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New prison mail: it takes courage to say “hello” to the voice that is you

Introduction to Lennea Elizabeth Stevens.  Lennea plans to submit regularly to the PAC blog, to document and share her experiences as an incarcerated trans woman. In her first post, Lennea also shares some of her experience and thoughts on beginning to discover and come to terms with her inner voice.


“Transitioning the Hard Way: Introduction,”
by Lennea Elizabeth Stevens.

Hello all, this is my first post and I wanted to introduce myself and give a huge thanks to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project for creating a platform to unite our voices, for together we are stronger and safer. My name is Lennea Elizabeth Stevens and I am a 52 year old transgender federal inmate currently housed in an all male facility in Marianna, FL. I had transitioned full-time to my gender of choice, female, in 2002 while living in Las Vegas. In 2009 I was incarcerated to 87 months in the BOP. I will be releasing the end of 2015. I am planning to use this blog to document my experiences in hopes to give other transgendered people a clear understanding of what life is like as a woman in a man’s prison. I welcome all correspondence and will answer as many as possible. My mailing info is : Lewis Stevens-16786-078, Federal Corrections Institute, Marianna, FL, 32447. I plan on being a regular on this blog so if I disappear for a while please send out the cavalry. Good day for now and remember, high heals are only high until you learn how to walk in them.

The essence of humanity is beyond the intellect of my soul, those few, precious things that make humanity loving, caring, and most of all resilient, are beyond my mind’s grasp.

How did I get to this place of voidness, darkness, aloneness, I do not know, therefore the path which I have taken is unknown to even I, the traveler. If the traveler tries his hardest to reach the end of the path but yet knows not where the path begins or ends, how does he make this journey.

I feel void of emotion but yet I cry with true tears, while my being asks why. Why do I cry, that is one to ruminate upon as I have done so many times. I know not why, I can not stop the conflict between the humanity I once had and the voidness that has settled.

The voidness is temporary and soon will pass, I know this to be true deep within my heart. But then I fear the departure of this, will leave me with something far worse. What this could be I haven’t a clue, though it fills me with fear to think of another even worse shadow embracing me for I know once you have shed all of your demons, if you don’t replace them with angels of your choice, you are left with only one last voice, your own.

Your own voice, could that be my largest fear, that I, the one that needs pen and paper to understand myself and could probably use this same process to understand others, fear what I have never had, never wanted, never needed, but should embrace more than life itself, my own voice.

The fear is paramount, what will this voice say, who will it be, will it even like someone such as me. Why do I fear my own, I wish I could call me on the phone and ask so many questions.

My entire life I have lived for the best, to win, to conquer, to achieve, but has any of it been for me. Even in prison I strived for the best, in work, in people, but never in me. For within this quest there is no success, you are just another, number printed on your chest. Use you as they might, disrespect you on cue, when you fail in your own eyes, the failure will come true.

Be Safe,
Lennea Elizabeth Stevens




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