Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims


Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims by Stephen. V. Sprinkle

Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims. By Stephen V. Sprinkle.

Book Description from the publisher Wipf and Stock:

Over 13,000 Americans have been murdered in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries because of their sexual orientation and gender presentation. In Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memory of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims, Stephen Sprinkle puts a human face on the outrage and loss suffered when people die from anti-gay hatred. Beginning with new developments in the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in Laramie, Wyoming, Sprinkle tells the stories of fourteen representative LGBTQ victims whose lives were savagely cut short due to homophobia and transphobia. These are stories about people who could be your neighbor, classmate, co-worker, or friend-real, everyday people whose love was foreclosed, relationships brutally terminated, and future contributions stolen from us by outrageous, irrational hatred.

Told lovingly yet unflinchingly, Unfinished Lives lifts the stories of these LGBTQ victims from undeserved obscurity, allowing their memory to live again. Relying on personal interviews and visits to the locations where these people lived, loved, and died, Sprinkle records the raw emotions, powerful movements for social change, and unexpectedly hopeful communities that arise from the ruins of those people whose only “offense” was to live as they were born to be.

Part portraiture, part crime narrative, and part ethnography, Unfinished Lives is poised to change the conversation on hate crimes in the United States.

Breaking News: Unfinished Lives has won the 2012 national Silver Medal for Exellence in Gay/Lesbian Non-Fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Awards.  The “IPPY” Awards, known as the “Oscars of Independent Publishing,” is the largest book contest in the world.  Commenting on the Silver Medal, the author, Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, said, “This fine award furthers the purpose for which I wrote the book: to help change the national conversation on LGBTQ hate crimes.  I am thankful, and accept this award in the name and memory of the 13,000 known victims of hate crime murder in this country since 1980.”

Endorsements and Reviews:

“Unfinished Lives cries out to be read . . . It speaks to the systematic denigration of LGBTQ people in the United States . . . and it offers hope that the cycles of abuse and hatred and violence can be broken—one person, one family, one community at a time.”
—from the Foreword by Harry Knox
Director of the Religion and Faith Program Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC

“In telling these ‘stories that trouble the soul’ about the hateful murders of fourteen LBGTQ people who were selected for execution simply because of their non-conforming sexual orientation and gender presentation, Stephen Sprinkle has courageously refused to bury the victims in silence or go along with the cultural amnesia that tries to suggest ‘it was all a mistake’ and ‘they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ No, anti-gay violence is an intentionally employed weapon of mass terror, and religion is often its accomplice. With a fierce determination to honor our dead by telling the truth out loud and proud, Sprinkle calls the community to take up the queer theological tasks of, yes, remembering and mourning, but also of community resistance and organizing to end the violence against us, against all peoples.” —Marvin M. Ellison
Bangor Theological Seminary
editor of Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection

“Stephen Sprinkle takes on one of the most profound questions of our time: When fear and hate and judgment result in violence and murder of non-gender conforming people, what is the right response of civil society? While we struggle to find the answer, he reminds us that the clock is ticking and lives are being lost. He honors the lives of those who have either been taken from us or grievously injured by our collective inaction. He labors at the leading edge of love, healing, and inclusion for all people, providing ‘a walking systemtic intervention’ where injustice resides.”
—Cindi Love
Executive Director of Soulforce
Member of the Religion and Faith Program
Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC

Places to Purchase Unfinished Lives

Request a Review Copy from the Publisher

Are you a member of the media? Would you like to review this book for your publication? Are you a high rated reviewer on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, GoodReads.com, Or LibraryThing.com?

If so request a review copy from the publisher by clicking this link


  1. It is up to the publishers discretion to send you a review copy and not the Unfinished Lives Project
  2. According to Wipf and Stock: After your review has been completed, please send back a sample to the attention of James Stock (printed, taped, link)… If this is the first time you have reviewed a Wipf and Stock title, please also send any informational/promotional materials that are available for your publication.

The Unfinished Lives Project welcomes reviews from our friends, fans and frequent readers on any and all sites. If  you have read the book and would like to contribute a review please do.

Ordering Bulk Copies

To order in bulk please contact the publisher directly at:

Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3
Eugene, OR 97401-2960

Tel: (541) 344-1528
Fax: (541) 344-1506

Ordering Inquiries: Orders@wipfandstock.com


Egon Cohen’s Review on Amazon.com Egon Cohen has been instrumental as a Research Assistant for the book.
The Rev. J. Carl Gregg’s Review on Amazon.com
Mike House’s Review on Amazon.com

Jane McCoy’s Review on Amazon.com
Robert Shelly’s Review on Amazon.com
EEWC Review by Rev. Dr. Jann Aldredge Clanton

Here is a wonderful review by Rev. Carl Gregg, pastor of Broadview Baptist Church of Calvert County, Maryland (Carl is also Secretary of the National Board of the Alliance of Baptists). “Many thanks to Darryl Morris of LGBTQ Nation for circulating this great review of my Unfinished Lives book on his widely read website. Carl Gregg wrote the review, and I must say he really “gets” what I wrote this book for. Thank you both SO MUCH!” Steve Sprinkle.

Another great review by Adam DJ Brett, Th.M. at Brite Divinity School, on the Alliance of Baptists national site.

Unfinished Lives Blurb by Dennis Wiley (49KB PDF)

OutCast Austin’s Interview of Stephen V. Sprinkle (MP3)

Dan Savage publicly thanking Steve Sprinkle for his It Gets Better Project video. (Click here for the Dallas Observer’s article, and click here for the Dallas Voice’s article on Dan Savage’s visit to Dallas.)

Press Kit

Thank you for writing about Unfinished Lives. and helping to change the conversation on LGBTQ hate crimes.

If you are looking for promotional materials to help publicize an Unfinished Lives event you have scheduled, or if you like to produce a media piece about Unfinished Lives, here is some information about the book that would be relevant to you. Presently we have one all purpose “Press Kit/Media Kit.” That works not only for the book, but also for the Unfinished Lives Project and for our director Dr. Stephen Sprinkle.

If you are hosting an Unfinished Lives Event we highly recommend requesting a review copy of the book from the publisher several months in advance to give you time to review it and to speak personally about the book. Please see the information about ordering a review copy above.

The Press Kit includes:

  • One Press Kit guide
  • Several high resolution pictures of the author Stephen SprinkleP
  • A picture of Stephen Sprinkle with Dan Savage author/creator of It Gets Better, and two photos of Dan Savage endorsing the book.
  • One high resolution picture of the book
  • One web banner For a website or blog
  • One introduction card for when one is introducing Sprinkle. The card is meant to be used as inspiration, we would prefer it if you told a personal story about how you connected with Unfinished Lives and/or Dr. Sprinkle. If you don’t wish to do that please feel free to use the card
  • One short Bio of Sprinkle
  • One Review of Unfinished Lives by an African-American Minister

N.B. Our notion of media piece is inclusive to include any and all forms of media including but not limited to:

traditional media (such as newspapers, periodicals, magazines), a blog, a journal, an email list, or just someone who is passionate about the project and wish to put something in a newsletter to friends and family.

Click here to download the Unfinished Lives Press Kit (18MB Zip file)

Book Tour

Dr. Sprinkle debuted his book, Unfinished Lives, at three signing events at Cathedral of Hope Dallas on March 27th! Photo: Dr. Sprinkle and Dr. Jo Hudson, Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Hope.

Dr. Sprinkle gave a short lecture at the Interfaith Peace Chapel of CoH, and then panelists (r to l) FBI Special Agent Hallie Tishenor, Dr. Keri Day of Brite Divinity School, Pastor Alex Byrd of Living Faith Covenant Church Dallas, and Rev. Dr. Paul Dodd, U.S. Army Chaplain (Col, Ret) from Austin responded. Great book signing event! Photo

Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better,” and “Savage Love” Tour
Dan graciously endorsed “Unfinished Lives” at his Savage Love Tour where he signed copies of “It Gets Better” after speaking to a packed house at the Kessler Theatre in Oak Cliff. Dr. Sprinkle contributed a chapter to “It Gets Better” too, and a video on YouTube. Thanks a million, Dan! For photos of this event click here

Steve Sprinkle and Dan Savage

North Carolina Book Tour Information

Date added: The book tour is now scheduled to visit Barton College in Wilson, NC on Monday, April 11 from 4 – 5 pm in on campus at the Regan Writing Center. Dr. Joe Jones is primary host for a short lecture and the book signing. Many thanks to Rev. Phil Jones for all his help in working this out, too!

Austin Pride Book Event: Dr. Sprinkle was featured speaker at the 10th annual Multi-Faith Pride Service, held on September 8 at University United Methodist Church adjacent to the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.  His book was presented at the service, and a display offered attendees the chance to order a copy.

Dr. Sprinkle will be a featured workshop speaker at the OutServe Armed Forces Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the New York, New York Casino from October 13-16. The Workshop he and Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, senior pastor of Cathedral of Hope in Dallas will present is entitled, “Scripture and Homosexuality.”  Dr. Sprinkle will also be presenting his book, Unfinished Lives, at the Summit.  For more information on OutServe, download the event brochure here.

Korean Edition

Who Trampled the Rainbow Flag - by Stephen V. Sprinkle Published by Alma Books, 2013

Who Trampled the Rainbow Flag book cover, Alma Books, 2013.

Alma Books is publishing Who Trampled The Rainbow Flag?: Remembering the Death of Victims of Hate Crime Against the Sexual Minority, the Korean translation of Dr. Stephen Sprinkle’s groundbreaking anthology of hate crimes murder victim stories, Unfinished Lives: Remembering LGBTQ Hate Crimes Murder Victims (Resource Publications, 2011). Korea Book Singing Video Read More…


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    Pingback by Unfinished Lives Book Tour Stop @ Barton College « Unfinished Lives | March 26, 2011 | Reply

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  3. Hi
    I’m writing to let you know about a recent book by the “gay-brain” scientist, Simon LeVay. It’s title is “Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation.” It finally puts to rest the old “chosen lifestyle” theory of homosexuality which has done our community so much harm. Dr. LeVay has spoken at quite a few PFLAG chapters over the years. It would be great if you could let your membership know about this book, or post a link to it on your Facebook wall. Here’s a link to the page which has more information about it: http://www.amazon.com/Gay-Straight-Reason-Why-Orientation/dp/0199737673/ref=cm_cr_dp_orig_subj

    P.S Please put this link for Simon’s LeVay book on your facebook wall , so all your friends can see it. In case they want to buy it.

    Thanks and best wishes

    Comment by mike | September 18, 2011 | Reply

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