I am uncomfortable saying that name anymore, Trump. As a prisoner I am accutely aware of what political party has decreased or increased sentence lengths, who has what view on prison funding, LGBT rights, and most importantly- jobs. Will I be able to pursue my happiness upon release? That’s been my question, especially since I have began my education.

With stocks rising and the economy creating lots of business opportunities, it was hard for me to not think about that presidency in a favorable light. After all, I want to be happy, get paid well and pursue my own little slice of pie. The problem was my morals. Yeah, as a prisoner I have them.

I suppose without prison I might never would have truly defined my value system and morals. But being cast away from society has a way of making you think, at least for me. What I noticed was that while I was able to get a job and make money in the stock market, it was becoming more hostile for me as a trans person. And not just for me, I noticed that many Republican oriented personalities were becoming increasingly intolerant. This is at odds with my morals.

I had to decide if I was okay with pursuing my dreams if it meant I had to be silent in the face of racism, genderism, and general hate. The answer is a resounding and emphatic no. NO!

I am embarrassed that it took me so long to be courageous enough. But it did feel like I had to choose between my dreams and doing what I know is right. My dreams are to be wealthy enough to leave financial stability for my children, should they want that, and to be in a field where I can influence prisoner behavior, culture, and outcomes. That all felt very possible, maybe even easy under this presidency and it feels like I have had to walk away from that protect my morals.

And I’m at peace with that. I’d rather die a poor woman with my dignity, what little remains of it anyway, than to die wealthy and know I turned my back as people I loved were hurt.

I may be late, but I support most anyone but Trump or anyone in his dangerous and sycophantic cabinet.

With Love
Ruth Utnage
(For interviews or media inquiries please contact me directly!)

Ruth Utnage fka jeff 823469 C-510-2
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA. 98272

or via Jpay email service (you have to use my birth name, but, please do not call me by it, my new legal name is Ruth)

Jeff Utnage