In 1988, I was working on my Master’s Degree
My girlfriend and I went hiking
After encountering a man twice that day
in different locations
We decided to set up camp somewhere new
He followed and watched us
We were shot while having sex in our tent
She ran to get help
I died while she was gone.
He claimed insanity
Said we caused him inexplicable rage
Because we were in love
We moved from Colorado to Oregon in 1990
We had been together for twelve years
We managed a property management business
We were on our church board
After showing an apartment to a young man
We were bound, gagged and shot in the head
In 2011, the court changed his death sentence
To life without parole
I was in the Navy in 1992
I kept saying people wanted me dead
He was singing when he came into the bathroom
And jumped onto my body
I couldn’t breathe, the blood was too thick
I had sneaker prints stamped onto my forehead
My family was only able to identify my body
Because I had a tattoo on my arm
The ME said it was worse than a horse trampling
A witness who didn’t stop him served 78 days.
They said we won’t ask and you shouldn’t tell
In 1995, I went on television and talked about my crush
He didn’t feel the same way but that was okay
We went out drinking later that night
I left him a note at his house, still holding out hope
He went to the bank, withdrew money, and bought a gun
I saw him pull up to my trailer and he asked me about the note
Then he went back to his car and got the gun
The man whom I admired shot and killed me
He was released from prison last August
Wyoming in 1998 was not friendly to me
These two guys pretended to be gay
They offered me a ride home
Instead, they drove me to a deserted area
Tied me to a fence and tortured me.
The only part of my face not covered in blood
Was my tear tracks.
I was discovered by someone who thought I was a scarecrow
I died six days after the attack.
After nearly 20 years, in 2009
Hate crime expanded to include sexuality
I went missing in 1999
Some of my body was found six months later
My social security number was written on my skull
Along with racial and homophobic slurs.
My stepfather didn’t like that I was gay
He didn’t want me to live in his house again
So he made sure I would never come back home.
In 2003, I was 15 waiting for the bus with my friends
Some men came and hit on us
We told them we were lesbians
And they attacked
I tried so hard to fight back
But they had the upper hand and a knife
My friends flagged down someone to help me
But I died in the hospital
He claimed that I just “ran into his knife"
Murder charges were dropped and
He’s in prison for only 20 years
I was a 3-year-old boy in 2005
My dad slammed my head into the wall
He was scared I was gay
He said he didn’t want me to grow up
To be a sissy
I died six days later
He got 30 years in prison.
In 2006, I worked at IKEA in New York
After chatting online with a man,
We decided to meet up
He brought two of his friends
They confronted me in the car,
Dragged me out and started hitting me
I ran toward the highway and tried to call for help.
They caught up with me and kept beating me.
I ran back and got hit by a car
They scavenged through my pockets afterward
I remained on life support for five days,
Drifting away the day before my 29th birthday.
All three of the men received less than the maximum sentence
The most being 21 years in prison
In 2016, we were huddled in the bathroom
Listening to the rain of gunshots
In a nightclub in Orlando.
49 dead on the floor,
The rest of us pretending to be dead
Hoping to be dead,
Terrorised because of who we are.