I have two separate goals. The first is to address LGBT recidivism. Every year it seems as if the LGBT population is growing in our prison systems. This isn’t due to an increase of LGBT people doing more crime, this is a result of men and women being more bold about their sexual identity post-incarceration.

Part of ending recidivism among the LGBT community is addressing past trauma, drug use, prostitution & forced sex work (because like it or not, there is legal sex work), religious persecution, segregation, bigotry, self-esteem & other such things. The truth is I see first hand the effects of all these things on my peers. Many of them are so outcast and isolated that when they do finally get a friend they almost don’t know what to do with them. But this problem goes way beyond needing friendship. 

I am one of the lucky ones. I recognized my problem wasn’t just a single factor. It was multifaceted and complex. So I demanded change of myself and it has been a VERY hard road. But more then hard, its been lonely. Because while I grow and change and evolve into a structured, healthy man my peers are not. Now that I feel stable enough to plant my feet firmly on the ground I can offer a hand to those who are doing the same thing. Because nobody helped me. Honestly, no one knew how. 

Now that I know what it took to get here, I know how to help others help themselves. Which is a conclusion to my first goal: empowering the LGBT population to be self-sufficient and confident in their identities with the goal of being unique and healthy in a cohesive, well rounded society. Without crime.

Secondly, I want to end victimization, period. Not just within and by the LGBT community but as a whole. I envision a world where religions and morals coexist and function to shape a beautiful community. I see a world where drugs don’t exist as a catalyst to poison our children, our families and ourselves. I see a world where gangs don’t exist and drug dealers aren’t poisoning our streets. I see a world where if a child sustains abuse that he or she is not forgotten or displaced but helped by a government and a community. 

I see a world where it is the duty of every beating heart to care and love enough to make a positive difference. It is the responsibility of every adult to raise the neighborhood children. To help those struggling emotionally, mentally and morally become self-sustaining. 

I see a world without victims. Where mothers no longer mourn their children’s senseless tragedies. Where men and women get help while they are incarcerated so that they emerge healthy and productive members of our society and not forgotten monstrosities of a corrupt and bureaucratic prison system that promotes and capitalizes off of violence and tragedy.

I see a world where every women and man can feel safe and know that crime is declining and will eventually die. Where murders will not be a nonchalant occurrence, where drugs will not poison our culture, where religion will no longer tear us apart but bind and strengthen. A world where sexual deviancy is cured and not forgotten. Where the victim can get help and know that it will not happen again and that the perpetrator in any capacity will be helped and will no longer be a terror to their community because we as a community can help the incarcerated. 

This is my goal and what I work for. It may be laughed at by many, but I don’t care. I am still going to do it.

Perhaps someone out there can help.

With Love
Jeff Utnage