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Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims Paperback – January 20, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1608998111 ISBN-10: 1608998118 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub; 1st edition (January 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608998118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608998111
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen V. Sprinkle is Professor of Practical Theology, and has held the office of Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry since 1994 at Brite Divinity School, located on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. A native of North Carolina, he is an ordained minister of the Alliance of Baptists. Dr. Sprinkle was named 2010 Hero of Hope by the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas for his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community, and serves as Theologian in Residence at the Cathedral. He is the first openly gay member of the Brite Divinity School Faculty, and the first gay scholar to be tenured in its 98-year history.

Dr. Sprinkle is the author of several articles and chapters in books, and of three books, Disciples and Theology (1997) and Ordination (2004), both published by Chalice Press. His newest book, entitled Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memory of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims (2011), is now published by Resource Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Dr. Sprinkle tells the stories of fourteen representative persons out of the thousands of LGBTQ people murdered for their sexual orientation and gender non-conformity, in order to call the country to enact and enforce hate crimes laws for the protection of all Americans. Research for the book has taken him all over the United States. In 2012, Unfinished Lives won the Silver Medal in Gay/Lesbian Non-Fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Awards (IPPYs) in New York City. Dr. Sprinkle is also the Founder and Director of the Unfinished Lives Project, an online resource dedicated to the memories of LGBTQ hate crimes victims: http://unfinishedlivesblog.com. He and his partner Rob Rodriguez live in Dallas, Texas.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Read this book and learn from it.
Robert Shelly
It speaks of injustice ... in order to help us know the need to fight for justice.
Mike House
Dr. Sprinkle is, above all, a masterful story-teller.
Egon Cohen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mike House on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Sprinkle writes in his introduction, "Confronting the dangerous nature of these narratives of murder and loss carries with it a mission ... for all who have survived the worst the culture can do are survivors, adn survivors have the duty and the dignity of becoming witnesses." The book does indeed bear witness by making these victims of anti-LGBTQ violence live again by telling who they were in life and what they meant and continue to mean to their family and friends and those who loved them. He also, unflinchingly, tells of the often-horrific ways in which these fourteen women and men, boys and girls died. The stories cannot be read quickly ... as each one forces you to pause, reflect, grieve over the loss and often reel at the horror hatred can cause. Steve uncovers so many things we would often rather not see ... not only the homophobia, so terribly often driven by twisted religion and the hatred of what is different, but also the hatred driven by race, gender, poverty. But "Unfinished Lives" is not just a book about loss. It speaks of injustice ... in order to help us know the need to fight for justice. Of the reality of hate ... so we can know the need to fight for love and acceptance. Of the reality of how unsafe the world still is for LGBTQ folk of every age, race, and region of the country ... and of the need to change the ways we see and interact with each other to stop the hate and build safe places for the vulnerable among us. This book is not an easy read ... but it is an important and potentially life-changing one. Read of these "Lives" and expect to be angered at the horror and the hate, to be grieved by the senseless loss ... but also to be inspired by those who find the courage to literally build hope out of the ashes. Read it ... so that these lives will not be forgotten ... Read it to bear witness ... Read it to help save others ... maybe even read it to save yourself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Egon Cohen on February 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Over 13,000 LGBTQ Americans have been murdered simply for being different. For being who God made them to be. And most of them weren't named Matthew Shepard. Most of them weren't white, young, and good looking.

We've all heard about Matthew, and Brandon Teena, and Harvey Milk. But what about all the nameless, faceless victims whose stories we never hear? To truly understand the scope, the magnitude, and the horror of anti-LGBTQ hatred in America today, we have to hear those stories. We have to learn about those unfinished lives.

And that is the project that Steve Sprinkle dedicates himself so admirably to in this book. Dr. Sprinkle is, above all, a masterful story-teller. In Unfinished Lives, he uses that gift -- that warm and folksy, yet incisively prophetic voice -- to bring 14 victims, from all walks of life, into our lives. However, this book is more than a collection of portraits. These unfinished lives confront us with their call for understanding, their call for justice, and ultimately their call for healing.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jane McCoy on February 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Stephen Sprinkle's UNFINISHED LIVES is a poignant book that chronicles hate crimes against men and women due to their sexual orientation. The in depth research and interviews were a herculean task. The challenging subject matter is told in a powerful and compassionate manner. Dr. Sprinkle's years of blood, sweat and tears come to fruition as this master story weaver writes about real people whose lives were cut short due to prejudice.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Shelly on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best description of this book for me is simple. WOW!! What a well written book that shows the lives that were not allowed to continue basically because of ones sexual orientation. Haw sad that we live in a world that still can not be at peace with the simple right to love who you want. Read this book and learn from it. We do not need anymore victims.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James C. Gregg on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen Sprinkle has published a much-needed book based on his work as director of the Unfinished Lives Project. The Unfinished Lives website has long been on the frontline of documenting, honoring, and remembering hate crime victims in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) communities. This book grows out of that work, and is a labor of love based on meticulous research and extensive interviews. Sprinkle is also on the faculty of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas -- the first openly gay scholar to be tenured in the school's history -- so his work also has a vital theological component, which is important given how religion has so frequently been used to justify hate crimes against LGBTQ victims. Indeed, Sprinkle is a well-known and gifted preacher, and he lends his considerable gifts both to eulogize the dead and to galvanize support for a more just, equal, and hopeful future for all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender presentation.

In the foreword, Harry Knox, the director of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program, calls Unfinished Lives, "the first book length work I am aware of that offers [a ready reference] on diverse victims of hate murders across the spectrum of queer identities, from all walks of life and from all parts of the country" (ix). Although these stories are difficult to hear, they are crucially important to demonstrate the need for legislation such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed into law in 2009 by President Obama. When the stories of hate crimes victims are forgotten, the chances of future hate crimes increases precipitously. Sprinkle's book challenges us to remember and to speak out for a culture that celebrates diversity.
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