Reply To: Atlanta RSOL Conference 2016 take-away: Whose voice is missing?

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Jeremy Heady

I think I speak for most of us when I say the reason it is hard for us to organize is twofold: Those on probation/parole are restricted from having internet access or talking to other offenders outside of a work environment, so they can’t be of help or they face legal consequences. As for the rest of us, and I am speaking on my own experience here, it became evident in larger communities that only a small percentage of people will ever bother to find our status. Once we go public with it, I feel we are inviting more ridicule directed our way. Social media accounts could be shut down for violating terms and conditions, jobs might find a reason to fire us to avoid association with the registry, and our neighbors and friends might shun us once they find out. Being an SO is similar to being gay or lesbian prior to the 70’s and 80’s. “Coming out” is rather a big deal for most of us. I’m trying to make that leap myself, but I would rather do it slowly to avoid bringing too much attention to myself initially.