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.