Two Spirits: Program helps gay youth serving time behind bars
WOODBURN, Ore. – The young people locked up at MacLaren Correctional Facility are all serving time for a serious offense.
Behind the fence, some are still paying with more than their time.
“I was bullied a lit bit more than most people,” said Alejandro Estrada, who is gay.
For years, inmates like Estrada had little support.
“I have seen youth be assaulted, I have seen youth be taken advantage of. I have seen a lot of these things happen,” said MacLaren staffer Missy Mintun.
“Basically, beaten by other guys because of my orientation,” Estrada said.
“It’s a very confusing time to come out and to be able to say to yourself let alone the rest of the world – ‘hey, I am gay,’ or ‘I am transitioning, I want to be a transgender’ or ‘I am questioning my sexuality,'” Mintun said.
About 130 youth are serving time at MacLaren. About 10 of them take part in the Two Spirits group.
See more on this initiative here.