Mad Trans Dreams

Visions and Resistance from outside Norms of Gender and Mental Health


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De-Stressing in Prison

I just got the latest copy of In Solidarity, the newsletter of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project‘s Prisoner Advisory Committee (PAC). PAC is a group of trans and gender nonconforming people in NY State prisons who have joined the Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s work. Below is an article from Laura Nicole Campbell with “tips for de-stressing, healing and relaxation.” I am grateful that she has shared her path of resilience.

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By Laura Nicole Campbell

Well me personally, I have a lot of things that I use to stay stress free. I have studied psychology a little bit, not at college or anything, just things I’ve studied on my own. Coping skills are very good to have. They help us cope with day to day life. A coping skill can be anything. Crying, dancing, reading, even twiddling your thumbs. There is a vast universe of coping skills. Me for instance, I like anything entertainment. Movies, Books, Music. It makes me happy, so I focus on it. Of course (you all probably know this already) it’s hard in prison to watch what you want to watch in T.V. unless you are in a T.V. jail and have your own T.V. I don’t let this bother me anymore. I got a Leonard Maltin 2007 Movie Guide. It has more than 17,000 movie reviews that I read and if I like it I underline the movie so when I get home I can find the movie and watch it. Another thing I do to keep stress free is think about the future when I will leave from behind these bars and walls. I plan on making movies. I want to go to college for film and make movies.

There are many good coping skills out there, we just have to find the positive ones that work for us. I’m not going to say that you will find it overnight (it took me a year) but keep trying different things and you will find a positive coping skill that will keep you happy and stress-free. I encourage everyone to stay stress free and happy and to make the best out of your situation. I wish luck, love, and solidarity to all my brothers and sisters out there and I really hope what I’ve said helps at least one you live your life a little happier, and I hope you all find your coping skill. I love you ALL!