Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Another Gay Minnesota Teen Crushed By Weight of Homophobic Bullying

Portrait of gay bullycide victim Jay’Cory Jones, 17, held by his father, JayBoka Strader.

Rochester, Minnesota – A 17-year-old openly gay teen succumbed to overwhelming bullying, taking his own life this past Sunday.  Jay’Cory Jones jumped to his death into traffic from a pedestrian bridge near Century High School, according to police reports.  According to his father, Jones was beaten down by the incessant school bullying he endured for being open and vocal about his sexual orientation.  His father, JayBocka Strader, told the PostBulletin.com“He said all of his life they always picked on him. He’d still try to keep his head up at school, but then he’d come home and be really sad about it.”  Mr. Strader went on to say that his son was depressed because other boys wouldn’t accept him for who he was.

Jones knew of his sexual orientation since he was a little boy.  He took pride in who he was, and declared on his Facebook page that he was “Gay & Proud.”  A member of the Century Gay Straight Alliance, he sought help with his feelings from the Gay and Lesbian Youth Services in Rochester where he attended weekly meetings.  In the end, the pressure on him from his peers was just too much to bear.

ABC 6 News reports that Jones’s high school friends confirm that the abuse he suffered from bullies was a large factor in his death.  “You could tell it upset him because like he didn’t understand why people couldn’t accept him for who he was,” his friend Rachel said. “It just sucks that we had to lose somebody because of people’s words, and they didn’t realize that words hurt more than anything else.”

Communities across Minnesota, even the notorious Anoka-Hennepin School District in suburban Minneapolis, as well as towns and cities around the nation are attempting to staunch the numbers of gay and lesbian teens who take their lives because of homophobic bullying.  There is help available, like the Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Rochester, and the nationally based Trevor Helpline, but it appears to be too little too late for so many, like Jay’Cory.

As EDGE On The Net reports, his dad said, “Up until his death, he took a stand. He was like, ’Whatever happens, happens — I’m just going to take a stand.’ And he started to take a stand.”  The homophobia in Century High School was just too heavy to win against. To honor Jay’Cory, Mr. Strader requests that people wear pink.  “I told him he looked really good in pink,” he said.

The Trevor Project 24-hour Lifeline number is 866-488-7386.  For God’s sake, use it!

May 12, 2012 Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Bullycide, Bullying in schools, gay teens, Gay-Straight Alliances, GLBTQ, Heterosexism and homophobia, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ, LGBTQ suicide, Minnesota, Trevor Project | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Another Gay Minnesota Teen Crushed By Weight of Homophobic Bullying

Unfinished Lives on OutCast Austin

Our Project Director Stephen V. Sprinkle was on last night’s OutCast Radio talk show on the book, Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims.

Click on this link to listen to Sprinkle’s interview on Outcast Austin. Steve say’s that he had a wonderful time being on the program. (The Interview starts about 6:00 minutes in).

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Bisexual persons, Book excerpts, gay men, Gay-Straight Alliances, gender identity/expression, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, hate speech, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ suicide, Matthew Shepard, Matthew Shepard Act, Matthew Shepard Foundation, Media Issues, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, Unfinished Lives Book Signings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Unfinished Lives on OutCast Austin

Unfinished Lives Book Tour Stop @ Barton College

Barton College - Logo

Barton College

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! Click Here For More Info.

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Book Tour, North Carolina | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Unfinished Lives Book Tour Stop @ Barton College

Skittish Marines Gay Bash Man in Savannah

Keil Joseph Cronauer, 22, and Christopher Charles Stanzel, 23 (pictured L-R)

Savannah, GA – Two U.S. Marines were imprisoned Saturday for an unprovoked attack on a gay man in a downtown park.  Kieran Daly, 26, an openly gay man, was allegedly accosted with homophobic slurs and then brutally attacked by Keil Joseph Cronauer, 22, and Christopher Charles Stanzel, 23, both stationed at Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina.  The Marines, in town on leave, were apprehened by Savannah-Chatham Police Officers as they ran from the scene of the crime, and arrested for what the victim and witnesses to the assault are calling an anti-gay hate crime, according to the Savannah Daily News.  Though the Marines maintained to police that they were merely rebuffing unwanted attention from Daly, witnesses say that both men charged upon Daly after he tried to walk away from them.  The witnesses further report that one of the Marines became enraged, shouting that Daly had “winked” at him.  One of the Marines demanded that Daly respect him because he had recently served in Iraq, and one of them yelled a homophobic epithet at Daly as the attack unfolded.  In a rage, one of them struck the victim on the skull from behind with his fist.  Daly fell to the ground suffering two seizures, rendered unconscious.  At one point, the victim apparently stopped breathing, since police reporting to the scene saw Daly’s friends applying CPR to him as he lay motionless on the pavement.  He was rushed to Memorial University Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with bruises on his brain.  Daly’s assailants were arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery for attacking the gay man.  The crime was committed at about 3:45 AM near Congress and Bull Streets, near historic Forsyth Park.  In a hospital room interview late Saturday with the Daily News, Daly makes a point of saying that he in no way winked at or otherwise provoked the young Marines. “The guy thought I was winking at him,” Daly said. “I told him, ‘I was squinting, man. … I’m tired.’ That’s the last thing I remember is walking away.”  Daly is expected to be in the hospital for several days. While Savannah-Chatham police say that their LGBT liaison officer is closely monitoring the subject, nothing at this point indicates that the case is being investigated as a hate crime.  The relatively mild charge against the Marines indicates a reluctance to break with Savannah’s bad reputation among its gay and lesbian population. Jess Morgan, Gay-Straight Alliance President at Armstrong State Atlantic University, told the Daily News that LGBT residents of Savannah face discrimination and harassment on a regular basis.  They cannot safely be open about their sexual orientation in any public way without threat of punishment, Morgan said. Georgia still does not have anti-LGBT hate crime protection on the the state level, one of only five states that have no such law on the books.  Daly may be a civilian casualty of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  Chicago Pride points out that the firestorm over repeal of DADT has created an increasingly tense situation for lesbians and gays coming into contact with Marines.  The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, is commonly identified by national media as leading the fight against the repeal of DADT among senior military officers, suggesting to Marines that anger against LGBT people is somehow justified. Police records show Cronauer and Stanzel have been released to into the custody of Marine military police.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Blame the victim, Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), gay men, gay panic defense, Gay-Straight Alliances, Georgia, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, military, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, South Carolina, U.S. Marines | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Skittish Marines Gay Bash Man in Savannah

Anti-Gay Church Smears Students and Teachers at “Fag-Infested” Boston School

Westboro Baptist Church children protesting a military funeral

Boston, MA – Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church has issued a press release saying that a protest will take place June 7 at Boston Latin School.  What sets this protest action apart from many others the church has mounted is the virulence of the verbal attacks on the “violent, freakish, worthless, brute-beast children,” who attend the school, and the “perverts” who run it, according to Baywindows.com.  On the church’s online picket schedule, the stated purpose of the protest is “to remind this nation that God is cursing Doomed america [sic] because parents raise their children for the devil and teachers teach them the twin lies that ‘God loves everyone’ and ‘it’s OK to be gay!'”  WBC’s contention that Boston Latin School is “fag-infested” is a theme the Phelps clan has ridden to international attention many times before.  The Topeka, Kansas church gained infamy by picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard in Casper, WY, and then attempting to build a monument in a public park there declaring Shepard’s murder date to be the day he “entered hell.”  Shepard died in October 1998, the victim of the most widely publicized anti-LGBT murder in U.S. history.  The Casper City Council denied WBC the right to erect the offensive monument, a decision upheld by the courts.  Finding it difficult to gin up enough support from gay-bashing tactics in recent years, WBC has switched its attention to private funerals of fallen U.S. servicemembers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The “logic” seems to be that the U.S. government, which according to WBC pronouncements is “fag-enabling,” has sent women and men to die in foreign wars only to consign them to the nether regions thanks to the “pro-homo” policies of the government.  In what may be a landmark freedom of speech case, WBC and Phelps are counting on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold their defense this Fall in the celebrated suit of Matthew Snyder’s family, according to the Washington Post.  The Snyders took action against the church for “invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy” at their son’s 2006 funeral.  Snyder, a Marine Lance Corporal, was killed in the line of duty in Iraq.  The Snyder family suit contends that statements on the WBC website, his actions, and those of members of WBC including some of Phelps’ own family who comprise a large percentage of the Topeka church membership are not protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The Phelps led church has also turned its attention against Jewish schools, synagogues, and temples. Supporters of Boston Latin School are preparing for the Phelps protest with the aid of an organization named “Phelps-a-thon,” founded by Chris Mason to counter WBC’s homophobic presence by raising money for LGBT causes in a unique way.  For every minute the WBC protest demonstration takes place at the school, Phelps-a-thon will raise donations for the Boston Latin School’s Gay-Straight Alliance.  Since the protest is scheduled to occur for a full 30 minutes, the amount should be considerable, undercutting the hateful purpose of the anti-gay picket. After every Phelps-a-thon money raiser, Mason sends a Thank You card to Fred Phelps informing him of the total donated during the protest for LGBT human rights causes.  As the subversive website says, “We can turn these hateful words into positive change.”  Boston Latin School is the oldest school in the United States, founded in 1635 by the town of Boston, a full year before Harvard University was founded.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Anti-Semitism, Boston Latin School, Fred Phelps, funerals, gay men, Gay-Straight Alliances, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Kansas, Law and Order, Massachusetts, Matthew Shepard, Monuments and markers, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Phelps-a-thon, Protests and Demonstrations, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, U.S. Supreme Court | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Anti-Gay Church Smears Students and Teachers at “Fag-Infested” Boston School

   

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