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Jesse's Story - A Tragic Story of Forced Sterilization and Eugenics in Virginia

Updated on July 25, 2013

Jesse was my neighbor many years ago. He was probably in his 60's when I moved in next door. He didn't seem to have a car and I rarely saw any visitors come knocking on his door. Oh maybe once or twice a month two ladies would show up, spend a few minutes with Jesse, then hurry on their way. I assumed they were some of those church ladies that visit the shut-ins, but I didn't really know who they were.

A quiet man, Jesse never really spoke but he would nod his head and smile whenever I saw him at the mailbox. He lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment that he shared with his little Chihuahua. Jesse carried that dog back and forth to the mailbox every day. Without those trips to the mailbox, I would never have known that Jesse lived next door. He was just that quiet.

For a while I thought maybe Jesse couldn't hear very well and that was why he never spoke. As it turned out, Jesse was just very shy. It took me many years to figure out why. What you are about to read is Jesse's story as told to me by Jesse. It will break your heart.

Jesse | Source

Jesse Comes To Call

It was late in the afternoon when I heard the knock at the door. It wasn't much of a knock but rather a very faint little tap, tap, tap. I opened the door to find Jesse standing there with a small package. Staring at the ground, Jesse said quietly, "lady, could you help me?"

I was so surprised that I probably stammered over my words but I think I said something like "Sure, what can I do for you?" Jesse handed me the small package and said it was a tape and he needed to watch it but didn't know how. I opened the package and it was a VCR tape labeled "The Lynchburg Story". After a few questions it was clear that Jesse did not own a VCR and I offered to let him watch it on mine. I invited him in and offered him a glass of tea. He turned down the tea but shuffled into my living room and sat on the edge of the first chair he came to. It was obvious that Jesse was uncomfortable and although I didn't really know why, I assumed that he just didn't want to be a bother.

As I prepared the VCR, Jesse began to speak. He softly explained that the tape was a movie about him; a result of an interview he had done with the BBC. Again I assumed. I assumed that Jesse had been interviewed about some aspect of our city's history. I was right but it is not a history I am proud of. In fact, it makes me sick.

Jesse's Story

His story is well documented by by the BBC (British Broadcast Channel) in a short film titled "The Lynchburg Story". What you are about to read is the story as it was told to me and there may be slight variations from the BBC film. It is a story of eugenics and I am embarrassed that it happened here in my hometown.

Eugenics Definition:

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, eugenics is defined as "a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed, dictionary".

How dare our society be so arrogant!

Back to Jesse. He began to talk in a very low but gentle voice, of growing up poor in the Appalachian mountains. His mother died in child birth when he was very young. His father didn't know how to raise a family alone and quickly remarried to have help with the children. As the oldest child, Jesse became the target of abuse and the cause of conflict between his father and new step-mother. He was no longer wanted and they often talked of sending him away. But, there was no money.

When a fire broke out in the National Forest nearby, Jesse's father falsely accused him of setting the fire and the authorities took Jesse away. His father had told them that Jesse was "dumb", "feeble-minded" and his accusations became a curse.

Jesse was placed in The Colony; a state run facility for the feeble-minded. The Colony was like a prison. All the doors were kept locked and residents were frequently locked in closets for weeks on end with only a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling and a pot to use for a toilet. Jesse spent many months in "the closet" for trying to escape. He would eventually live in these conditions for 12 long years.

A few months after he was placed in The Colony, Jesse was taken to a room where he was told he needed an operation. No explanation was offered but Jesse remembers feeling numb "down there". He glances downward, gesturing towards his genitals. He describes the pain as being "so bad" and that he was very, very sore for a long time. Jesse did not know what happened but he knew that it hurt. He also remembers hearing screams coming from that same room as one after another of the young male residents were taken there for a "procedure that was good for their health".

Who, What, When, Where, and ...WHY

Jesse had been forcibly sterilized to prevent the reproduction of more "feeble-minded" children. According to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Jesse wasn't good enough. And his only crime was being poor, uneducated, and unwanted. He tells me over and over again, "it won't no hospital" and then, "it was worse than a prison".

The Colony, whose original mission was to house individuals with epilepsy, had become a prison for the "feeble-minded", a prison for the "unwanted". And Jesse would live there until he was a young adult, locked in rooms with no bed and no windows and, no real human contact. He had never been loved or shown kindness or compassion.

The Mastin-Minor building at the Colony was built in 1913 to house men and women who were "feeble-minded".
The Mastin-Minor building at the Colony was built in 1913 to house men and women who were "feeble-minded".

A Happy Ending

As I sat listening to Jesse, the VCR tape still in my hand, time stood still. I could not believe that this town I loved had kept such a deep and dark secret. "Why?", my mind screamed, had someone not stopped it. How could it happen and not one employee at the Colony tried to stop it. What kind of people were they? I didn't know what to say to Jesse so I just kept repeating the words "I'm sorry". "I'm sorry". "I'm so sorry".

Finally Jesse started talking again. He told me of a change at the Colony when a new administrator came on board. The new administrator, or "boss man" as Jesse called him, was kind and he recognized that Jesse worked hard as a painter. He began taking Jesse to his home on weekends and having him paint around the place. As Jesse talked, his face began to relax and there was a new light in his eyes as he told me of the "boss man's" daughter. She was crippled with polio as a child and was confined to a wheelchair. As Jesse spent more and more time at the "boss man's" house, he and the daughter would talk and Jesse fell in love. He fell hard and it wasn't long before the "boss man" saw it too.

Jesse and the boss man's daughter were married. She was the love of his life; the only person who had ever really loved him. Their love was like a spring, feeding each of them the thing they needed most; a love of their own and a love that was pure and sweet and innocent.

Jesse and his bride grew old together and as he told me of the illness that eventually left her bedridden and on oxygen 24 hours a day, I saw him wipe a tear from his eye. This was a gentle man who had loved with all his heart. He wasn't educated and he had been bitterly wounded by the tragic events of his young life but Jesse had a heart full of love. And for just a moment I saw Jesse as he really was - a gentle giant of a man.


Jesse and I sat in silence together, him thinking of his precious wife and me, well, I can find no words for what I was feeling. Some part of me felt as if I had stepped off a train into another time; a time I didn't recognize. Could a story like this really be true? Could this really happen in my lifetime? What kind of world was I living in, when one human being can decide another is not fit to live free and reproduce, just because they were poor and uneducated?

Jesse finally spoke again and told me of the day his wife died. He spoke of her so tenderly, describing her as the delicate flower she was. He told me that the two of them wanted children so badly and had tried so hard to no avail. Finally, they were told of the forced sterilization and that there would be no children. They were heartbroken. Jesse and his bride gave all the love they would have had for their children to each other. He was a good husband and had taken care of her in that little apartment day after day, year after year as they aged and her health failed. Jesse tended to her every need. He cooked and cleaned and he administered her many medications. He monitored her oxygen tanks. All that from a feeble-minded man? He said they had never had a cross word, he said. And, he missed her so much that he thought he would die. He told me of the days following her funeral when he didn't know what to do because he had always had her to take care of. As Jesse sank deeper into depression, some ladies from his church suggested he get a dog, to help with the loneliness. It all made sense now. The daily walks to the mailbox carrying that little dog. Jesse was now giving all that love of his to that little dog. It was all he had left.

The Epilogue

Over time, others have come forward and told their stories of being forcibly sterilized at The Colony. Carrie Buck was the first to be forcibly sterilized at The Colony and her story has been told in a 1994 television drama titled "Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story". The Commonwealth of Virginia did not repeal it's sterilization laws until 1974. The civil suit of Buck v Bell made it to the Supreme Court in 1927 but Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Homes ruled in favor of the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck, stating that she was feeble-minded and it was in the best interest of the Commonwealth. But, this is about Jesse.

I don't know where Jesse is now or if he is still living. I moved away and lost touch with him but I have never stopped thinking about him. We did finally get around to watching the VCR tape of "The Lynchburg Story" and Jesse signed the contract for the BBC to release the film. That was the purpose of the package; to legally grant the BBC permission to tell Jesse's story. It won several awards but still did not bring enough attention to the 8,300 forced sterilizations that occurred in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I may be ashamed of the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and The Colony but I am oh so proud to have been Jesse's neighbor and for a few moments in time, his friend. He will never be forgotten.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Current Issues: An update

For several years states have struggled with the moral and financial issues of responsibility that resulted from the eugenics movement. How much is enough financial compensation? Which account should fund any payment made to victims? What about those who died before the state owned their responsibility for the damage done through eugenics? These are all appropriate questions but it's time to stop asking questions and just do the right thing.

The state of North Carolina is getting closer to being one of the first to compensate the living victims of eugenics in their state. Some will say it's not enough and they are right. There will never be enough compensation for the pain and suffering these people have endured for a lifetime. But, it's a start.


Submit a Comment

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Miz B !!!! Don't you ever hold back. If some of your comments did not appear, it's probably my fault. I have a bad habit of writing a response to comments and then forgetting to click the "approve" button. No worries, I hang on every word you write to me as I happen to consider you a soul mate and mentor. You were one of the very first connections I made here on HP and I cherish our friendship. Forgive me if I didn't click "approve". When time is more abundant, I will try to find your unapproved comments and fix that. :-)

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James-MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    Linda, a few days ago I read this and commented. I've noticed my comments on several of your hubs haven't appeared, and I believe that if you didn't approve them, we are good enough friends that you would tell me. I guess I said stuff that violates HP rules. So I will just say that I think this is a good hub about a deplorable story. I'm sorry that Jesse had to through all this, and I hope he and his little dog are still very happy. I did vote you up on this.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James-MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    Linda, this really is a heartbreaking story. What happened to Jesse is actually brutal, and this country needs to be ashamed of itself for the harm it inflicted on innocent people like him. I am so sorry about Jesse’s wife, but I’m glad that he finally found real happiness with her. I hope that Jesse and his little dog have a long happy life. I had intended to read this hub right after I read your other one on forced sterilization, but I forgot about it when our busy season hit. I finally wrote Freddy’s Story during our busy season and probably need to work on it some more because this hub is much better than mine. But Freddy's is a happier story. Your hubs are all good, and I wish I had time to read them all. Maybe one-by-one. Voted up +++. If there were a “sad” button, I would have pressed it.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi torrilynn. Thank you for your comment. I certainly agree that no one should have to suffer such indignation as Jessee and thousands of others did.

  • torrilynn profile image

    torrilynn 5 years ago

    hi irc7815,

    thanks for heartbreaking and very touching story

    i feel that it was very wrong of him to be sterilized against his will.

    my heart goes out to him and other victims that have endured such pain.

    thanks and voted up.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello esobana. Your comment touches my heart as you identified another part of the story that many will miss. Jesse not only suffered the indignation of being sterilized but the ISOLATION was just as bad. As you hav stated, you do not overcome the effect of isolation easily, if at all. Jesse did indeed experience love and is still today, a precious soul. Thank you so much for bring more of his story into the light.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello seanorjohn. Thanks for the visit and for feeling the tragedy of this story. If in sharing the story, even one heart is changed or one person protected, then Jesse did not suffer this insult in vain. He would be happy knowing that his story helped someone. If only evryone was as kind as Jesse.

  • Escobana profile image

    Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia

    Very very impressive and sad story....

    There are days I think I know about all the horrors people inflict on other people and then there is today. I thought it couldn't get any worse and then it did.

    However I see the importance of sharing this story all over the world, to create awareness on this topic.

    Due to having Bipolar Disorder, I have been hospitalized many times. One week of isolation traumatized me forever though it was to keep me safe.

    The idea of Jesse spending many months in `the closet´ is so painful to comprehend. Inhumane, brutal. I´m so glad he experienced love in a later phase of his life.

    Thanks for sharing Irc!

    Shared, up and painfully interesting....

  • seanorjohn profile image

    seanorjohn 5 years ago

    So many institutions around the world inflicted cruelty on the vulnerable. This is a truly shocking account. Well done for exposing this case. Truly heartbreaking.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jim - the "training school" and "The Colony" are one and the same. Although it has evolved into somewhat better conditions, you can feel the pain and suffering of its history just driving onto the property. New buildings, landscaping, and modern technology has not and will never be able to erase the pain and suffering that took place there. The spirit of those who suffered and died in silence there can be felt still today, if you are even slightly empathic. There are wonderful, caring people who work there who will lose their jobs as it closes its doors in the coming months. I hope they will find work in a brighter, happier place without such a sordid history. Thank you Jim.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    @ jonnycomelately - you have made an excellent point. It is indeed humans who make these decisions. Predjudice in the hearts of men/women is the root cause of many insults to fellow human beings. I appreciate that you bring attention to this.

    @ Impounds - Thank you for the visit and for feeling the punch of this sad story.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello billdo1603. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing the feelings of concern for Jesse's story.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    HLPhoenix - your comment is right on the mark and I thank you for adding to the depth of this story. Jesse is such a quiet and shy man who never wanted attention but he would be honored to think that even one was spared the insult and indignity that he endured.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    @ Fyrfytr234 - thanks for reading and sharing.

    @ Nell, all fiction is based on some truth, isn't that what "they" say? It is true that Hitler conceived his evil ideas from things that were done here in Virginia to obliterate the poor, the uneducated, and the people of color. Sad!

    @ Justsilvie, you are correct that we should look to the past to appreciate where we are now. History will repeat itself if we do not learn from past mistakes and that is why these things have to be brought into the open. Jesse is a dear heart. Thank you for caring.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    This is so touching, so compassionate. It tells a tragic tale of one man anong 8300 victims of a heartless system. I actually know a woman who works in something called "the training school" in Lynchburg that the state will shut down in a few years. I wonder it that place is what the "Colony" evolved into.

    This is another great hub!

  • lmpounds profile image

    Lauren 5 years ago from St. Louis

    Wow.... I am speechless at this story. Extremely touching. Thank you!

  • jonnycomelately profile image

    Alan 5 years ago from Tasmania

    "This was just the form chosen by the State I live in."

    Ircz815, as much as this story is such a powerful one, and in no way would I want to detract from the humanity of it, there is an important point to make here, I feel.

    When any blame is laid at the feet of the "State," or any other authority, that is false in my estimation. I detracts from the individual humans who make up such an institution and their influence upon that institution.

    It is human beings, OUR brothers and sisters, Us as well, who give rise to institutions like you have described. Us humans who decide that certain individuals are not normal enough to live freely in our society.

    Each of us needs to look inside at our motives; decide whether some deeply held, well intentioned prejudice might cause gross cruelty to be perpetrated. I include any extreme religious view in this. Just one person, with such an extreme view, who is in charge and in control, can instigate cruelty.

  • billd01603 profile image

    billd01603 5 years ago from Worcester

    Thanks lrc7815 very tragic, yet heartwarming story. Bravewarrior, I agree with you. It's unbeleivable that this happened in America

  • HLPhoenix profile image

    HLPhoenix 5 years ago

    This still goes on in places in this world... people are awful to each other... and can excuse themselves almost anything.

    Our country has a very dark history of violence towards those we need or want out of the way... from the First Nations, deciminated by our founders and their followers to the present day where our politicians try to keep the less worthy down by cutting education and food and police... while selling them firearms and jailing them for having 2 marijuana ciggarettes on them.

    Eugenics has been used all over the world... and touted as the way to show that Blacks and Jews and other groups despised by the 'superior' groups... were actually inferior so they could be treated like animals.

    It is horrifying to discover that you live where something like this actually happened... but you brought it to light, and lent your beautiful heart both to Jesse and to the telling of his story. Thank you.

  • profile image

    Justsilvie 5 years ago

    Sometimes when people talk about the good old days and how bad everything is today, they really should take an accounting of the past. Heart wrenching, but also a lovely story. I am glad Jesse had someone special to share his life.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, eugenics happened in many places. This was just the form chosen by the State I live in. It should be an embarrassement to our State but they are still fighting in our legislature over whether or not to offer financial compensation to the victims and their families.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Leslie, my spirited friend, I am so glad that you read and were as touched by Jesse as I was when I met and heard his story. He is so precious. I have another hub about another local man who endured the same horrid experience. I don't like to include links in comments but for this, I will.

    Also, if you want to learn more, do a search on the Carrie Bell. Buck vs Bell, or The Lynchburg Story. You will find more than you ever dreamed of to detest.

    I love your spirit and compassion leslie. If there were more like you, things like this might never have happened.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Deb, thank you so much for sharing Jesse's story. It is a heartbreaker for sure. I have sent you a FB friend request so the short answer is - we will be friends soon. :-)

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    What a shocking and heartbreaking true story. This was a shock to hear about it, but I do remember reading a fiction story based on truth a few years ago by Jodi Picoult, she mentioned eugenics in America back in the 20s, in fact she went further to add that they believed it was over there that the nazi's got the idea for it in the second world war! can't remember the book off hand, but yes I was shocked, nell

  • FyrFytr234 profile image

    FyrFytr234 5 years ago

    Wow. What an incredible story about an amazing man. Thank you for sharing. Now I will.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, this is inconceivable to me. How can America have treated its citizens with such malice, disregard and assumption? I am completely astounded and not in a good way!

    Thank God for Jesse you were delivered to him and he to you. Wow. I'm at a loss for words......

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 5 years ago

    I am sobbing and - i believe i am going to puke..

    You DID find the words, Linda - and they are an amazing mix of facts, disgust, compassion - and the most beautiful man i have ever not met!

    like you - i have no words, but - i WILL find them - as we must to get stories such as this out and heard!

    This may well be the most amazing story i have ever heard told - and i thank you for telling it, altho - i have long known about the eugenics program - and have not been able to yet broach it..

    i shall now - thanks to your courageous words!

    sharing everywhere!

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Linda this Hub is wonderful I think everyone needs to read it.. I will pass it all over Facebook

    are we friend on Facebook?

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello unknown spy. Yes, it is said and wrong. To think that a state could decide who has children and who doesn't (in my lifetime no less) is criminal in my opinion. Jesse is a dear man who would have been an amazing and loving father. The state stole that from hm and thousands of others. I wrote a second hub about this issue after another victim came forward locally. I continue to be sickened by it and am glad others are hearing the story. Thank you for caring.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Debbie, thank you for reading this one. I am sorry it made you cry but I am proud that you mentioned it when passing the coveted Lollipop Award to Vincent. Hopefully, others will be moved to read it and this issue will continue to create awareness for the pain and suffering of others in this world. Thank you!

  • unknown spy profile image

    IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

    you're right... this is a story that a reader will not forget. it was so sad and very real that when you think about it will scare you. the first question that came to my mind was, where are his children when you said that he's living alone...then now i understand.. he's really kind and he loved his wife so dearly... it's so sad!!!

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Linda.. I am crying .. this is extremely sad.. and so cruel.. I am with you.. How could this happen?

    blessings to you for writing such a moving hub

    Sharing dear heart


  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Skye! I really appreciate your compassion. Evil does exist but there is a lot more good in this old world than evil. Thank you so much for sharing Jessie's story with me.

  • skye2day profile image

    skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    lrc Oh what a blessing that Jesse met you sister. You were a light on his path. You too were blessed in knowing him. It was no mistake that God had the two of you to meet.

    May GOD help those people who were into this horrific crime. Evil has existed since the beginning of time. One day there will be no more!! Jesse and his wife will be reunited in Heaven for all of eternity. That is the good news of your story. Thank you for sharing with your tender heart lrc. God Bless you and yours. Skye

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    PS, I knew you would react this way. I am sorry to pollute your vision of the state you loved so but it's history is sordid. I love the state too PS. I love it's mountains and coastlines. I love it's parks and rivers, the culture of the mountain folk, the blues and bluegrass that are rooted here in the state, and I love the people, the average people. But I despise the history of our politics. Maybe we need more angels. :-)

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

    My heart is broken after reading this. Man's inhumanity to man keeps rolling through my can this happen?? A monstrous act that changes a life for ever. And on top of it, the treatment along with it.

    I had no idea. I grew up in Virginia for the first eighteen years of my life and lived such an idyllic life. I never knew that this happened in my fair state that I love. 8300 forced sterilizations?? O, even one was too many. I am with you in being ashamed of my dear state. What were they thinking?? Shame, shame, shame. And you are so precious to honor and recognize Jesse in this way...sending Angels your way :) ps

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Bobby. You are a good person. Our elderly deserve our attention and respect and so often end up lonely. It's so unfair. Jessie was a good man and was perfectly normal until the system robbed him of an education and socialization. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I appreciate you're reading this one and for the vote too.

  • Bobski606 profile image

    Bobby 5 years ago from U.K

    It makes me so sad and heartbroken to hear of these things happening. I love to listen to the stories of my Grandma and her friends but some of the things I've heard make me sick to my stomach. To think that the older generations have lived through so much abuse is horrifying. Since I move around a lot I always make an effort to speak with any of my elderly neighbors, you never never know when you'll meet someone like Jesse who needs a friend.

    Great hub and voted up.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Sandy! Thanks. I really appreciate your reading Jessie's story. He is one of many, many people who have been wronged this way. I hope that he gets compensated before he dies. There is a lawyer fighting to have all the victims compensated. Again, thanks!

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    I have read and heard of these things happening. So sad that places like this had ever existed. Glad to have read Jesse's story and that you have shared this.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    sweeethearts2 - if you keep this up I will have to send you flowers or chocolates. lol Yes, Jesse's story was hard to tell but he so deserves to have it told. He found love in the unlikeliest of places and that alone should tell us all that no situation is ever truly hopeless. Thanks again!

  • sweethearts2 profile image

    sweethearts2 5 years ago from Northwest Indiana

    What a difficult story for you to write. You must have been emotionally spent after re-living this memory. It was beautifully written and it is heartwarming to know that Jesse found love and a good friend. Blessing to you

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Georgie, you are so right. Jesse was amazing. I never cease to be amazed at the strength of the human spirit. A few years ago, our then Governor Mark Warner issued a public apology for the forced sterilizations. They have recently been back in the news locally as more people continue to come out of the closet to tell their stories. I often wonder what else happened here in the Commonwealth of Virginia that has yet to be revealed. I'm glad you were touched by Jesse's story.

  • Georgie Lowery profile image

    GH Price 5 years ago from North Florida

    Jesse sounds like he was amazing, especially to have lived through what he did. It would have completely broken most of us, yet he managed to find love after it all.

    It's heartbreaking. I'd heard about the forced sterilizations and wondered what kind of world that was. What people do to each other never fails to either amaze or sicken me.

    Thank you for telling Jesse's story!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    You are so right galeryofgrace. It is shameful and makes me sick. Our society in general is so arrogant and sadly, the state I live in is one of the worse. Thanks for reading my hub. I sincerely appreciate it.

  • galleryofgrace profile image

    galleryofgrace 5 years ago from Virginia

    Thank you so much for this article. Most people today do not even know these things happened.


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