Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

A Welcome Message

Stephen V. Sprinkle

Welcome to the Unfinished Lives Project, a place to remember and honor LGBT hate crime victims.

Our mission is to reveal the reality of unseen violence perpetrated against people whose only “offense” is their sexual orientation; to make anti-LGBT hate crime statistics available to our communities; to educate about the nature of hate crimes and how it affects LGBT and other communities; and to eliminate hate crime through social justice and awareness activities. On our website, we’ve dedicated pages and posts to achieve our mission:

A near brush with anti-gay hate crime in the late 1990’s in Fort Worth, Texas, shocked me awake to the reality of violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people across America. As a graduate school professor, my pursuits are usually quiet ones, preparing for class, and doing my research. But my quest to understand the effects and causes of hatred against people because of their difference has made me stare into the face of radical evil: the sort that kills.

Because of my work and research, I have learned how much all of us need each other–especially all of us who are members of racial/ethnic, religious, differently-abled, female, and LGBT communities. I have learned how vital the work of advocacy is. I have learned how precious life itself is, and how fragile. For this project, I have interviewed relatives, bereaved lovers, co-workers, neighbors and friends, journalists, and law enforcement officers who had direct knowledge about the women and men who died so brutally because of ignorance, prejudice and fear. It has been the journey of a lifetime, and in a strange way, though I am a teacher, these deceased LGBT people have become my teachers.

I want to convey to anyone who will listen that it is possible by hope to bring something beautiful and meaningful out of the ugliest realities of American life. Every time I meet a mother or lover, a friend or an advocate of one of these murdered LGBT people and share their stories, the intentions of the killers and the haters are frustrated, and the hope for a better, more just society somehow springs to life from the ashes.

I dedicate this website to the victims and to all those working for a better world. Thank you for visiting with us, and for joining us in our pursuit for a world free of violence and fear.

I hope you will visit us often.


Stephen V. Sprinkle
The Unfinished Lives Project

June 28, 2008 - Posted by | A Welcome Message, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gay men, gun violence, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Popular Culture, Protests and Demonstrations, religious intolerance, transgender persons, Uncategorized, women


  1. I recently “came out” to my congregation and denomination as a transgender clergy. I have faithfully served The United Methodist Church for twenty-seven years. While most responses and comments to sharing my story have been positive, I have also received hateful, cruel, and sometimes frightening comments. Without exception, every transphobic comment has been made anonymously, revealing the level of arrogance, cowardice, bigoted hatred, fear,and unwillingness to dialogue among the persons and groups perpetraing these crimes.

    Comment by Rev. David Weekley | October 16, 2009

    • Rev. Weekley,

      I believe I am a subscriber to your website gaychristian and if you are the same person, your work is both scholarly and full of God’s wisdom. I applaud your bravery and I will say this, even as a person in the lgbt community there are some ignorances that go on from not being fully aware or informed re: our transgendered brothers and sisters. I am currently working on a short film for school on Transgenderism where I interviewed several transgendered females and gained some perspective on their lives. I will problably look to expand the work in the future but it will be used as a tool to educate both the lgbt as well as non lgbt communities about our community.

      Comment by Tanya A. Maryoung | April 26, 2010

  2. Dr. Sprinkle,
    I am encouraged by the work you are doing. As a heterosexual who has more homosexual friends than straight ones it seems, I am extremely sensitive to the fight for rights and respect that the LGBT community is going through. I have changed denominations and am now part of an open and affirming congregation of the UCC in Newark, Delaware. Keep up the good work. I am passing your facebook posts on to my friends here in Delaware and they are being received with great encouragement. Blessings to you and all you do.

    Comment by Patty Sherman | November 3, 2009

    • Many thanks, Patty! Give my regards to all who cannot rest until justice comes for everyone. Good to hear from you!

      Steve Sprinkle

      Comment by unfinishedlives | November 4, 2009

  3. I am a minister of a radically inclusive church in Harlem NY and recently I haved stepped into my own authenticity from years of attempting to “pass” or be ambiguous because of fear of being rejected from my church community and being despised by friends and family. After 2 failed marriages to 2 very great men (2nd was gay and tried to appease his deeply religious family) I realized the disservice I was doing to myself and those I was in fellowship was immense. Outside of my community I do at times feel at a loss but it is now a loss I’m willing to take to give a face to the community of which I am a part of. I believe in the radical love of Jesus Christ and I believe equality for all is vital and paramount for our survival! Thanks for your research and God bless you!

    Comment by Tanya A. Maryoung | April 26, 2010

  4. Thank you very much for you work on behalf of Queers.

    Comment by Robert Plumb | June 14, 2010

  5. I’m Alice, a 25 year old trans girl from Canada. I just stumbled across this site at work. I want to say thank you for doing this, and how saddened I am that it is required. Thank you for doing this for those of us who no longer have a voice.

    Comment by Alice | November 26, 2011

    • Thank you for these lovely words of encouragement, Alice. Happy Holidays!

      Unfinished Lives

      Comment by unfinishedlives | November 27, 2011

  6. Thank you for what you have done in the creation of this website.
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  14. Why are those 2 monsters not in prison for the awful crime they committed in Terlingua Texas.

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