all. Laderic McDonald #1290182, SECC, 300 East Pedro Simmons Dr. Charleston MO 603834

I Need Advocacy

Please help me. My name is Matthew Lee Espinoza. I am Transgender but because I have been tormented since 3/2020, even if I’m miserable I’m going back to living my life as a man.

In March of 2020, I was sexually harassed by a Correctional Officer. After the second time I had to reject his sexual advances, he began to maliciously harass me. After a year I tried to file a P.R.E.A. because he would not leave me alone! That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I tried to file with my Psych Clinician and a mean I.S.U. officer. Nothing got filed. But everything got 10x worse for me. All I want is to do my time because I did put myself here and it was wrong for me to be getting ‘stabby’ with anyone!!! But I don’t deserve all this bullshit. Please help me with some advocacy. Matthew Lee Espinoza #BE6973, Mule Creek S.P./B-9-222, PO Box 409040, Ione CA 95640

Horrifying True Story

Sorry I have been absent from the scene for a moment. I have an awful true story to share with our family again. On March 3rd, a Sgt. slammed me on the ground because I had my hair pinned up in a very cute hairstyle known as pigtails while sporting a mini skirt, then SEVERAL other male officers came rushing in and one of them put shackles on my legs. So I’m being held to the ground in Handcuffs and shackles by multiple violent and derogatory staff members. Another officer, a Lt. sprayed me in the face at point blank range with pepper spray. Why???!! What possible threat am I, once being held by multiple male officers?? I’m only a girl of 150 pounds. Anyways, then these discriminatory officers picked me up and carried me into my cell and cut all of my clothes off except my panties. And then carried me out in the hallway in front of all the male offenders! Let me tell you something, my psychological and emotional state since that happened has been TORMENT! I’ve had flashbacks to my childhood about my father. Plus I’ve been having night terrors. So, with all that being said, I am not the only Transgender Woman up here at this prison that has been attacked.  This has to stop!!

We need help up here. This abuse and brutality is out of hand! Anybody that is willing to help, please feel free to write. Also to the other Muslim brothers and sisters, Transgender or not: AS SALAAMU ALAIKUM! I would love to get to meet other Musilimahs like me. My name is Neah Hafsa ASLYon or sometimes Tequila or Seaneal. Sease Beard #1251289, J.C.C.C. 8200 No More Victims Rd. Jefferson City MO 65101

Author: lagai

LAGAI-Queer Insurrection is one of the oldest radical queer liberation groups in the U.S. We publish UltraViolet, a more or less bimonthly newspaper, which is mailed free of charge to over 1500 people, including over 800 prisoners. Our website is www.lagai.org.

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