From 2004 – 2007 I volunteered every Tuesday at a jail. It was the kind of jail people get locked up in while waiting to be sentenced, waiting for trial, or waiting to be transferred to a prison after being sentenced. A real mixed bag. My role was simply to show up with a couple friends and talk about how to get sober and stay sober if anyone was interested. I have experience with that, and I like to show people how I do it. Also the only difference between the people in jail and me was the dumb luck that I never got caught doing the criminal stuff I did before I got sober. It was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to doing it again soon.
One day the jumpsuit people filed in and a a couple of them were holding hands. I middle aged Indian man and a young Latina Trans Woman. Also in the crowd was a very muscular and large skinhead with a face covered in Aryan Nation type tattoos. He was scary looking to say the least, but he seemed quiet and kept to himself. The nature of my meetings were all-inclusive, so we proceeded. We have a strict rule about welcoming anyone with the only requirement being they want help getting sober.
During the meeting I noticed a young skinny man in the crowd sneering at the Indian man and Trans Woman. He mumbled comments to the guys next to him, and eventually called her and the Indian man stuff that I won’t repeat here. The Indian man and Trans Woman looked at each other, then got up to leave. Immediately, before I could say anything, the scary skinhead guy jumped out of his seat. I got on high alert. Then I got very surprised.
The skinhead guy got in the young guy’s face who had offended the Trans Woman. He said something I’ll never forget.
“If you think that lady can’t fuck you up, you won’t make it two weeks in real prison. I guarantee she’s been in more fights than you. She’s been fighting her whole fucking life. You don’t have the balls to wear a dress in a Walmart. I can tell by looking at you. And if she doesn’t fuck you up, I will if you open your fucking mouth again. I don’t give a fuck. I’m never getting out.”
That was that. The young skinny transphobe man shut the fuck up and kept his eyes on the ground. The scary skinhead guy sat back down and apologized for disturbing the meeting.
I don’t know the skinhead guy’s deal. Did he have a change of heart after getting all those face tattoos? I have no idea. I never saw him again, he must have gotten transferred after that meeting.
I don’t have anything to really deduce from this, and I don’t have any real comments about it. It’s just something I saw that I will never forget.