The Stories Project: Mark Brady’s Story

Mark Brady was a classmate of Rebecca “Becky” Wight’s. Both were members of the graduating class of 1977 at Seoul American High School. All words below are his unless specified otherwise.

TW: death.

Yes, that picture was the same Rebecca “Becky” Wight who was killed.

What can I say but that her death was a tragedy. Becky was smart and intelligent, it was sad that her life was cut so short. In high school, she worked with me on the Yearbook and was on the newspaper staff. When we heard about it on the news, I remember thinking how senseless it was.

Also, there were no openly gay people (this was the 70s) at the high school although two of our classmates came out and died of AIDS. One of the football players did show up in a dress and makeup one day; we didn’t give him much grief since he was having too much fun.

Rebecca “Becky” Wight. © Mark Brady. Used with Permission.

The Stories Project

TW: none.

What had previously been an idea is now a set project that I am attempting to make happen, and I have chosen to entitle it “The Stories Project”. Here’s what it is:

The Stories Project is a project that has grown out of the Week of Action Movement. On the last day of the Week of Action 2012, I was struck with an idea I couldn’t quite shake off  – I wanted to hear from the people who were connected to the victims, hear them them tell their own stories with their own voices, whatever they wanted to share about the person they knew. In the summer of 2012, I took the first steps toward making this idea a reality – I began to reach out to some people and ask if they would be interested in taking part in such a thing. So far, the response has been positive, and the people I’ve contacted have been very receptive. It is just starting to get off the ground, but I am working to make it happen, and I would love to see it come about. Too often it seems the human aspect of these cases is left out when it comes to discussions of them, despite the fact that this is the very thing that gets people to care and take action. I want to change that.

As of now, the Stories Project will be hosted on the Week of Action Movement blogspot. In the future, that may change. I would like the Stories Project to reach as many people as it can, whether that is through an online forum, a book forum, or some other forum entirely. I don’t currently have much on the blog page about it, but you will start to see more soon enough. As I start receiving stories, I will start posting them.

Author: Meg

Teen Lesbian Couple Found Shot in Texas Park

TW: murder, violence, possible anti-gay violence.

Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, and Mary Kristene Chapa, 18 were found shot in a Texas Park just the other day. Mollie had already died of her injuries by the time they were discovered. Kristene (to the best of my knowledge this is the name she went by) was taken to the hospital and is listed as being in critical but stable condition.

A number of vigils are being planned across their hometown and elsewhere in the US. If you know of any in your area, I will gladly list them. There is also a Facebook page up called “Donate Blood in Honor of Mollie Olgin and Mary (Kristene) Chapa”, which has links to some of the vigils. The page is encouraging people who want to help Kristene to donate blood in her name; definitely visit it. The last update reads:

“Kristene is ‘making strides in her recovery and is shocking everybody including hospital staff on how strong she is. Krissy now has an account at Prosperity bank and is taking donations, anything is much appreciated. I am open to suggestions from anybody wanting to help on charity benefits for Krissy and for Mollie Olgin and family.'”

It is currently unclear what the motive was, or if the two women’s relationship played a factor in the shooting. Regardless, this is an awful story. Please keep Kristene in your thoughts as she makes her way toward recovery and healing in the weeks and months to come.

I was shocked, sickened, and saddened to read about this this morning. And I really hope this isn’t a hate crime. I really do. The last thing I want is two more names to add to the list of people who have murdered for who they are. But right now, it’s reading a whole lot like another story where a lesbian couple was attacked and one died, one that very much was motivated by the fact that they were a lesbian couple.

Author: Meg

New Project in the Works

TW: none.

I have said for three years that it isn’t the statistics that force us to care and take action when it comes to hate crimes and the victims of anti-LGBT violence – it’s the stories of the lives that were lived and the stories of the people who loved them. I had an idea for a project not too long ago that stemmed from this thought. Perhaps it will be a book, or perhaps something else – right now it’s just a project, and an idea at that, but one I would really love to make happen. I am thinking of starting a project that would showcase these stories. I’ve reached out to a few people to see if they would be interested in sharing their stories. I have received one response from the four letters I’ve sent, from someone who said she would very much like to talk with me, so I am hopeful, but we will see what happens with this project.

If any of you who are reading this happen to have a connection to anti-LGBT violence and would be interested in sharing your story, I would love to hear it, and I can be reached at

Author: Meg

Stories of Interest, Some Shocking Numbers, and This Blog

TW: Anti-LGBT violence, murder, suicide, transphobia, harassment, threats.

So I haven’t been keeping with this blog as much as I’d have liked to since the Week of Action. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with it for a while – I didn’t want it to be totally inactive between events, but I had no idea what direction I should take it during the off-months. I’ve thought about letting it have a broader purpose for that time – a general activism blog, updated with stories of interest from around the country as well as the things I’m doing and ways you can take action throughout the year – which is probably what I will end up doing. It will remain the Week of Action Movement in name, but in between events, it will have a larger purpose.

Did you know that anti-LGBT murders have been increasing for three years? And that 2011 had the highest number of these murders ever recorded by the NCAVP? I didn’t. And though I can’t say I was entirely in disbelief, I was disheartened. These numbers don’t get any better when you look more closely at them – 87% of the victims were people of color, and 45% were trans women. Action? We need it. This is awful. In the year 2012 alone, I have already counted six murders and six suicides – and there are probably many others I didn’t hear about. You may recognize some of them from the Week of Action 2012:

Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. – Age 14. Gay. Committed suicide. He took his own life after being bullied, receiving death threats.

Coko Williams – Age 35. Trans. Murdered. Her throat was slit and she was shot at least once.

Brandy Martell – Age 37. Trans. Murdered. She was gunned down, shot multiple times in her car.

Paige Clay – Age 23. Trans. Murdered. She was shot in the head and left in an alley.

Agnes Torres Hernandez – Age 28. Trans. Murdered. She was an activist, found burned with her throat slit.

Thapelo Makutle – Age 23. Gay, trans. Murdered. He was found mutilated, nearly beheaded, just last week.

Jadon Higganbothan – Age 4. Murdered. Shot because the man he lived with suspected he was gay.

Brandon Elizares – Age 16. Gay. Committed suicide. He took his own life after being bullied, receiving death threats.

Eric James Borges – Age 19. Gay. Committed suicide. He was an activist who took his own life after enduring bullying, assault, and ostracism – some of which was perpetrated by his own parents.

Jack Reese – Age 17. Gay. Committed suicide. Some believe he took his own life due to anti-gay bullying, but details are scarce.

Phillip Parker – Age 14. Gay. Committed suicide. He took his own life after being bullied and assaulted.

Jeffrey Fehr – Age 18. Gay. Committed suicide. He was depressed; his parents believe his depression was caused by years of anti-gay bullying.

There has been a spate of outrage-inducing events in the US lately that involve the LGBT community. Here are some stories of interest that would be worth your time to look into:

-CeCe McDonald is a young black trans woman who has been charged with manslaughter following an attack in which she was physically and verbally assaulted. The state has decided to sentence this woman to three more years of violence and assault by assigning her to a male prison. There’s a petition going to free her here: You can read about her at these links: and If anyone knows of any current events or actions going on in support of CeCe, I would love to hear them.

-A 14-year-old New York teen by the name of Kardin Ulysse was blinded by a pair of seventh graders who harrassed and beat him, shouting anti-gay slurs. His doctors have said he will need to have a transplant. His family plans to sue the city for $16 million for failling to properly supervise the students. Read their story here:

-One Arizona family is living in fear following being repeated targets of what they are calling domestic terrorism (which includes terrorizing their children, one of whom is disabled); they also don’t believe the police are taking the crimes seriously. They believe strongly that they are being targeted for being a gay couple. Their story here:

Author: Meg