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9 Years

Matthew Shepard
* 1. December 1976 – † 12. October 1998

It’s nearly impossible to eloquently talk each year about Matthew Shepard and what he means to me. 2007 marks the ninth anniversary of Matthew’s death after having been beaten and tortured.

In the last year not only has Iran’s president confirmed that his country is homosexual-free, but both the US Senate and House passed versions of the Matthew Shepard Act. Unfortunately the US President seems to imitate the Iranian president—threatening to veto any legislation with hate crimes as he continues to deny the existence of gays and of hate.

So there is progress; yet I can still recall how shattered I was when I heard word that somebody had been beaten in Laramie, Wyoming. The facts were murky, yet I some how knew that something was afoot, and from there my week spun out of control. I crawled, quite literally, into my closet, crying wondering what had gone wrong with the world. Fortunately a new found friend recognized that I needed moral support and provided it to me.

Would I be where I am today without Matthew’s murder? There is no answer for that question—I only can say that because of Matthew Shepard I am a better person. His death provided me a warning and a path for personal understanding.

Pax

See 2006 | 2005 | 2004

4 comments to 9 Years

  • “Scarecrow”
    By: Melissa Etheridge

    Showers of your crimson blood
    Seep into a nation calling up a flood
    Of narrow minds who legislate
    Thinly veiled intolerance
    Bigotry and hate

    But they tortured and burned you
    They beat you and they tied you
    They left you cold and breathing
    For love they crucified you

    I can’t forget hard as I try
    This silhouette against the sky

    Scarecrow crying
    Waiting to die wondering why
    Scarecrow trying
    Angels will hold carry your soul away

    This was our brother
    This was our son
    This shepherd young and mild
    This unassuming one
    We all gasp this can’t happen here
    We’re all much too civilized
    Where can these monsters hide

    But they are knocking on our front door
    They’re rocking in our cradles
    They’re preaching in our churches
    And eating at our tables

    I search my soul
    My heart and in my mind
    To try and find forgiveness
    This is someone child
    With pain unreconciled
    Filled up with father’s hate
    Mother’s neglect
    I can forgive But I will not forget

    Scarecrow crying
    Waiting to die wondering why
    Scarecrow trying
    Rising above all in the name of love

  • “Scarecrow”
    By: Melissa Etheridge

    Showers of your crimson blood
    Seep into a nation calling up a flood
    Of narrow minds who legislate
    Thinly veiled intolerance
    Bigotry and hate

    But they tortured and burned you
    They beat you and they tied you
    They left you cold and breathing
    For love they crucified you

    I can’t forget hard as I try
    This silhouette against the sky

    Scarecrow crying
    Waiting to die wondering why
    Scarecrow trying
    Angels will hold carry your soul away

    This was our brother
    This was our son
    This shepherd young and mild
    This unassuming one
    We all gasp this can’t happen here
    We’re all much too civilized
    Where can these monsters hide

    But they are knocking on our front door
    They’re rocking in our cradles
    They’re preaching in our churches
    And eating at our tables

    I search my soul
    My heart and in my mind
    To try and find forgiveness
    This is someone child
    With pain unreconciled
    Filled up with father’s hate
    Mother’s neglect
    I can forgive But I will not forget

    Scarecrow crying
    Waiting to die wondering why
    Scarecrow trying
    Rising above all in the name of love

  • J

    Of course Iran doesn’t have any homosexuals. They execute them all.

    Hopefully things will get better for homosexuals under the next president. This one is a lost cause.

  • Ed

    Just this past spring a young man from shelby County Indiana nicknamed “Shorty” was beaten and ahd his clothes torn off then dragged by his feet down a stairs his head bouncing on every step. Then thrown into the back of a pick-up truck and beaten and kicked all the way out inot the country side where he begged for his life while teh tormentors took pictures with their phones and sent messages to their friends to come and watch them smear the queer. They threw his clothes at him and left him for dead. They came back the next morning and he had crawled out of the ditch where they had left him. One of them had wanted his jacket, that is why they returned, and finding him still alive they pumped a couple of shotgun shells into him rolled him up in a blanket and put him in a garage where his body was found ten days later. One of the big young men who killed him was the son of a county official so it was not considered a hate crime and all of the blood in the house where it started could not be accounted for. I guess he beat himself to death and shot himself. We still have a long way to go, hate is strong but love is stronger.