HATE exists everywhere. This is something I NEVER imagined having to write. Being black and transgender and living South Georgia, I have, of course, been the victim of hateful treatment. Before coming to prison, I saw the world as black vs. white. In the town I lived in, white folks went to work for the Police department, or the prisons and black folks worked on the farms or in fast food places. Then I went to prison…..I have witnessed countless acts of hate against all inmates in this facility, regardless of the color of the officer or the inmate. The staff here is about 80% POC. The inmates often wonder where these women came from and why would they choose this job? Single mothers, desperate for a way to care for their kids? Is it a hiring requirement that they are all heartless, angry, and bitter?
The day room of my dorm is a large open area where sound echoes from all sides. There are 96 women in the dorm and only 8 tables and maybe 20 chairs, so most of the inmates sit on the floor when they want to socialize. I and 2 of my friends were attempting to find a place to study together, so we took a quiet spot on the floor next to the stairs. One of my friends is white, and the other is Italian and Black (though the officers insist on referring to her as “Mexican”). About 30 minutes into studying the dorm officer begins walking around the room. She passes no less than a dozen people sitting on the floor and walks directly to us.
“Y’all can’t sit on the floor.” she says.
“Why not? Everyone else is. We’re trying to study .” I say
“Because I said you can’t. This is my dorm.” She replies.
Jokingly I say.” Is it because I’m black?”
She looked directly at my friend and said,” No Peterson, it’s because she’s white. We don’t mix here. Now get your asses off the floor and go find a table where I can watch you.”’How do you respond to something like that? We all just sat there for a minute, and tears started pouring down my friends face (the mixed girl). We were furious, and powerless to do or say anything. Talking back to an officer is insubordination and grounds for lock down.The woman I love is Native American but passes as white. I love her because she is amazing and wonderful. I love her because she loves me for who I am. She supports me and my crazy idea that 1 voice can change things. She taught me to love myself, and others. She respects me as a man, and challenges me to do more every day. No matter what shade her human skin is, who couldn’t love a woman like that? She is the light that shines in my very dark world and I am blessed to have such love and support in my life.I don’t see the world as black vs. white anymore. After so many years sitting in this system of corruptions, it it very clear to me that it’s really about power. Those with the power will always pray of those who are weak. Those with the positions of control will always oppress those who are unable to fight back. They push us down and hold our heads to the ground, and they say they can do this because no one cares about inmates. I know for a fact that they are wrong. I matter to someone, and as long as I am in here, she will be my voice.~Words of Kyle P*
Help Ky’s fight for freedom by sharing his story and donating at Freedom Overground