Jan. 30, 2015
by Darrel (Terra) O'Key (author's profile)


Dear Readers,

#LeelahAlcorn Everyone reading this should go to this hashtag. I warn you in advance that this is not a pretty story but one that happens too often in the LGBT community. We've come a long way but when something like this happens it shows we as a society have a long way to go to make sure everyone feels like they have a place.

So, 2014 is done and I for one couldn't be happier it has taken me the whole year to get my head and HEART reset breakups SUCK! But I'm back and moving forward, I have 3 semesters left and I will have my AA degree in Liberal Arts. I have 600 hours to go and I will have my cosmetology license. It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. If any of you reading this have or know a trans in prison please encourage them to stop worrying about "the yard" and "finding a man" and all the other things we do when incarcerated and get your education it will be the only thing that keeps you out of here.

I have just started the first ever LGBT shelf in the prison library here at VSP. It may not sound like a big deal but I had to move heaven and earth to convince the administration that it was needed. In this overly macho environment, LGBT needs are overlooked most of the time, so any movement for us in a positive direction is great.

I look forward to blogging more often in the new year and to all of you who take the time to read these blogs and respond I thank you, it makes us feel a little less invisible and gives us strength to get through one more day.

I will cut this short for now, but I have some new poetry and words soon. Hope to hear from all of you soon...

Best regards,

Terra Okey V-51327
Valley State Prison
POB 92-B2-13-03L
Chowchilla, CA 93610

P.S. I just had one of my poems published "Phenomenal Trans" :)


Replies (2) Replies feed

KCee Posted 9 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post.

Terra, that is so much good news! And I think the shelf in the library is a huge deal... even the smallest first step is usually the hardest one!

Congratulations on your poem being published! I hope you keep letting us know what's going on in your life.

P.S. The Leelah Alcorn situation is absolutely heartbreaking. I hope every parent in America is aware of this story.

KCee Posted 9 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
Dearest Terra,

I transcribed your most recent letter, and I decided to read your other posts. You've only written a handful of times in the past two years, but dang, girl, you've really managed to grab my heart.

I'm going to write you a proper (private) letter ASAP; I just need to head out and find the right card to send with it. I have no idea what you did or how long you're supposed to pay for that or whether it's true, and I don't actually care. I really like you. I think you and I could really be friends. You're clever, thoughtful, funny, and freakin' interesting. I'm really proud of you for your academic achievements, and maybe you can help me figure out what the heck I should do with my hair (no one will ever cut it the way I ask them to... it's a disaster).

Until I talk to you more personally, I just wanted you to know I am thinking about you and hoping everything is going well for you.


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