In October 1998, a gay college student was brutally beaten, tied to a fence post and left to die on a cold night in Wyoming. Matthew Shepard’s murder shocked the nation. Where are we now with LGBTQ+ civil rights?

Through his mother Judy’s efforts, sexual orientation and gender identity were added to federal hate crimes laws in 2009. We’ve seen many other advancements since then in LGBTQ+ rights. But in the past several years, we’ve also seen increasing political and physical attacks against queer people, especially transgender people of color.

Out in the Bay founder Eric Jansen hosted a live call-in discussion on KALW’s Queer Power Hour about the ups and downs since Matthew’s murder and what we can do now to protect civil rights and safety for LGBTQ+ people.

In this October 5, 2023, panel discussion we hear from experts and leaders Melanie Willingham-Jaggers of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network; Brandon Wolf of the Human Rights Campaign; Shelby Chestnut of the Transgender Law Center; and Tom Temprano of Equality California and Silver State Equality.

To honor Matthew and Judy Shepard on this solemn anniversary, we have also re-posted our 2009 conversation with Judy. It is among Out in the Bay‘s most emotional and inspiring interviews in our 15-year history. We encourage you to hear her story.

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This edition of Out in the Bay on KALW’s Queer Power Hour was produced by Kendra Klang, hosted and co-produced by Eric Jansen, with audio clip editing and creative input by David Kwan. Tarik Ansari was the KALW studio engineer for our live broadcast.

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