Monday, October 8, 2012

Stop The Hate - Remembering Matthew Shepard

Fourteen years ago, in a field in Wyoming, the discovery of a beaten, almost dead Matthew Shepard would change many lives.  Aaron Kriefels was out for a bike ride that sunny morning when he thought he saw a scarecrow against a fence post.  What Aaron had discovered was the 21 year-old Matthew Shepard, clinging to life.

Matthew held on for five more days and as his parents held his hand and prayed, Matthew slipped away quietly on October 12, 1998.  Matthew was dead, but a movement, a cause, a cry for justice and equality was born. 

Matthews story has been told in the Laramie Project play, three films and a documentary and his mother Judy, God bless her, continues to work endlessly to protect gay and lesbian children.  She has created the Matthew Shepard Foundation, authored a book The Meaning of Matthew and on October 22, 2009, the US Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr hate crimes Prevention Act. 

Homophobia and hate still exist, there is still a need for It Gets Better videos and gay rights are still an election year issue.  Times are changing, but the struggle continues.

1 comment:

David said...

We must never forget Matthew...