The Bilerico Project, recently posted a new article by Toshio Meronek called “What Is It Like To Be Young, Queer And Behind Bars?” The piece is an excellent and heartbreaking account of the struggles that gay and trans youth face while incarcerated, as well as a number of testimonials.
From the article: “Like many other oppressed groups, young LGBTQ people are overrepresented within the imprisoned population, making up 15% of youth incarcerated nationwide. The majority of imprisoned LGBTQ youth have no home to return to once they’re on the outside, and they face a disproportionately high amount of time in solitary confinement (justified as “for their own safety”). They’re also among the most victimized while in lock-up. Last summer, Wesley Ware of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL)guest blogged on Bilerico about Locked Up & Out, a report focused on queer youth in detention. The report found that LGBTQ youth may be more likely to receive additional charges for fighting or be issued disciplinary tickets for defending themselves from sexual attacks. They experience psychological attacks as well. One youth reported that he was called a gay slur 20 times per day. According to Wes Ware, “Once inside prison, LGBT youth often bear the worst the system has to offer.” But little attention has been paid to this vulnerable population.”
also, check out Certain Days, (the cover of this years calendar, by Molly Flair, is the image associated with this article) a project executed in collaboration with political prisoners, is a beautiful collection of writing and art in calendar format that is an educational project and fundraising vehicle. The calendar features works on a wide variety of issues, like racism, the prison industrial complex, lgbtq prisoners, prisoner health, anti-imperialist struggles, indigenous sovereignty to name a few!