I nwhen Calvin Burdine was awaiting sentencing for allegedly stabbing his gay lover to death, the prosecuting attorney encouraged the jury in his closing remarks to award Burdine the death penalty, rather than life in prison, on the grounds that sending a gay man to prison was akin to sending a
Forced homosexuality in prison to a candy store. death sentence was later overturned mostly because Burdine's public defender had slept through much of his trialbut the homophobic thinking — that prison is some kind of paradise for gay men — lingers on.
The reality of life in prison for homosexuals and transgender individuals does not appear to reflect this myth. One young man named Rodney, imprisoned for fraud and check-forging, sent me a detailed account of his life so far in prison. He described a litany of brutal rapes, assaults, beatings and, eventually, the total abandonment of his male identity as his only means of survival in the hyper-masculine and often homophobic prison environment. His account suggests that far from being a paradise, prison for gay men can be a living hell.
Within days of his first entering prison, the year-old Rodney claimed he was the victim of three separate sexual assaults, "Forced homosexuality in prison" five different inmates. The prison he was first sent to did actually have a separate tier for gay inmates, but according to Rodney, because he did not "appear overly effeminate" during his classification, he was placed with the general population; and because it was supposedly rare to have a gay person slip through the cracks of the system, his fellow inmates took full advantage.
Physical, mental and emotional torture.
After being raped, I performed acts by request. It was understood and expected. I had no means to protect myself, being only 23 and scared for my life.
I quickly learned that a snitch is a worse label than a fag.
Nothing is heaven about being intimidated into performing sexual acts. It is also rape, just like the three forcible rapes were. Having my mouth and anus aggressively penetrated by several strangers is anything but.
Even though he was thereby essentially enslaved by his new "prison husband", he was grateful — because his days of "being the communal bitch were over".
He said he tried to do whatever his prison husband wanted or needed, including cleaning his
Forced homosexuality in prison, washing his clothes, preparing his food, and whatever else his "husband" wanted or needed, including, of course, being available for sex — because "he did what I wanted and needed — kept other inmates off me.
As time wore on and "husbands" came and went, Rodney perfected the art of being a "prison ho", as his only means of surviving intact. This involved establishing a female name and identity, learning how to speak when spoken to, "respect his man" and emasculating himself to the point where he could not stand while urinating.
There is nothing about the experience that could be considered enjoyable. Gay men who do not attempt to hide their sexuality are forced into passive
Forced homosexuality in prison submissive roles. To live with some standard of equality, we have to trade in our manhood. We are completely emasculated. It's a form of technical castration.
The role of woman is forced upon us and any rebuttal is considered a sign of disrespect. My way of thinking about myself and my sexuality has been permanently altered. It's difficult to assess how typical Rodney's prison experience is, but numerous studies conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statisticsbased on
Forced homosexuality in prison inmate surveys, have shown that gay and transgender inmates are among the most targeted groups for sexual victimization. Until fairly recently, little has been done to help them.
Just Detention International JDIan organization whose aim is to eradicate prison rape pdfis trying to change that.
JDI has been working with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation CDCR Forced homosexuality in prison establish "sensitive needs yards" pdfwhere gay, transgender and other vulnerable inmates can serve out their time in safety. Several prisons operated by the CDCR have now established sensitive needs yard with some success, and the JDI is hoping that other states will adopt this model.
In the meantime, prisoners like Rodney have been forced to make their peace with their "prison ho" fate.
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Loading comments… Trouble loading? I was walking the prison track on a sunny southern California day in when a could not see that this person was reacting to Michael's homosexuality. Can the conviction of Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke finally force. An otherwise heterosexual man who while in prison engages in homosexual sex.
well as men who are forced into submissive sexual roles by other men punks.