Adam Graham, the first out gay mayor of a small town in Oklahoma, US, has resigned after becoming the target of threats and attacks.
Graham, was elected around five years ago as council member and then the Mayor of The Village in Oklahoma and was the town’s youngest and first out gay elected official. In his letter to the City Manager Bruce Stone, Graham said that he had been recently the target of threats.
“Since 2018, I’ve fought against ageism, racism and homophobia at every step,” said Graham in a letter announcing his resignation on Monday. “It’s been an honor to serve and it’s been my great privilege to break boundaries as The Village’s youngest and first openly gay elected official.”
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
Graham said that the threats and attacks against him have grown increasingly violent.
“Unfortunately, certain elements of the population have recently become emboldened to pursue threats and attacks bordering on violence. 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.”
— Adam Graham (@adamjacobgraham) June 6, 2022
Graham said the attacks followed him standing up against the neighbouring Nichols Hill police who allegedly threatened The Village’s residents.
“I will never apologise for standing up for the people I was elected to serve,” said Graham, adding, “Unfortunately, these malicious, bad-faith attacks are escalating and I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity as Mayor.”
Graham said while he was resigning from the council, he would continue to serve the community as a private citizen.