The Unfinished Lives Project website is a place of public discourse which remembers and honors LGBT hate crime victims, while also revealing the reality of unseen violence perpetrated against people whose only “offense” is their sexual orientation. LGBT people in the United States are suffering a slow-rolling holocaust of terror and murder all across the country. Every locale and demographic of society are affected: First Nations, Anglo, Black, Latino and Latina, South and Southeast Asian, Transgender, Bisexuals, Gay men, Lesbians, disabled, young, and mature. Homophobia has a long, crooked arm, and it is reaching out to snatch the life away from women and men whose tragic stories are under-reported to begin with, and whose memories are swiftly forgotten.
The horror of these killings transcends the shock and bereavement of loved ones and friends. These are not typical homicides; they are not killings for money or drugs, incidents of domestic strife, or crimes of passion. The vicious nature of hate crimes against LGBT persons is extremely brutal, grotesquely violent, and egregiously hateful.
Each murder serves the LGBT population as a sobering warning about the actual level of danger in our communities. The message these killings send is that freedom and open life for LGBT people is a cruel dream. Every time we remember one of these victims, however, the intentions of their killers are frustrated. To remember these women and men is to begin the process of changing the culture that killed them.