My Fractured Facade by Abe Fromen, NY
I am bi-sexual, I have been since I was about 12 years old. I was turned out when I was 8 years old. By the time I was 9, I could satisfy a grown man. I've had plenty of girlfriends; sex; yes! But there was always the other side of my life; then I came to prison! So I decided to leave that side of my life behind, but I couldn't; Are people like me born this way or are we made; I was made, and I hate myself, every day of my life; but I also love who I am.
In prison you can be anything and anyone you want to be; in prison: everyone's a drug dealer, so where are the addicts? I've seen it all and been through it all; except for the using of drugs part; yeah! I've sold them. A means to an end; you could say?
Who are you to judge me! I am surrounded by drug addicts, drug dealers, rapists, thieves, child molesters, snitches, murderers; yet I'm the bad guy. I am by no means feminine; I'm 5'10"; 280 lbs, bald and bearded; I'm what confuses people.
I've faced a lot of discrimination here in prison; those who know me; who really know me, accept my lifestyle; others have walked away, others stare and whisper and point; but who are they! It shouldn't matter to me, but it does; this is my life, this is where I live, this is where I have to survive; and it gets harder and harder every day. I have 19 years in and was forced to "come out" about 5-6 years ago; people, my so [page cuts off] I am; at the time I was 32 and he was 22 years old; the questioning became an everyday thing, finally I broke, and came out; I got a few hugs and a lot of "I don't care, that's your personal life;" I was elated, but it was short-lived; then the guards found out; at the time I held a pretty high position there in the convict hierarchy; which I was slowly being dragged down. I am a man; first and foremost: and for those who don't know about me; I do not tell either: but maybe I should; is it not obvious?
My partner is gay; feminine, and we are always together, like always; isn't it obvious; I guess not! It's like I'm a spy; I meet people, we become friendly, start hanging out, working out together, etc; and then they find out! "How come I never told them," "you were trying to make a move on me," "were you checking me out in the shower." Then the explaining starts: 1. It's none of your business. 2. It's my personal life. 3. you're not my type. 4. Being attracted to guys doesn't make me a rapist; I do have standards! They'll never understand me, no one will!
Another friend lost! The facade I display is one of many I've had for 19 years. I don't even know who I am anymore; at times I break down and cry. There's people in here who know me better than my own family does; that's just crazy. We come in all different colors and creeds and it seems to me that the feminine ones are accepted easier than I am; it's almost like; with them, what you see is what you get; but with me, you just don't know.
It's like this fear, an unknown fear that I'll be exposed and lose everything: my friends, my life, my family, my respect; after this guy and I fought; he comes out to me and wants to hook up? He couldn't handle it; he had to "save face" in front of his friends and then he's on his knees in front of me. Crazy!
The punishment of prison is not being separated from our loved ones or society; it's living around all these people. It's like a mental hospital; it really is!
I'm in the shower, and this kid showering across from me and he's staring; like obviously staring; so I look away, I'm trying not to be disrespectful; so finally I look at him and nod my head and say what's up. He exits and so do I; he decides to leave his bench where his clothes and things are to come over and dry off right in front of me; completely naked, facing me; fully exposed and erect! Yeah! He was hitting on me. Now shy as I am; I quickly dry off, get dressed and leave; a few days later; I approached him alone; and he tells me he's not gay or bi and denies the whole thing ever happened; what? Crazy!
You know what makes me cry - "Space Odyssey" (Major Tom) by David Bowie and the sequel to that song by Shilling - from the 80's. I feel like I'm lost and no one's coming for me and then they find me; but this is my home; maybe I'm the one that's crazy!?
And I have such an excellent support system; so much waiting for me on the outside; yet; here I am. Crazy!