From Shaylanna’s Sketchbook, courtesy of Black & Pink

A little bit about me. I’m 27 years old and I’m from the Upper Westside (Grand and Garden) in Buffalo,  New York. I was born in Savannah, GA (directly South). When I was forced into smuggling drugs, I lived all over the U.S., including Boston.

I identify myself as a transsexual woman. I’ve been queer for almost my entire life. I love men so I chose to be a woman, and as long as I’m breathing I’ll never date a straight female, she’d have to be a transsexual woman or female to be male.

About the family issue, well I’d like to think I had a family, but when I came out for the closet the only thing I got from my family was their backs and their cold shoulders. What are friends? I’ve had a lot of so-called friends but as the saying goes “out-of sight, out-of-mind” that says it all.

I’ve been in prison since Dec. 18, 2006, and I have some “hard” time to do. I get out of prison in the summer of 2026, possibly earlier with my appeal.

I like to draw to escape from the darkness of being trapped in the belly of the beast.  I craft anything (almost) out of soap. My chess board and pieces are made from 23 bars of soap. It took me a month to make it. I like to make collages from old magazines (donations will be appreciated). I try new projects all the time. Please send me ideas. I draw all types of this. I’m not too good at portraits. I can make roses out of toilet tissue (not allowed to send out). The thing that inspires me is my feelings.

I would like to inform all of the non-incarcerated GLBTQQ people and others who have never entered the belly of the beast of some major criminal activities that takes place in New York State Docs. These major crimes need to be made known. I wish they could be stopped but isn’t never going to end do to the corruption and crooked authorities.

In Clinton, as soon as you come in as an inmate the C.O.’s tell you and I quote: “we don’t care what you do to each other but if you do or say something we don’t like to s someone not wearing green we’re going to try and kill you.” I am on lock down for being against GLBTQ discrimination/oppression. They say “I am a threat to security,” when all I ever did was attack another inmate who was trying to sodomize/rap one of the other transsexual females.

My hobbies/interests are as you know drawing, soap crafting, writing books, peoples and letters, reading spiritual non fiction and murder/mystery novels, cross-country skiing, swimming, soft ball, watching tennis, and ABC parties (anything but clothes).

This is a photo of me when I was 19 years old.

Hugs and Kisses,

Paul Smith a.k.a Shaylanna



Dad’s Vinyl

You left your dad’s old records 
In the backseat of your car
Because you hated your dad.

The sun warped them into bowls, and

You invited me over
For a bowl of soup.




Queer Love

For You

This is for you,
All-powerful wretched pronoun.

You the mute roommate I talk to
You who know all the constellations in every sky
You wish gardens that grow dozens of flowers that you can name in Latin
You who know kids and electronics
You who are not intimidated by the keyboard or death
You who read the Top 100 Books on the Top 100 Lists of the Top 100 Books
You who listens and sometimes hears
You who know vermillion from fuchsia and chartreuse from lime
You who might read and must be satisfied
You with the power to destroy or ignore
You in the front row paying some mind
You in the back row sleeping.

This is for you.




Queer Love




For more information on Black & Pink, see, and RECAPS’ February feature.

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