Facing the walls as they appear to close in on me, the panic is bewildering. Counting down the days I’ve spent caged in a 9ft by 6ft steel box, I realized I’ve lost touch with reality. The descrimination I’ve faced, the transphobia, the harassment, the abuse has lead me down a path paranoia. I trust no one. Not even myself. I refuse to eat the trays the officers slide through the slot of the steel door for fear of poisoning. I refuse to come out of my cell for fear of getting physically assaulted by officers. I’m a tranny! I’m an easy target for a punching bag. It’s been 317 days I’ve sat in this inferno, this cell, in a dungeon. Locked up in a cage forgetting who I am at times. Bones aching from no movement. Thoughts scattered from battling insanity. Sadness, depression, anger, fear, anxiety, suicide, never joy, never peace are my feelings and emotions. This is my 2nd time being held captive in prolonged solitary confinement. From 2012-2017 I was held hostage and only after filing a 2254 habeas corpus against the executive director at the time, was I freed. This time around, once again I’ve filed a civil suit in the Western District U.S. Court in Waco, Texas. (case #6:22-cv-494 Britney Gulley Vs. Warden Audrey England, et al). I hear the screams, I hear the cries, I hear the calls for help. Is it real or is it in mind? Both! There are others screaming and crying along with me. I’m given dull razors to shave my face. I’m given panties, no boxers to cover my private area. As a F2M transgender, I am often targeted for taunts, ridicule, belittling remarks, crude jokes and gestures. I have not experienced sunshine in almost a year. I have not had any human contact in almost a year. I am deprived of basic human necessities. I love to read books but I can only read in the daytime when daylight comes through the cracks in the walls. I have no light at night. I am succumbed with darkness, figuratively and literally.
When I file complaints about these simple atrocities and the violating of my human rights I am retaliated against. I’ve been punched, kicked, spit on, and stomped in the skull after reporting abuse and bringing light to the corruptions in Texas prisons for women. I am a warrior who has not given up the fight for justice and peace and freedom. It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. I am my own, I can’t be another’s. These four walls squeeze out the soul, murdering the mind and spirit. How I survive I do not know. There is still forgiveness in my heart for the monsters responsible for the torture I am being subjected to. No sense in holding grudges. I have no room for bitterness and resentment. It’ll kill me. I’m already battling PTSD. I am devoid of life. I am devoid of sight. I am devoid of comprehension. Prolonged solitary confinement has broken me in ways I’ll never be able to heal or recover from. Through it all, I remain diligent and vigilant, not destroyed by tyranny. They repress me because they want to be in control. They oppress me because they are bullies whom loves to abuse the weak. They suppress me because they want to stop me from exposing their depravity. Some people see a hopeless end in my circumstances, but I see an endless hope.
Britney Gulley # 1601283
incarcerated in Texas Department of Criminal Justice, A published writer For San Francisco Bayview Newspaper
Lane Murray Unit, Gatesville, Texas
6 years in solitary / ad seg
August 2, 2022
Words by BRITNEY GULLEY
Photography by TEXAS LETTERS