Queer Qulture Inside LA Men’s Central Jail (VIDEO)

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Gay Wing of L.A. Men’s Central Jail from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

When L.A. Weekly was allowed to take its video camera inside the one-of-a-kind gay wing of Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail, the first comment the videographer heard was “I love her shoes.” Then an impromptu fashion show broke out as gay men and transgender women romped between metal bunk beds showing off their hand-sewn mini-dresses and shabby chic jail couture fashioned from sheets and prison blues. It’s not shanks and muggings, but smuggled makeup and tears.

” Williams, a transgender inmate known on the inside as Yah Yah, glides past a hooting and hollering crowd of her fellow gay and transgender inmates, perched atop their beds for a prime view. She’s flaunting a white cotton halter-top baby-doll dress and matching white Cinderella gloves, hand-crafted for her by one of the trans women inside this infamously tough downtown L.A. jail. “

jonathan

Jonathan Menendez is a digital media entrepeneur/producer that focuses his work on the empowerment of marginalized communities through emergent media, specifically trans-queer people of color. His projects include the production of a documentary on gay Latino culture in L.A., the founding and creative development of xQsi Magazine and Qulture. He founded the Latin@ Queer Arts and Film Festival that is a collaboration with the LA LGBT Center. He has shared his work as a panelist at The Queer Media Conference, The People of Color Film Festival: FUSION and the the Queer Students of Color Conferences. He has worked as a consultant for AIDS Project Los Angeles/UCSF under the department of research with George Ayala to ensure a diverse sample of Latino recruits for a study. He just completed his graduate degree with an emphasis on Digital Art and New Media from the University of California Santa Cruz where he also served as a teaching assistant for two years.

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