Keith Kimmel, Who Sued for ‘I’m Gay’ License Plate, Found Dead

Keith Kimmel, the man who was suing the state of Oklahoma for a license plate that read "I'M GAY", was found dead this morning, News on 6 reports:

Kimmel "Kimmel was found dead Wednesday morning.

The tax commission turned down Kimmel's specialized plate request last year on grounds it could be offensive to the general public.

Norman police are waiting on the Medical Examiner's office to determine the cause of Kimmel's death."

Kimmel left a number of comments on Towleroad under the post regarding his lawsuit, many of them defending attacks from Oklahoma locals and commenters on blogs.

Said Kimmel in one comment: "My haters can hate all they want. Most people who dont like me feel the way they do because I tell them how it is and I'm unafraid to give them my opinion even when its not wanted. Life is not a popularity contest and I refuse to see it as one. That stance really bothers some people. I honestly couldn't care less that a few gay people – who do nothing for the community but drink, smoke, fuck, consume resources and pollute conversation with their uninformed opinions – and happen to own businesses, aligned themselves with those who do or have managed to install themselves as 'community leaders' don't like me.

As for my mental health, lol, thats funny. I'm not crazy. I just refuse to conform to some folks ideas of what I should say or do in the gay community."

MORE: Kimmel beaten by police last Friday?

"Kimmel writes that the officers 'beat him' while attempting to make an arrest at a club in Tulsa last Friday. Kimmel ended up having to stay the night in the hospital.

Tulsa police confirm they did get the complaint in the mail Wednesday, but said everything else is still under investigation. A 911 log indicates police were called out to the club by a bartender. Police say the bartender called police because he needed an intoxicated white male removed from the premises.

Norman police are waiting on the Medical Examiner's office to determine the cause of Kimmel's death."

Comments

  1. jason says

    Firstly, my condolences to Keith Kimmel’s family. This is a tragedy.

    Secondly, kudos to Keith for verbally smashing the faces of the indulgent members of the gay community. These are the ones who think that drinking, smoking and fucking are the key to being gay. Thank goodness Keith had the courage to speak out against these parasites.

    These parasites can go jump. Their interest in basic gay rights issues is virtually zero.

  2. Disgusted American says

    well when I heard of his original request for the licence plate – it didnt phase me either way..whatever makes you happy….I hope he did not meet his demise by being murdered….at leasthe was true to himself,and lived on his own terms.

  3. wtf says

    well I’m sure all the nasty fuckin’ haters on here can now dance a little jig since they certainly didn’t have anything nice to say to or about him when he was alive. RIP Keith. I wouldn’t have wanted an “I’m Gay” license plate but I think you had the right to have one.

  4. Rafael says

    Very sad news. How many of us leave this life in silence? minding our own business? being “good” citizens? I support Mr. Kimmel for standing for himself when he believed he had something to say. RIP Keith.

  5. Tom says

    I don’t get it. Did gay zombies really have it out for this guy? I travel easily between my circles of zombie friends and regular daytime homo-ies (some of whom live secret lives as zombies) and I have never encountered anything more vicious or temporary than a trademark trait bitchiness – the point here being that we’re in this together. Am I naive for saying I love being gay, and that I love my community expressly because we are so diverse? It’s a pretty awesome thing, even if we do eat poop.

    I really hope Keith felt that, too. RIP.

  6. TANK says

    “Am I naive for saying I love being gay, and that I love my community expressly because we are so diverse?”

    Yes. Anyway…I take no responsibility for this. RIP, Keith.

  7. says

    I haven’t heard of this story before. I guess there are days I don’t read Towleroad. Has anyone asked the state board if “Im STR8″ would have been ‘acceptable’ to them? Something tells me it would be.

    RIP Keith. Different IS better, at least in my book of the world.

  8. bloglines says

    This is shocking! I live in Oklahoma and I was really hoping he would stick it to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. I’ve seen a few of his comments on this site, and I have to say, he definitely had balls. I hope that he didn’t succumb to foul play. My condolences go out to his family. :(

    And, yeah, Alan Brickman, what an insensitive comment. Can you honestly reduce Keith’s plight, after the request for his plate was denied and his rights were infringed (First Amendment, baby) upon, to nothing more than “attention seeking”? Seriously? Fuck you, asshole.

  9. Jay Croce says

    So far there is no cause of death listed. He stayed at a friend’s house, and was found dead there this morning. So it doesn’t sound like murder. I’m praying it isn’t murder. My mom lives in Norman, OK, and I’ve spent a lot of time there. It’s really not the hotbed of bigotry you might expect, considering the tag controversy. Norman is a big college town, and nearby Oklahoma City is very “Gay Friendly”.

    My heart goes out to Keith and his friends and family. He was a brave man to stand up for what he believed was right.

  10. Blaz says

    Being someone in Oklahoma it breaks my heart to read this. I didnt know Keith personally but there were a number of activist events he put on in the area. I might not have agreed with every point he made, but the man was fighting a good fight. He was fighting to end the oppression of homosexuals The same fight all of us are fighting, and he happened to be one of the soldiers who actually stood out from the crowd as an organizer.

    I thank him for giving a voice to the oppression in Oklahoma. I will miss that voice. RIP

  11. JT says

    Anybody who took on the “gay zombies” is pretty cool with me. We could use a guy like him in Manhattan, where too many of them congregate and zombie away.

  12. says

    My sincere condolences to Keith’s family and friends. He fought the good fight and will always be remembered for that.

    It it very sad that the circumstances surrounding his untimely end were suspicious. My only hope is that justice will prevail, for Keith, and for us all.

  13. john says

    what we need is my guys like Keith. There is to many self-righteous queers in the community now. They have done more harm than good for the gay cause, world wide. The worst thing that ever happened to the gay community was becoming mainstream. We have become very Oppressed, repressed and suppressed since becoming mainstream.

  14. says

    I honestly believe the best way to let people know that you are gay, when driving… is to put a gay rainbow flag sticker on your windshield or bumper. I have seen many express themselves doing it that way. In the long run… it could be safer.

  15. tim says

    What I don’t understand is that I’m surprised that licence plates about Jesus or other god-like figures aren’t banned too, because THOSE could offend some people as well. As court ruling after court ruling has made clear, there is NO right to not be offended, but this hasn’t seemingly filtered down to OTHER arms of the government/public service.

    Yes, the apolitical nature of my community has often depressed me. What’s worse is the people who don’t seem to see the links or say ‘that’s got nothing to do with being gay.’ When a friend of a friend of mine’s son was killed in Toronto some years back (said son’s friend being a gay prostitute), the local gay organization declined a donation in his name from my friend’s son because it had ‘nothing to do with local issues’ (the guy was FROM here) and would be controversial (heavens) and ‘not respectable’ (oy). And don’t get me started on people who don’t see why pro-choice issues are gay issues (because the same people who are anti-choice are often anti-gay – because it’s about body control…I could go on) or why they should support striking workers (in Canada, the first organizations to actively push for gay rights/recognition were unions…).

  16. tim says

    Note to justsayin – Cass Elliott died of a heart attack, not a ham sandwich. And what exactly is your point? God forbid anyone should not conform to an imaginary body standard.

  17. Gypsy says

    OH MY GOD, that is so sad, this is really heartbreaking. In 2010 we are still in the dark ages about homosexuality, this really frightens me and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
    RIP big guy, Im sooo, sooo sorry you had to go out this way.

  18. Dangertastic says

    This is the first I have heard about this and it kills me. What is even worse is the horrible comments from assholes who take their “rights” to be who they are for granted. It’s easy to look down and judge someone you don’t know because their views don’t jive with your outlook. Well you know what? If it wasn’t for “attention whores” we wouldn’t have many of the rights we do now. Think about that the next time you walk into a restaurant or sit on a damned bus…or even have sex with the person you love for that matter. God, the internet is a horrible fucking place sometimes. Stop being assholes. It’s not trendy or cute or edgy. It is simply wrong.

  19. ro says

    He’s not fighting the good fight by bashing other gays. Quite the opposite. He said: I honestly couldn’t care less that a few gay people – who do nothing for the community but drink, smoke, fuck, consume resources and pollute conversation with their uninformed opinions

    If some gays were bashing him, don’t stoop to that level and do the same! And wasn’t he the one that was pulled out of a bar becuase he was too drunk? And from how big he looks in that picture he also CONSUMED MANY RESOURCES. I’m all for being out and proud. But don’t be a hypocrite and expect everyone to be gay your way.

  20. kvf says

    full disclosure: i am a married straight woman who is passionate about equal rights.

    I CANNOT believe this happened to this poor man…and it seems a little bit crazy that this incident with the TPD happened the weekend prior to his death. I seriously hope that his death is investigated to the fullest with serious media coverage (to avoid the inevitable want of a coverup), no matter the circumstances. As I write this I’m honestly sickened. These asshole redneck cops with no regard to human rights should be thrown in prison. RIP KK, and I hope you are finally at peace.

  21. posthuman says

    i should probably stop reading the comments here. a cold shiver went over me when i read that this person was dead. and then to see that so many of you think this is a cause for joking — especially when it still might be the case that he died from a police beating or worse — i mean, wow. with gays like you, who needs gay bashers?

  22. Jaguaress says

    RIP Kimmel.

    I hope the autopsy is quite thorough and, if true, it’s found that the beating he took days before, from the police, killed him, those officers need to be fired. Also, his family should sue the hospital for saying he was okay. The license plate he wanted wasn’t offensive; the people that denied him are.

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