The openly gay mayor of city in Oklahoma announced he’s stepping down after allegedly suffering homophobic abuse, possibly from local police officers.
Adam Graham is the mayor of The Village, a small enclave city of about 9,500 residents, just outside of Oklahoma’s capital city. Or rather, he was the mayor until earlier this week when he tendered his resignation, effectively immediately.
In a tweet accompanying his letter of resignation, he wrote: “For almost five years, I’ve proudly served The Village as Councilmember and Mayor. It’s been an honor to serve and it’s been my great privilege to break boundaries. I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity here. It’s with a heavy-heart that I tender my resignation.”
The 29-year-old local leader went on to detail ongoing homophobic attacks against him, including threats of violence and property damage, as the reasons for his resignation.
“In the last month, I’ve been followed home from meetings, threatened while walking my dog, harassed at Starbucks and have had my tires slashed,” he alleged.
For almost five years, I've proudly served The Village as Councilmember and Mayor. It's been an honor to serve and it's been my great privilege to break boundaries. I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity here. It's with a heavy-heart that I tender my resignation. pic.twitter.com/w5AheQOlYL
— Adam Graham (@adamjacobgraham) July 18, 2022
According to Graham, the alleged harassment stems from an altercation he had with local police earlier this year.
In May, he stopped to intervene when police from Nichols Hills, the city that neighbors The Village, flagged a driver for speeding.
The traffic stop was reportedly initiated within Nichols Hills city limits, but the driver didn’t actually pull over until a few blocks later, after crossing over into The Village. Police claimed Graham’s intervention in the matter put their safety as risk.
Nichols Hills Police Chief Steven Cox tells local media that he hasn’t heard from Graham about that incident or the alleged harassment he claims to have suffered as a result.
Prior to stepping down from his role, Graham was one of the youngest people ever to serve as mayor in Oklahoma, and he was the youngest mayor in The Village’s 72-year history.
Since sharing the letter on Twitter, he has been met with an outpouring of support. Here’s how folx have responded…
I’m so sorry you’ve been driven to resigning. No one should feel unsafe as an elected official, especially someone from a historically marginalized group. I hope we are able to change Oklahoma from within, but I fear we are not able, with each passing day.
— 🇺🇦 JB he/him/his 🇺🇦 (@_Jody_B0) July 18, 2022
I’m not a constituent. I live an hour away in a small town. I wish what you & others are experiencing in my home state wasn’t the case. None should live in fear. The current state of things is disheartening. Thank you for what you’ve done and will continue to do. I wish you well.
— Rick Reiley (@Rickreiley) July 18, 2022
This is why good people don’t get into politics. It should be unacceptable. I’m so sorry this is happening to you. 🙁
— BWBWBW (@Soonergirl12) July 18, 2022
Wow as someone that bought her first home in The Village this is disgraceful! I’m so sorry 😥
— Rebecca Dante (@RebeccaDante) July 18, 2022
I’m so sorry to hear this has happened to you and that it has come to you having to resign, @adamjacobgraham. Thanks for inspiring so many others w/ your leadership. Let us know w/ @StonewallDalCo if we can be of help t you
— Todd Hill (@Yohi52) July 19, 2022
Well that’s just awful. Completely understand your reasons and I’m just so sorry you’ve dealt with this.
— Tim Atkins (@uutimatkins) July 18, 2022
Omg this is so awful! I’m so disgusted that people are behaving this way. I am so very sorry. Thank you for serving.
— Shawna Mott-Wright (@TCTAShawna) July 19, 2022
I’m heartbroken that these disturbing things happened to you. The Village lost a great public servant.
— Allie Carrick (@AllieCarrick) July 19, 2022