A week in the life of a gay youth in jail

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The following is an excerpt from the journal one young man kept to document the harassment he experienced while incarcerated. Sadly, such fear, intimidation and physical danger is too often a regular part of life for LGBT youth in custody.

April 8: The sexual harassment starts again. The staff does things to get the
kids to retaliate against me. Everybody is…verbally assaulting me.

April 9: More harassment today. One staff called me a “stupid faggot.” … I tried to complain, but I got ignored.

April 10: Harassment continues, I complain but they don’t take it serious, I’m afraid it might get out of hand. Boys are trying to touch me and stuff, but staff does nothing. I feel like I live in hell. This evening was filled with violence… I fear for my safety.

April 11: More harassment. A staff stated “I hate gay people.” I got steadily ridiculed [and] verbally abused. I fear them.

April 13: I expressed myself to a counselor but [she] would not do anything. I have told her before. I isolated myself from the kids’ vicious behavior.