The Ladies Under the Bridge

It's been an interesting couple days for the sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. In case you missed yesterday's opinion piece in the Herald, a woman named Voncel Johnson -- who plead guilty of lewd and lascivious exhibition on a minor -- just joined the 52 banished men at the state-mandated tent city.

While the article is refreshingly blunt, noting the men are forced to live as "post apocalyptic trolls," it's a bit misleading. The implication is that the bridge was a previously all-male community, and that this nervous woman is the first to live among the guys.

It's true she's the only lady to be sent there by corrections officers, but anyone who's spent time under the bridge knows females have been around all along. They are the wives, girlfriends, and daughters of these alleged monsters. They sleep in vans, smoke cigarettes by the water, speak to British documentarians about the injustice of it all. They are able to love the men that much of society can't even look at. Strangely enough, there's a sense of family and community even in that God awful place. The colony is evolving. And this whole thing keeps getting crazier.

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Natalie O'Neill
Contact: Natalie O'Neill