Editor’s note: Today’s story is one in a series of monthly contributions from freelance journalists, supported by sponsors who share The Food Section’s goal of showcasing a range of experiences and perspectives. Learn more here about available sponsorship opportunities.
Twice a month, I set a table in my assigned living unit at the Georgia State Prison where I'm serving a sentence. With food purchased from the commissary and bartered from fellow prisoners working in the kitchens, I feed the entire dorm a hefty meal.
I started this gastronomia project in 2020, having gained a degree of financial independence from settling a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections, and working as a journalist and editor.
As a transsexual woman incarcerated in a men's facility, I wanted to create goodwill and a respectable name for myself—which is important in a culture and economy as toxically masculine, sexist, and homophobic as prison. I also wanted to ensure that no one in my community was going hungry, as prison portions are often miserly and ill prepared.
The beneficial outcomes have far exceeded filled bellies.
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