Below is an essay written by PAC member Dana Gibson, aka Gee. This essay contemplates what it means to survive while held in the torturous conditions of solitary confinement. To learn more about SRLP is fighting these conditions – and how you can help! – please visit our Ending Isolation campaign website.
Strength and Pride?
As I sit in solitary confinement locked away for twenty-four hours a day as a victim of my environment and circumstances, I cannot help but to question my fortitude to survive this? I even started to question my very existence and whether I have the inner strength to be proud of who I am anymore?
As I contemplate these questions of self-worth, I ask myself, do I possess the strong will and conviction to strive for righteousness, social change and stand for a just cause as Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, those of the Stonewall Riots, Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. did? Do I have the resilience of Synthia-China Blast to ignore the naysayers’ and haters and keep moving, doing me and being me while overcoming who I once was? Do I have the ability to face my fears and speak truth to power as Chelsea Manning did? Do I have the open mind and heart like Juana Peralta, Kimberly McKenzie, Mik Kinkead, Grace Detreverah, and countless others of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project to assist those in need of help, while with a loving understanding of unity?
My answer to these questions is YES!! And I will dig deep within to overcome this thing called “solitary confinement” but I cannot do this alone we all must stand together to overcome this, in solidarity…
By: Dana Gibson