Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Hate Crimes Book Receives National Independent Publishers Award

New York, New York – Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims by Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle has been awarded the national Silver Medal from the Independent Book Awards for outstanding excellence in Gay/Lesbian Non-Fiction.  The IPPY Awards, created 16 years ago by the Jenkins Group, honors independently published books throughout the United States. Jim Barnes, Awards Director of the IPPYs for the past 14 years, made the announcement of Dr. Sprinkle’s groundbreaking book on May 2. For Dallas Voice coverage of the award by David Taffet, click here.

Unfinished Lives is Dr. Sprinkle’s labor of love, telling the stories of 14 LGBTQ hate crimes murder victims throughout the U.S., representative of over 13,000 women, men, and youths who have lost their lives to unreasoning hatred since 1980.  It took four-and-a-half years to research and write the book. Dr. Sprinkle traveled throughout the country, meeting family members, law enforcement officers, journalists, brokenhearted lovers, and friends who told the stories of their loved ones so that their memories would not be lost. “I set out to change the conversation on hate crimes in this country,” Dr. Sprinkle said, “to put a human face on the outrage of homophobia and transphobia robbing us of so many so brutally.”  In regard to the IPPY Award Silver Medal, he said, “I am grateful to the judges and to my publisher, Wipf and Stock–but most of all to the women related to the victims who have become my teachers during the struggle to write this book.  These mothers, sisters and aunts became courageous human rights advocates by tragic happenstance.  In their names I gratefully accept this award.”

Known as the “Oscars of Independent Publishing,” the IPPY Awards were launched in 1996 as “the first unaffiliated book awards program open exclusively to independents.”  Awards Director Barnes says: “Even today, authors choose to publish independently to break free of the rules and constraints of conglomerate publishing, and this rebellious attitude still influences the Awards’ mission today, ‘To reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing.’” Over 4,000 titles compete for the honors each year in over 72 categories.  Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are awarded in each category. “As far as we know,” Barnes went on to say, “it’s the largest book awards contest in the world.”

Award winners gather this year on June 4 for the awards ceremony at Providence NYC, in the Midtown West area of New York City, a venue where the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Jimi Hendrix, and John Lennon recorded their music. The IPPYs are given in conjunction with the mammoth annual BookExpo America convention to insure the greatest exposure possible for award winners.

Unfinished Lives was published in January 2011 by Resource Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers of Eugene, Oregon. Stephen V. Sprinkle is Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry at Brite Divinity School, on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.  He also serves as Theologian in Residence of Cathedral of Hope (United Church of Christ) in Dallas, Texas, the largest congregation in the world with a predominant outreach to the LGBTQ community.

May 3, 2012 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Brite Divinity School, Bullying in schools, Cathedral of Hope, GLBTQ, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Independent Book Awards (IPPYs), LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ, New York, Social Justice Advocacy, Texas, transphobia, Unfinished Lives Book | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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