Queer st blues: The making of an icon

Oguntodu, Joseph

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Queer St. Blues: Making of An Icon On Easter Sunday, I was out advocating for LGBTQI rights. I told people the pretty boys make themselves look ugly by their attitude. The housing area (wing) I live up has too many cliques (fraternity house) and the gays are going to take over. I am in a 18 month sex offender treatment program here on the LV Hightower unit. There is a lot of homophobia around here. Many are denying it because they worry about what everyone thinks. A guy I talked to calls them "situational homosexuals." I want to open the Queer Pandora's Box to capture the hearts of the reader. What I am about to write may shock you. Please have some snack foods and a sandwich along with a drink available. I did some interviewing of various people who are in our therapeutic community. Many are on different paths. Many lack the maturity. I dealt with a lot of conflict. There is jealousy, greed, favoritism, etc. My thought of being around my own sex offenders would be laid back individuals. I was wrong. Many try to play the tough role but they are really not. Here are some of the responses to my speech: You're trying to force your beliefs and sexuality on other people. Keep your sexuality to yourself. Do this program and go home. No more victims. Considering the fact that some guys don't like you, an unnecessary remark gives people the leverage to cast you in a vulgar light (speaking) out of frustration. We are here to better ourselves, work the program not to cause conflict "you made a comment. It's not like you made anyone do something. It is not power thrusting. You knew better and the people are out to get you. There are people I associate with and get close to. How you said it and what you said didn't change the fact you are gay. It was taken out of context by certain people. You are not hitting or assaulting. Watch what you say. One should be able to express themselves without causing harm to another individual. It's not targeting people. Watch what you say - A lot of people don't want to talk to you because you bombard them with a lot of questions. A lot of people say that you interrogate them and make them feel uncomfortable. Know people's boundaries. Watch how they carry themselves. It's inappropriate because it can lead to a lot of drama and ultimately cause emotional, physical and mental harm- There are a lot of people who are against gay people and they might overhear your conversation or comments and eventually retaliate against you and others. Also you can't power thrust and say all gays are going to take over because this is an opinion and people have boundaries that have limits. Sometimes it's better to keep things to yourself. You are just yourself. Be respectful. You need to focus on the program and bettering yourself. Don't worry about all these people. I don't see nothing negative, no power thrusting. You have a right to your opinion. You make it harder for gay people. You're disrespecting people and it could lead to a riot, case for fighting. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Next time use thought stop, thought shift, use your coping skills. Your comments are inappropriate in a therapeutic community as a member. It was deviant and nonconsensual. Pushing initiative and agenda on those not like minded "crazy boundaries" assuming that it's permissible behavior when you're in a therapeutic community and program environment when such action. "You can be gay but you can't be an active gay sexually because it's against TDCJ rules and program is based off of behavioral/thinking patterns. This is inappropriate behavior because everyone has a right to choose what they want to be in life. If I am trying to make somebody do something they don't want to do that's considered power thrusting or power control over another person. These are thinking errors that need to be corrected. In this program, you are trying to do these types of thinking errors. It is very inappropriate because we are trying to replace bad habits with good habits. Watch what you say because it the wrong way and twist it to mean something else. Be aware of what you say and who you are saying it to. You are in a program bettering your behavior. You have to figure out how you can do things discretely. These taboo things that go on. Red light = Behaviors bringing to my attention to not in public yellow light = involving the staff you need to talk to them about your personal issues. Green = positive behavior you see in someone. Society is going as the normal "you can't be gay in my society. Make realistic goals in your life. Take the time to work on yourself. Don't let this be a negative. They look at homosexuality with hostility in prison. You are putting it out there. This is an irrational belief. People are coming in and out. 6 months from now half of the living area will rotate. This is no one gay taking over everything. You are prideful. You like to express, gloat. You take stuff personally and let your pride/emotions get in the way. You made a reference to anti-gay. This is strength in numbers. "Taking over" — Open ended — no clarification, intimidation. It's never appropriate to say anything about demographics. Put emphasis — create division — personal hate/anger is uniqueness, putting others on the defensive. Intending to put down. Use tactics to identify source; jealousy, needing to be accepted you have low self esteem and powerless. God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth. Listen. Since that is blatantly power thrusting, this is the same mentality as slaveowners: The right to control ourselves. Self-control so that the state has the right to control us. This can be perceived as a terroristic threat with a freeworld change. Words have power and sharp as a sword. What gives you the right to be judgmental? If someone doesn't make the change, then it's always going to be how it's always been. If people wouldn't have said and done things to help end slavery, then it would still be ongoing. Your negatives includes being stubborn, prideful, arrogant, and impulsive, domineering, come on too strong, needing, possessive. You are caring, friendly, engaging, and intelligent. I had to deal with queer bashing all 7 1/2 years I been locked up. I been verbally, physically, and sexually assaulted. I have been forced to pay for protection. A gang member stole $500 from me in 2011 on the Roach Unit. I had bad experiences. I still feel traumatized. I still haven't healed. People still prey on the weak. When I expose people, they get defensive and make threats. Queer people come from all walks of life. I am not your typical queer. I don't know how to swim, tie a tie on, work on cars, fix things I had not had a stable relationship/job like Halsey would say "I'm bad at love. Look at my history." I read so many books while I was in prison. I love my dear queerlings. I want to reach out to you. Many of the queer community may have went through gay bashing like myself. I have to deal with so much at stake each day. Mon-Fri we recite the sex offender therapeutic community creed/program philosophy. We have to snitch on each other using a pull up system. I encourage you all to google therapeutic community. What is a queer therapeutic community? Is there such a thing. There are queer sex offenders? I have been trying to get enough rest but it gets tough. Roster counts - Mon-Fri 1 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and midnight, weekends - 1 a.m. roster count. I go to Psych Ed 4 days a week from 7:30-10 a. I have a lot of homework to do. I try to go to the law library as often as possible. From 2012 to 2017, I went to the law library daily. I met so many people. I tried to study law. I am a social and business style of person. I want to finish my BA in Sociology, then pursue my Masters/PhD. I had to cut some things out of the prison mentality. I stopped knocking on tables. Knocking on tables signals you are done eating. Another individual voiced that I was applying LGBT law to prison and it is a conflict. They feel that they are manly. It is more like a boys home. Many of them don't know how to tackle a problem. They believe fighting is the answer when it's not. I am trying to transform prison. They made accusations that I want to turn the prison queer. Many prisoners overthink things. They will jump to conclusions. They mishoused nonsex offenders and place them with us. They have some that have completed the program that are waiting for a halfway house bed to open up. People got mad at me for inquiring about a queer halfway house. If there is not one, I am interested in starting one. I want our queer home to be represented well. I am trying to cope with being locked up almost 8 years. I discharge off paper on 9/1/2020. I am tired of monotony in prison. I want to be free. People are so picky around here. I see a lot of people with different abilities. There are people that poke fun at others instead of just being present. The religious right is wreaking havoc in the world and in prison. They feel that those who don't know Christ will be doomed to hell. A lot of people feel they find God in prison. It is a facade. Many of the sex offenders feel damned by God because of their offense. Sex addiction hasn't been addressed in prison. They only have NA/AA, but no SAA. They don't hardly have any Toastmasters in prison. They have more religious programming. It is cooling off in Dayton! I rather it be warm than cold. Climate change is upon us. I can't stand it. I hope that in 2018, our queer community can stand in the gap. Every vote counts. I want to thank Hamilton College for producing APWA.

Author: Oguntodu, Joseph

Author Location: Texas

Date: April 17, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 7 pages

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