I’ve said repeatedly that when I got out of prison I had lots of stories to tell that I couldn’t share while I was still in prison, secrets of a formerly incarcerated transgender woman. Well, I’m out…

 

I was always astonished at the number of corrections officers that hit on me. I never crossed a line with one physically, but I can tell you there were plenty of times when comments were exchanged that were all the way unusual. I kind of have to chuckle to myself. Like inmates, corrections officers find themselves at an odd crossroads with me because on one hand I am attractive to some of them but on the other hand it’s not entirely socially acceptable to admit that to anyone. Especially if you’re an officer.

I never at any point felt threatened or wronged by these flirtations. Quite the opposite, I felt humanized. I never once used that flirtatiousness to manipulate, though, I have to be honest when I say I could have. Believe me, I could have, I just didn’t. I didn’t want to compromise my sense of morality. It’s one thing to flirt, it’s another to manipulate. Now, once I did manipulate that with a corrections officer because he was being so damned mean. So, I called him Daddy.

 

That’s right, I called him daddy. It caught him off guard so much that it destabilized his ability to remain a total…well, you know…to everyone when I was around. It’s hard to be an asshole when you’re being called Daddy. I don’t know why. This one time I was eating and that same guy was hollering at everyone being a total tyrant, so I said “Dad! I missed you!” He stopped dead in his tracks and walked over to the table, his big ole’ belly swinging with this stern look on his face and leaned over the table and says, “If I was your Daddy you would never eat in this chow hall, you’d have money on your books, you can count on that.”.

 

And then he walked away. It left me and my companion (another trans person) in total shock. We looked at one another and was like “did we just hear that right?”.

Things like this happened so often that I can’t even recall every instance. It’s the little things that humanized me to them because they knew I wasn’t going to freak out about it. I was just going to make them feel comfortable and that is exactly what happened and the result was that I had a great relationship with many, many officers. I knew who I could go to if I actually felt unsafe or needed legit help. That’s important because there were plenty of times when an officer seen that I was in some sort of threatening situation simply because they knew me well enough to see my body language shift.

 

Stay tuned for more…

 

With Love

Ruth Utnage