Casper Cendre started writing letters to queer people in prison when they were in high school. Cendre wanted to know what queer life was like from the inside and was a little shy, so getting to know people through letter writing felt natural. Since then, he’s received thousands of letters and artwork.
Ten years later, Cendre is running a collective of artists and activists as the Director of ABO Comix, a non-profit dedicated to providing community and healing. Through selling anthologies of artwork done by incarcerated contributors, ABO has raised over $34,000 in mutual aid to help queer prisoners buy commissary items and pay for medical bills. When and if they are released, ABO also provides a few hundred dollars.
ABO receives hundreds of letters each month from LGBTQ people all over the United States. The collective just released its latest anthology about what it’s like to be in prison while COVID continues to spread. William Duclos writes from Massachusetts and describes dinner during the lockdown:
1 slice of lunch meat. 1 slice of cheese. 2 slices of bread. 1 cup of lettuce. 2 brownie cupcakes.
ABO Comix works to amplify queer voices and strives towards abolition of prisons. Casper Cendre is calling for compassion over punitive systems, which he says “isn’t working for our communities and our families, so we have to try something new.”
ABO Comix is looking for volunteers, pen pals, and donations. For the upcoming holidays, you can be a part of their efforts to help people on the inside buy food, gender-affirming items and more.
Learn more at http://www.abocomix.com/