Memorable Characters

Sex Registrant

How I Ended Up On the Sex Offender Registry—for Life


Words and Music By Dennis Sobin

Memorable Characters


There are three characters in Sex Registrant: How I Ended Up on the Sex Offender Registry—for Life. They are:


Probation Officer—Conflicted about himself and his job, probation officer Myron Sullivan developed a plastic personality to keep his emotions reigned in as much as possible. What are those personal feelings? He can’t say because he has submerged them for so long. He knows his job is supposed to be part policeman and part social worker. He does it by maintaining a Dr. Jekle and Mr. Hyde personality behind a mask of exaggerated professionalism. He likes his job because by focusing on other people’s problems with a critical and condescending eye, he’s able to hide his own , demons, including alcoholism. The big crisis in his career comes when he discovers evidence gathered by his own agency of Sobin’s innocence. He decides to ignore it, choosing his paycheck over his principles. I confesses, “I can’t pay my rent or put food on the table with ideals.” But he eventually has a change of heart when a fundamentalist motorcycle gang commits an unspeakable (but not unsingable) act on him when they mistake him for a sex registrant.


Sex Registration Official—Yolanda Braun is of mixed race but unmixed emotion. She thinks she deserves better than the job she has but doesn’t know what to do about it. She can’t quit since she has a mortgage to pay and car payments to make. She transfers her hatred of her situation to the people who come before her to register, thinking of them in the same way that Nazi officials regarded Jews whom they beat during similar registration procedures, “You Jew dog, I hurt my hand because you made me hit you.” She particularly hates Sobin because he's not a complacent or quiet registrant. He insists on talking, and he often says things to hurt Braun, such as telling her that her last name is the same as Hitler’s devoted mistress Eva Braun. With bitterness in her heart and fire in her eyes, Yolanda Braun responds to such comments, “I’m not going there!”


Dennis Sobin—is undiplomatic, uncouth and uncontrollable. He knows how to offend people and doesn’t hesitate to do it. He is often punished, not so much for what he does but for what he is: an impatient, inflexible, short-tempered person. He has a sense of humor but often uses it as a weapon against others, including many innocent people who want to steer away from him and his iron notions of what is right and wrong. But Sobin doesn’t think there are any innocent people, quoting Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

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