Today marks the 13 anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder. While I would like to say that things have improved significantly in that 13 year time span, I have only to look at the number of LGBT suicides in the past two years and the increase in violence against the LGBT community to know we have a long way to go.
Fortunately, Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, has become a strong activist and champion for LGBT rights and to prevent bullying. She created the Matthew Shepard Foundation:
Speaking from a mother’s perspective, Judy Shepard has made the prevention of hate crimes the focus of her efforts, and urges her audiences to make their schools and communities safe for everyone, regardless of their race, sex, religion, or gender identity and/or expression.
I would also encourage you to read Judy’s book, The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed.
I hope everyone will take a moment today to reflect on the loss of Matthew Shepard and the loss of so many LGBT youth and then take action. Get involved. Become an ally and demonstrate social courage. Together we can end homophobia and promote equality and safety. Click here if you would like to donate to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, or just get involved.