If you have ever been assaulted for your sexuality or something similar then you know the type of fear I am talking about here. It’s the type of fear that you see every night before you go to bed and wake up with their faces in your mind in the middle of the night.

It’s the type of fear that when you go to talk about it you freeze with the fear that they might appear out of nowhere to assault you again. Because in the moment of violence they told you not to talk about it “or else.”

Fear is crippling. Actually, it’s crippling me. Who am I kidding here? I know that I am not the only one who has dealt with this so I am going to talk about the repercussions of this with anyone who cares to listen…I guess because I need to vent more than anything. This is truth and I like truth better than anything.

I know that it is irrational to be afraid of the same thing happening twice. But yet I still won’t go near a group of people with the same nationality as my assailants. I won’t allow them to cut my hair or talk to me at all. 

I went to a group discussion that was supposed to be a support system for LGBT people in prison and the whole time I sat there all I could see was fists flying at me and men dragging me into the shower with everyone watching…I closed up and this once mighty speaker and advocate became a mousy closed off spectator again. 

Is this failure? Does this mean they won? I sit here typing this message out with tears welling in my eyes because I already know the answer and I hate it. I hate that they have won, they silenced me and I cannot stand it.

So this is what I am going to do, I am going to speak out again. I will not be silenced though I have felt the violence of hatred. 

With Love
Jeff Utnage