I went to federal prison for a hate crime in my early twenties. And when I went in there I was a neo-Nazi skinhead. I went in with the idea that, Oh my god, I’m going to get my ass kicked all over the place. But there were many women I encountered who knew why I was there, who knew I committed a hate crime, and treated me with kindness and compassion regardless of that. And I was absolutely disarmed, because I spent years dealing with any kind of emotion or experience, with aggression, hate, anger, violence.
I don’t think I understood it fully and intellectually in the moment, but what happened was that as those women treated me as an actual human being, knowing they were women that I would have dehumanized at one point, it really changed the core of who I was. Read more.