Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay College Student Beaten by Homophobes, Ignored by Oklahoma Police

Claremore, OK – A 24-year-old gay college student was beaten late last month by three men screaming anti-gay slurs as he took out the trash at his apartment complex.  Phillip Nelson, an out and open gay man, was jumped and thrashed in the quiet town of Claremore, approximately a half hour drive north of Tulsa.  Investigators have basically blown off the incident, leaving Nelson emotionally wounded in addition to his physical injuries (see photo at left). EDGE reports that Nelson is struggling to cope with the combination of brutal attack and police indifference to a hate crime against him.  “I keep calling them and leaving voice mails but I never hear anything back,” Nelson said during an EDGE interview. “No one ever returns my calls, which has me wondering if they’re kind of trying to let this thing die out and go away, or if they are going to do anything about it.” Media coverage outside the gay blogosphere has been sparce.  Besides the EDGE report, which according to Michael Lavers grew from a tip given by one of their readers, only one other story has appeared in the news media.  Oklahoma lawmakers aver that laws protecting LGBT people are not needed in their state, and in a notorious move by State Senator Steve Russell, legislation has been introduced to circumvent the James Bryd, Jr. and Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President Obama in October 2009.  The Oklahoma House of Representatives has not yet voted on the bill, which passed the State Senate last month.  Nelson’s case is a clear reason why protection statutes for LGBT Oklahomans is urgently needed.  Nelson’s three attackers who remain unapprehended by local police as of this writing, assaulted him while screaming “You are going to die!” and “Faggot!” leaving him with multiple bruises and cuts on his face and over his body.  Days later, his antagonists broke into Nelson’s apartment and scrawled “Fag” on the walls. Though Nelson reported the beating to Claremore police, no police report of the attack was filed until Nelson called in law enforcement for the break-in.  Then, in what may have been an attempt to cover their tracks, the police insisted that Nelson file separate reports on both crimes.  The whole ordeal has shaken Nelson, but as he told EDGE, he has had to face homophobia all his young life. “I’ve been called names all my life, even by my family members; and after a while I learned to get numb from it,” he said. “I just got numb from a lot of things. I’m happy with myself and that’s all that matters.” LGBT Oklahomans grow tough in the Sooner State.  They have to.

April 27, 2010 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, death threats, gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, home-invasion, Law and Order, Legislation, Matthew Shepard Act, Media Issues, Oklahoma, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Politics, Slurs and epithets, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Aside from making this viral, everyone should email the Claremore, OK Police Department and encourage them to pursue Phillip Nelson’s case!
    You can email the PD through this link:

    Comment by Jacob Whipple | April 27, 2010

  2. As a Christian, I wonder if those three men who attacked this young man would stand up to call themselves Christians. I wonder if they know what the term “coward” means. It is when three “men” attack ONE young man simply because they do not care to understand differences, and they choose to live in ignorance and darkness. Folks, our job is not done. However, I hope that we do not become oppressors in our own ways. If we do, we continue to go in circles. Let us do the right thing in the name of Jesus, not acts of cowardice. As this young man can tell you, it may hurt at times, but we have to keep the struggle going forward. God bless you Dr. Sprinkle for your peaceful but strong stance against injustices. There are many of us who love you!

    Comment by Norma Gann | April 27, 2010

  3. i am sorry he was beaten. Maybe if he were a Lesbian he would have been embraced and supported. I wish the Gay movement would separate from the Lesbian crap. They are accepted, Gay men are not. The rights and realities of ALL men are up for grabs now as Men in general are experiencing insane levels of poverty, harrassment, mistreatment and suicide. Men are placed in a box, gay and straight and are not allowed to express themselves as Human beings. Men need to Ditch the dykes and be free. Let women deal with their issues. I have never seen women take to the streets to protest men’s suffering . Why? because they dont give a shit. they want us to cry our hearts out for them. But I doubt if any women came to the aid of this dude. They will use it as a step to further their own cause. Which in reality excludes MEN! Wake up! All men are suffering. War is a result of the broken hearts of men. Broken because no one cares. Especially women! Wake up. I will forever support Gay men’s issues but I will never take a stand for Dykes. Never. They are only pigging backing off of the hard won work of Gay men.

    Comment by Todd | June 28, 2010

  4. Fake. The black eye is photoshopped.

    Comment by FaceIt | July 5, 2010

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: