Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

My name is H*ppy Mystik Rainbow StompingBear. I changed my name to this. Everyone always asks what was my motivation and the meaning behind the names. 

As you can see, H*ppy has a star in it. The “a” in happy is handwritten as a star. It is legally there. And it represents me in several ways. I’m bright and shiny. I’m up all night, and I am normally the star of the show. It’s not intentional, but people like what they see. This makes me mindful, so I always try to behave in a respectful way. Happy is because I’m always happy. Well, most of the time. I do have moments. 

Mystik is to justify it as a religious name change. I am a pagan, a shaman, a mystik, a witch. I deal in the occult. I am a lover of nature. The Gods I pay tribute to and pray to are Gaia, Green Man and Fortuna. Though I frequently deal with Dionysus, Pan, Nul, Thoth, and the Fates. I’m a “soft polytheist,” meaning I believe in one God. I just celebrate aspects of Him/Her/It/Them. 

We all know what a rainbow is. That represents me coming out of the closet. I am transgender — male to female. My pronouns are either ye/yim or she/her. I’m fine with any of those. 

StompingBear is written with a capital “B” and no space. Everyone messes that up. I am Native American, a member of Muscogee (Creek) Nation. But the name came about as a joke, a group of guys made fun of the way I was dancing and said I looked like a stomping bear. #DoTheStompingBear

I’m part hillbilly part hippy. I love the outside, especially the night air. I love rain and bodies of water. I’m bi-sexual, transgender, polyamorous, Native American, Irish, Dutch, and very fittingly aquarius. I’m an eclectic Pagan (Wiccan, Shamanism, Hinduist, Qabalist, Animalist). 

I love tattoos. I play chess and build my knowledge bank. I’m a jailhouse lawyer. I am sometimes an artist (when the Muse strikes) and a somewhat writer. My power/spirit animal is the fox. Electronic dance music makes me dance, but I also like a variety of other music from country to blues to jazz and rock. 

I learn quickly and retain information easily. I’m smart and adaptable, easy on the eyes, open minded and can generally see both sides plus of an argument. I have big ideas and huge goals. I’m always working on projects of change. I feel I must change this prison system. 

I’m an Okie. I was born in Arkansas because they had a better hospital. But I’m an Okie through and through. I grew up in Oklahoma until I was 15 when we moved to Arkansas. I got my GED at 16 and started working. I got into some trouble here and there. I did my first ritual at 17. I did a lot of partying and couch surfing, and I lived in one flop house or another. 

Every summer I’d live on the rivers. I had a daughter in 2006. We had fun, swimming every day, camping every night. I had her hugging trees at two years old, waving good-bye to the sun at sunsets. But I lost her to the state. I was in jail, and the jail didn’t transport me to the hearing, and the state terminated my parental rights. I’ll always love her. I just found her, and I’m trying to reach out to her now.

I’m in prison until around 2030. Once I get out,I plan to start a self-sustainable resilient homestead. I have some land lined up, and some people to help with this adventure, but I’m always looking for some more sovereign thinking people to join me.

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Happy StompingBear

Happy Mystik Rainbow StompingBear is a Native American, transgender writer incarcerated at Ouachita River Corrections Unit in Arkansas. She said Happy should be written with a star instead of an “a” because she is bright and shiny. Mystik represents her faith, Rainbow her transgender identity, and StompingBear, her heritage as a member of Muscogee Nation.