Carolyn Wagner – Families United Against Hate Founder – Passes

Saddened to hear the news that Carolyn Wagner, the co-founder of “Families United Against Hate,” along with her being a former Vice President elect of PFLAG has passed away. I met her at Tulsa’s Dennis R. Neill Equality Center while following the work she was doing trying to get the federal hate crimes law passed, and she was so excited to hear I was working for AMERICAblog Gay, and John Aravosis, as she had worked with him, as well, in Washington, DC while trying to get hate crimes laws passed.

On January 18, 2011 our friend and inspiration Carolyn Wagner passed away in Tulsa, OK after a long struggle with cancer, hepatitis and liver failure.

Carolyn was the mother of William Wagner, a hate crime victim. In December 1996 her 16 year old son William was assaulted in a vicious anti-gay bashing at school. Carolyn and her family won a Title IX lawsuit in which the Supreme Court upheld Title lX rights for students, regardless of gender of victim or harasser or sexual orientation/gender identity.

It was because of this experiece that she co-founded FUAH because she wanted what she learned to help others.

Carolyn is a former Vice-President elect of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

Her funeral will be on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 2pm at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center 621 E 4th Street; Tulsa, OK.

I won’t be able to attend her funeral, because I will be in Dallas, but I wanted to share this sad news along with my deep sympathy for all her family and friends. Let us pause to reflect on and celebrate the life of Carolyn Wagner.

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