Thursday, August 16, 2007

..[ night one ]..UGM (Union Gospel Mission),

I am sitting here inside the UGM (Union Gospel Mission), the lights are out already, it is 8:45pm, and I am typing in the dark. It has been well over 25 years since I have been force fed a religious obligation. Tonight the night promptly began at 7:00 with mouth fulls of personal testimonies, and a few tears, about how God changed their lives, how now they are humbled and once wretched. How now they are saved. As I sit here and listen, to my right I hear a constant “Hallelujah” or “Amen during important emotional pauses of the testimony. I can't help but wonder, if my face is telling the thousand words of disgust I am feeling: How can can a state agency force me to be sequestered to a religious organization. How can this be their only approved address? Are they propagating their own personal beliefs of religion and homosexuality? What happened to the separation of church and State. As each of the the smiling faces look at me, I think, yeah I'm a faggot, wouldn't you like to hear what I think of your organized religious belief on my sexual orientation?

Retracing the steps that got me here. It wasn't even a suggestion, or an act of my free will, it was a demand set upon me that “I must go to the UGM. Since I have no approved address.” Today, my therapist R, told me that he had a conversation with my CCO in regard to the housing. She reiterated, that she believed that the choices I gave her where too close to a school or a park. I had to remind him, that although there does exist a requirements set by the legislature that some sex offenders are forbidden to live within 880 feet from a school, that restriction zone does not include me. I had to reiterate my assertions, that currently there are sex offenders who live less than two tenths from the school she is speaking about, and the housing I secured is not closer than those already approved. But, then again I have to give R a break, he tried. It is not him who is doing this, it truly is DOC. He is a good advocate.

There is only pretend accountability, if the system that is given an abundance of discretion which has layers of bureaucracy, that have no effective mechanism, to check the abuse of that power. I am being given an almost humorous circular line of logic: “seek a solution at the lowest level.” But, what if that lowest level is nothing more than one dimensional inside assessment?

Enough of that rant ... document - document - document I used to tell my staff.

On to more depressing issues: I've been sitting here for the last 10 minutes looking at the night lit UGM missions logo which is plastered on the wall in front of me. It has the words Seattle's-Union Gospel-Mission, back lit with a vinyl painting of a burst of light behind it. It gives the impression that the UGM is here to give new life to the people it serves. Perhaps it does, and perhaps I am being ungracious for the good work they do. Or perhaps I recognize I am being force fed GOD by the State?

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