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LGBT people murdered due to their sexual orientation to be honored
LGBT people murdered due to their sexual orientation to be honored
LGBT people murdered due to their sexual orientation to be honored Memorial and exhibition to serve as tool for remembrance, education and compassion

A "Who's Who" of Gay and straight culture have come together to create a national memorial to honor LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people who have been murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Led by Scott Hall, Frank Kameny, US. Representative Barney Frank and Chip Arndt, the idea for Gay American Heroes was born on March 13, 2007, when Founder and President Scott Hall learned about the brutal murder of Ryan Keith Skipper. Ryan was a 25 year-old Floridian who lived in Polk County, not far from Hall. Ryan was viciously stabbed more than 20 times and was left to die; for one reason --- Ryan Keith Skipper was Gay.

Hall had twice been the victim of hate crimes and was quickly spurred into action. Within days he contacted longtime friend Frank Kameny, pioneering Gay rights activist, who immediately recognized the importance of Hall's project. James T. Sears, noted writer and historian, also voiced his early strong support of the project. The group then assembled a team to create the Gay American Heroes Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.

With Founding Board Members Chip Arndt, Jack Rutland and William J. Iannarelli leading the way, Gay American Heroes' mission was established: 1) to honor and remember LGBT people who have been murdered because of there sexual orientation and/or gender identity; 2) to engage and inform the public about hate crimes against LGBT persons; and 3) to inspire compassion and greater appreciation for, and acceptance of, diversity.

Hall traveled to New York City where he met with Cyndi Lauper to discuss the project. Ms. Lauper immediately offered to help in any way that she could. Hall also met with "Grey's Anatomy" T. R. Knight, who expressed his heartfelt support for the project. The first phase of the Foundation's plan is to assemble a traveling memorial and exhibition constructed of six individual rainbow-colored, multi-dimensional panels bearing the photos, names, ages and occupations of LGBT hate crime victims. The eight-foot tall memorial will stretch more than 100 feet. Expected completion date for the exhibit is December 2007.

Once completed, Gay American Heroes volunteers will transport the display throughout the country to college campuses, LGBT events and to communities where anti-Gay murders have occurred. An informational welcome tent will include guest speakers and educational materials. At each venue, the volunteers will enlist local community leaders to present informative programs.

A Gay American Heroes Foundation press release

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