Matthew Shepard – in his mother’s words
25 years ago, a gay college student was savagely beaten, tied to a fence post, and left out to die on a cold Wyoming night. His grief-stricken mother worked to expand hate crime laws. Hear her story.
In October 1998, gay college freshman Matthew Shepard was savagely beaten, tied to a fence post, and left outside on a cold night near Laramie, Wyoming. He died in a hospital five days later. His murder shocked the world.
Through his grief-stricken mother Judy Shepard’s efforts, sexual orientation and gender identity were added to federal hate crimes laws in 2009. She was driven by her son’s killing to campaign for LGBTQ rights and anti-violence in general.
She and her husband Dennis created the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the related MatthewsPlace.com, a platform of stories by and for LGBTQ+ youth.
Hear Judy's story in this 2009 conversation with Out in the Bay when on tour with her book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. We bring it to you again now, on this sad anniversary, in memory of Matthew and to honor Judy and her family
Matthew Shepard was far from the first queer person killed because of who he was, and tragically there have been many more since. We’ve made much progress since 1998, but recently we’ve seen more physical and political attacks against LGBTQ people - trans folk especially - and other communities.
On Oct. 5, 2023, Out in the Bay‘s Eric Jansen hosted a live on-air discussion with national and state LGBTQ+ leaders about the progress and setbacks since Matthew’s murder and what we can do to protect our civil rights and safety. Hear that conversation here: (https://www.outinthebay.org/25-years-after-matthew-shepard-where-are-we-now/)
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