Four more years of President Obama! YES! I admit that I was tuned into MSNBC during the hours of election coverage last night. I am an Obama supporter 100% when it comes to making a choice between him and Romney. As soon as I saw the Romney defeat, I could go to bed.The other amazing news was that Tammy Baldwin won the senate seat in Wisconsin and she, is openly gay. To me, this was even greater than President Obama’s re-election. It means that people are truly moving forward out there and able to look at what matters rather than who she chooses to share her bed with.
As a gay man, I feel as if it is one more step towards equality. I know that nothing happens overnight, and that there will always be people against me that do not approve, just as they are in here, with me now. I am so happy for Ms. Baldwin though and truly do believe she was the best candidate for the seat.In here, we do not have actual elections, but we do have our head speakers, or the final decision makers, and they are voted in. The difference is that we do not campaign or voice that we even want the position. It is all based upon seniority and reputation. Gang affiliation and origin also play a part in it as well. An inmate from New York, for example, cannot be the head of a race for an entire yard in Arizona. There are serious issues with our process because a lot of times, just like in real politics, it is a popularity contest. At the same time, a lot of political positions can be simply dropped in your lap, and you do not have the option of saying ‘no’ to those appointments. If you mess up, guess who becomes the enemy? It can get very messy, very quickly.
For me, I have done my best when it has come to the various positions that I have held and when you consider the ladder that I have subconsciously climbed without even realizing it, well, I too have broken down some serious barriers!The 1st position that was ever given to me was in 2007. I was told that I would be responsible for all the homosexuals on the yard. At the time, there were 12 of us. The position was difficult because the homosexuals didn’t respect me because I was not feminine like they were. In time, I earned their respect and after that, things ran smoothly.
In 2004, there was a decision made above my head that there would be no homosexuals allowed on the yard because they were causing too much drama between the particular gangs and races. They had to leave, but I was exempt because I was one of the ‘fellas’ and also happened to be with the head of the Bloods, (I have explained the relationship to LayZ to you already.) Not long after that, I was given an entire ‘run’ of people to be in charge of. This caused a major shift in political structure in prison. Until that time, no other homosexual had ever held a position where they could make decisions about straight men, and real convicts at that. A few bucked the decision challenged me physically, but I won. In that situation, if I win, then that person must concede to me. I did really well in the position though and kept peace within the group of people that I had to speak on behalf of. It was that time that I earned the most of my respect from the general population.In 2010, I was promoted to becoming a sergeant of a yard, which meant that I was the head of about 200 other men, Again, I excelled at it. I think that my positions have gone well because, unlike the majority, I tend to think about what is really going on within our population. I’m not an advocate of violence, so that is never my first option. I believe that if these guys can learn to communicate like adults, then it benefits everyone as a whole.
By 2011, I was moved to a different yard and realized that I had earned enough status to respectfully decline a position on the yard. I did this because I did not respect the head at all and I knew that I would not work well with him. Thankfully, I was allowed to “take a break”.This year however, coming to my current unit changed everything once again. The head is someone I have known for years and it was not really an option to say ‘no’. I explained to him that I wanted a small position and that made him laugh. Looking back on it now, I suppose it was comical because I was appointed head of Dorm 2, which is, or was, the worst of the yard. On the plus side, all major issues have been happening in other dorms now, which, is saying a lot.