In the previous entry, I revealed that there was a time when I was one of ‘those people’ being told to leave a yard, that I was not welcome and if I didn’t leave, I would be killed. There is a reason for this. It all began in county jail. When I initially entered county jail, I was considered a high profile case. My photos were on every news channel and the facts of my case, were a bit outrageous. So I was put into protective custody, A year or so later, I wanted to go into general population. I made the request, signed some forms and moved.
The transition was daunting, but I did it. Slowly though, I realized that I had become a target for extortion and I was not having it. I was told by two other black inmates that I would put $500.00 on their books each month until I went to prison, or I would be killed. I said no and made arrangements to move into a different pod. As I went into my cell to pack my stuff, the two men came in and tried to rape me. I put up a good fight, but I still lost. Thankfully, an officer intervened before it actually happened. I was immediately put back into protective custody. Word spread quickly about what happened. Inmates remember a lot of things. This world is not that big.
After that initial year in super max, I was moved to a high security level yard. Some men recognized me and said that I had to move. They told me that because I was gay, that I was weak and would be a ‘liability’. So I was forced to leave, and was put into the “hole” until they could find another yard for me to live on. The exact same situation happened at the next yard that I was taken to, and so again, I was put back into the “hole”. In all, this happened to me a total of three times before I hit a yard and ran into a good friend of mine from county who vouched for me.
As I settled in, the one thing I knew was that I could never be viewed as “weak” again. I would have to fight, and fight hard. It’s what I had to do. It was by doing just that, that I have made a reputation and gained respect. I fight well with my body and even better with my mind. It is amazing to me to think that I have gone from being perceived as a weak liability to an asset who is strong, and needed.
Still though, a wrong move, a wrong decision – can change all of that. Because of that, I must always be on top of things. Thee van be no mistakes. It is unacceptable and I know that.