Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Sailor Murdered at Camp Pendleton

August PendletonCamp Pendleton, CA – An E-3 sailor was found shot “execution-style” at Camp Pendleton’s Hovercraft Station on June 30.  Privately, investigators confirm a “gay angle” in the slaying.  29 year old Seaman August Provost of Houston, TX was found dead in a guard shack Tuesday at about 3:30 PM.  One as yet unconfirmed report says that in addition to his being shot, Provost’s body was badly burned.  While the Navy will not comment on whether his sexual orientation was related to his murder, other sources allege that the victim and a “person of interest” to investigators had an ongoing argument on sexual matters for some weeks. 10News.com reports that an anonymous source says Provost was murdered by a fellow serviceman during a violent argument over Provost’s sexual orientation.   The suspect in the slaying is being held in the Camp Pendleton brig.  San Diego gay activists and the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network (SLDN) are calling for a full inquiry into whether this was indeed a hate crime.  Kaether Cordero, Provost’s boyfriend in Houston, told reporters for the San Diego Union Tribune that his lover was “openly gay but kept his private life quiet for the most part.”  “People who he was friends with, I knew that they knew,” Cordero said.  “He didn’t care that they knew.  He trusted them.”  Provost’s sister, Akalia, said that he had recently complained to his family that someone was harassing him.  His family recommended that he tell his supervisor.  In acu5logoview of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the military policy banning gay servicemembers from the military, Provost would have been unlikely to broach the subject.  He would have had no place to go for counseling or advice, given that many chaplains and psychologists for the Navy would have felt it necessary to comply with DADT and turn a gay-affirming or questioning sailor in to his superiors.  His family describes him as courteous, mannerly, and even a little nerdy, a good son who loved his mother and worked hard to see that she was always well cared for.  He had completed three years of college prior to enlisting in the Navy in March 2008 in order to help finance the rest of his education, according to his uncle. He was studying to become an architectural engineer.  Provost was assigned to Assault Craft Unit 5, nicknamed the “Swift Intruders.”  Investigators for the Navy and the family await the autopsy and toxicology report before definitely confirming that Provost’s murder was an anti-gay hate crime.  His sister told the Union Tribune, “He didn’t deserve anything but a good life.”  As a retired military person said of the case, “This one could get ugly.”

July 2, 2009 Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, California, Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, military, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, U.S. Navy | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gay Sailor Murdered at Camp Pendleton

Remembering Barry Winchell

Barry Winchell horizontal

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the death of hate crime victim Barry Winchell. He served in the United States Army and held the rank of Private First Class. Following a period of ongoing harassment directed at Winchell for having dated a transsexual showgirl, fellow soldier Calvin Glover used a baseball bat to bludgeon Winchell as he slept on a cot in the barracks of Fort Campbell. Winchell died of massive head injuries the following day.

Winchell’s brutal murder prompted President Bill Clinton to review the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy, which many cite as a factor in the hate crime.

Today we remember Barry Winchell, and in our memory we restore to him the dignity and respect belonging to every person, regardless of sexual orientation.

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Bludgeoning, Don't Tell (DADT), gay men, harassment, Kentucky, military, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Politics, Remembrances, U.S. Army | , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments


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