Last week Reentry Central brought you a report on how the criminal justice system fails LGBT people. Today we would like to share with you one gay man’s story that sadly illustrates the point.
Via the Marshal Project
What It’s Like to Be Gay in Prison
When the people in charge are homophobic.
By Corbett J. Yost
This article was published in collaboration with Vice.
“Hey slut!” he yelled at me, laughing with his friend. “What? You know you’re a slut!”
I stopped and turned to face the two corrections officers who were pointing at me. I smiled and waved before proceeding to walk into the dining hall.
I put up with this type of behavior from the Michigan Department of Corrections staff constantly. It’s something I expected from other prisoners, but the harassment from the officers is actually much more severe.
In the past, I might have reacted in anger, but that’s exactly what they’re looking for. Outbursts will only destroy my chance of getting parole.
Back when I was locked in a double-bunk cell in level-four security at Chippewa Correctional Facility, a young gang member moved in with me. When he entered the room, he informed me that the officers had said to him, “Your bunkie’s a freak! He’s down for whatever!” They had laughed at him in front of the other inmates.
So he told me, “I’m not locking with no fag. You have to tell them to move ya or I’m going to beat your ass.”