Seomra Spraoi

Dublin's Autonomous Social Centre

Bent Bars LGBTQ Prisoner Solidarity

Seomra Spraoi / Tuesday 29th September / 7pm–10pm

  • Discussion Café 7pm (Come & get your dinner)
  • Presentation 8pm

The Bent Bars Project is a new letter-writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, gender-variant, intersex, and queer prisoners in Britain. The project aims to develop stronger connections and build solidarity between LGBTQ communities outside and inside prison walls.

Although many overtly homophobic and transphobic laws have been recently overturned in Britain, the criminal (in)justice system continues to target and criminalize queer, trans and gender non-conforming people. We don’t know exactly how many LGBTQ people are currently behind bars, but we do know queer, trans and gender non-conforming people, particularly those from poor backgrounds and communities of colour, are disproportionately funneled into the prison system as a result of systemic discrimination, inequality and social exclusion. We also know that queer, trans and gender non-conforming people are subject to increased isolation, harassment, violence and assault when in prison.

Bent Bars aims to work in solidarity with prisoners by sharing resources, providing mutual support and drawing public attention to the struggles of queer and trans people behind bars.

The project is still in the early stages of formation, but we also hope to collect and distribute information for LGBT/queer/trans prisoners on harm reduction practices (safer sex, safer drug-use), HIV and HepC prevention, homophobia, transphobia, coming out in prison, etc.

We are looking for non-imprisoned and formerly imprisoned LGBTQ people who are interested in becoming penpals. In the first month since we initiated the project, we received more than 100 requests from LGBTQ prisoners for penpals, and the requests keep coming. So we are urgently looking for non-imprisoned folks to write to prisoners. We are especially looking for gay/bi men and transwoman to be penpals.

More info: http://www.co-re.org/joomla/index.php/bent-bars

Seomra Spraoi location & info: www.seomraspraoi.org