Malibu.  It is even more beautiful here than I remember.  Especially after the heavy rain. Verdant.

It is the second day since I left the Men’s County Jail.

Yesterday the maid washed my clothes and folded them on my bed.  Robby arrived and smiled a crooked, anxious smile.  It was wonderful seeing him.

Friends joined us for dinner.  14-year-old Max and came home from school wanted to know everything.  The girls hugged me for ages, especially Hannah who at 12 years old really understands what is fair and what is not.

I spoke for some time with my friends in Whitstable.   Dee called from Antibes.  She told me that she did what she could which was, as you know, more than I could have dreamt of.  I sat on the phone with him and explained how it felt…he was sweet, understanding, baffled.  I wanted to kiss him.  I didn’t tell him.  He knew.

Sadly, I received the first pass from a really good Producer for my new film It Gets Better.  Everyone else has responded very heartily to the material. Never mind.  I might not have mentioned before I was arrested I was sending out my new script.

Began talking to the right people about the play/spectacle I want to devise using my jail experience as a spring board from which we can leap into something unimagined.   My fancy choreographer friend just returned from Venice.  We’re meeting soon.

Today, I chatted with everyone who ever meant anything to me.

When I have a moment, I sit quietly and collect my thoughts, re-reading the diary I kept religiously whilst in Jail.

I don’t want to forget.  It was too extraordinary.

Shall I tell you some more?  Shall I tell you how I was moved from Dorm 5300 after the mad boy broke the TV with a chair to Dorm 5200, the so-called ‘Honor Dormitory‘.  The school dorm.

Every day we woke at 6am, scarfed our breakfast, filed out (shoulders pressed against the wall) past the grumpy deputies, attending class for most of the day.  I learned to type.  No more one finger typing for me.  Typing classes taught by the kind and wise Mrs E.

I lapped up the Anger Management taught by C and M.  Apparently anger like mine is shame based.  On Monday and Thursday an ex gang member inmate called Jesse taught us life and leadership skills.  On Wednesday a gay inmate called Jeremy taught Gay Equality but…not very well.

He was far too self obsessed to be a competent teacher.  However, the gays never had anyone take their story seriously so they loved his class.

He taught us the origin of the pink triangle..which I am sure you all know originated in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

On August 3, 2011 Rudolf Brazda died at the age of 98, he was the last known homosexual deportation survivor.

My fellow travelers didn’t know about the pink triangle, they didn’t even know about the concentration camps.  They didn’t know much.

They knew I was English but they didn’t really know what that meant.  I told one of them that I was British, “Wow!”  He said, “You speak English really well for a British.”  They’d ask me about England then follow-up with a case specific question like: “Do people use meth in England?” or “Do people like transgender in England?” or “Do English people have tattoos?”

I found a huge atlas and showed them where I lived.  I showed them Whitstable, my fingers tracing over the English countryside toward Dorset.  My friend Ivan asked, glancing his hand over the entire country, “Is this all London?

“No.” I replied.  Incredulity scarcely concealing my contempt.

Left on my own with the atlas I traced the route we had taken from New York to Paris, Paris to Marseille, Marseille to Antibes.  We traveled vast distances in a very short time of knowing each other.  Foolhardy, impatient, surly.  What did we think we were doing?  I wonder if it was indeed a love affair?  I can’t remember.  Two desperate men clinging onto each other for dear life as their world crumbled around them.

I remember him as if he were a child.  Then I feel tremendous guilt.  As if I had kicked a defenseless dog.

I took the reigns from Jeremy the bad gay teacher.

I taught them what Neil Bartlett had taught me.  I taught them about Fanny and Stella the two trans boys arrested in Burlington Arcade in 1869.  I reminded them that had these boys not been arrested we might not have had any evidence that Fanny and Stella and men like them had ever existed.

I reminded them that being arrested assures future generations that we were here.  That we are part of an honorable gay history.  I told them about Private Flower who was arrested in a public lavatory in 1850 for lewd conduct.  If you want to know more about our gay history read this.  It is invaluable.

“At Marlborough Street Court, when the assistant gaoler Scott called out “Ernest Cole,” a person looking like a well-dressed woman stepped into the dock and gravely faced Mr. Denman, the presiding magistrate. No one would have imagined that the prisoner, who was attired in a black fur-trimmed winter mantle, large black feathered hat and veil, and carried a muff and neat hang-bag was a man. It was alleged that the prisoner was a suspected person loitering in Oxford-street presumably for the purpose of committing a felony. Detective Gittens, D Division, deposed that, while in company with Detective Dyer, he saw the prisoner in Oxford-street on Monday evening. The prisoner was behaving like a disorderly female. He went up to the prisoner, and told him that he believed him to be a man. The prisoner endeavoured to escape by jumping on to an omnibus.”

The Times, January 2, 1901

Not everyone approved of the classes or the notion of an honor dorm.  Some of the deputies loathed the idea that we were being cossetted so.  The officers, the deputies.  Rookie cops, their young fearful faces.  On their own, on the way to the attorney room they would engage in conversation.  Their faces momentarily discarding that look of disdain.

My favorite was the fascinatingly sexy Deputy Beeman.  Short black hair, piercing blue eyes, a body to die for but most delightful of all…his sexy swagger, his perfect ass…his figure hugging uniform holding him snugly, perfectly…fueling ghastly fantasies…late at night I would imagine him forcing me to do unspeakable things.

As I have said…for people like me…it was hard not to eroticize his demands.

The school dorm is the idea of forward thinking Deputy Baca, the controversial head of the jail.  Baca believes that inmate education is the way forward.  He has thrown his weight behind the Share Tolerance scheme run by the kindly and considerate Deputy Vargas.  Share Tolerance is aimed mostly at breaking the cycle of recidivism and gang related violence in the General Population but we (the gays) took the class too.

We were taken to a warm carpeted room (the jail is freezing cold) decorated to stimulate and comfort.  We were asked to kick off our shoes, sit where we wanted then invited to watch a mawkish video about intolerance introduced by the awkward Deputy Baca.

The story may have been familiar to me but I learned fast that for most the ideas posited in the video were entirely original.  We watched gays and homophobes working together at the Museum of Tolerance, mothers sobbing at the deaths of their young sons to gang related violence.  Tentatively introducing these men to a new way of thinking.

It was a crudely made video and occasionally naive but the enthusiastic Vargas has a real heart and believes passionately in what he is doing.

There is an odd right-wing Christian bent in the jail.  I was told that John McCain was a hero to many of the men who worked there.  McCain and Jesus Christ.  I heard both McCain and Jesus quoted during the Share Tolerance class.

If Vargas and Baca wants to beat recidivism in the gay dorm they are going to have to work quite a bit harder.

For a start…relationships form in the gay dorm.  Fearfully loyal and tenaciously protected.  Gay boys, queens and tranny-lovers.  Remember, many of these people have nobody, they have burned all their bridges.  Most of them just have the streets, a card board box, mooching off customers at Sizzler.

I have so much in comparison.  I never forget how lucky I am.

I witnessed many instances when a star crossed lover would get deliberately arrested days after release simply to return to his still incarcerated husband.

Every day it seemed like an old friend would wash up in the dorm, looking beaten by the journey but happy to have arrived.  All the tranny hookers knew each other.  Clutching their mat and a few miserable papers.  A cheer erupting as they entered the dorm.  A swarm of cackling men carrying the new arrival, their old friend to her bunk and listen avidly to the ‘T’ (the gossip).

At around the time of the second trans murder on Santa Monica Blvd., (“She was shot in the weave!”) the trannie hookers sat together sharing their memories of her in hushed tones.  Murder or the threat of murder is an occupational hazard for these girls.  “He held a gun to my face and told me to blow him, then he took off without paying me.”  They agreed that back on the street, looking for clients, they would alter their routes, stay in the light, never stray far from the others.

Trannies are violent and fearless.

Months earlier a straight friend of mine, high on crack had his car stolen by a tranny hooker.  When he shared his sad story at the Wednesday morning SAA meeting the other men were outraged.  It seemed outrageous.  I was outraged…now it would make me laugh.  He deserved it.

Trannies are resourceful and creative.

At night, after lights out, someone would find a stick and a towel and beat the bathroom window like a drum.  The black trannies would parade between the bunks wearing amazing clothes they had fashioned from the four official items of clothing we were given.  They tore up everything they had and re-purposed it.  It was like being on Project Runway.  You wouldn’t believe just how many ways you can wear, remake, recycle one pair of short, Chartreuse boxers or a white tee.  The tee would be shredded and dyed pale blue with the wrapping from a toilet roll.

Sabrina cut up her plastic mat cover and made a warrior princess costume with shorts and bra.

Then the Portugese tailor arrived who made himself a needle.  He made a needle.  You heard me.  He made it out of a found paper clip.  He sat cross legged on his bunk and started sewing.  Suddenly the girls were all wearing beautifully hand stitched gowns cut out of blankets and trimmed with their pale blue uniforms.

Girls sure love to be girls, even if they are boys with their cocks tucked between their legs.

 Their mini skirts, their halter necks, their contraband bras proudly showing off their implants, their hormone induced, lactating titties.

At night after second count, in the half-light, singing tribal songs, parading, shimmying, twirling, cat walk, house of Ferragmo…the singer introducing each performer by his/her drag name…when the singer called out Shablam! the dancers would hit the floor and writhe around until it was over.

At night after second count we would eat together, ‘cook’ a ‘spread’.

I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.