25 years ago this month, a gay college student was savagely beaten, tied to a fence post, and left outside on a cold night near Laramie, Wyoming. Matthew Shepard died in a hospital five days later. His murder shocked the world.

Through his grief-stricken mother Judy’s efforts, sexual orientation and gender identity were added to federal hate crimes laws in 2009. She was driven by her son’s killing to campaign for LGBTQ rights and anti-violence in general.

Judy and her husband Dennis created the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the related MatthewsPlace.com, a platform of stories by and for LGBTQ+ youth.

Hear her story in this 2009 conversation with us when on tour with her book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. We bring it to you again now in memory of Matthew and to honor Judy and her family.

Matthew Shepard was far from the first queer person killed because of who he was, and sadly there have been many more since. We’ve made much progress since 1998, but recently we’re seeing more physical and political attacks against LGBTQ people and other communities.
     Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, Out in the Bay‘s Eric Jansen hosted a live on-air discussion with national and state LGBTQ+ leaders about the good, the bad and the ugly since Matthew’s murder, and what we can do to protect our civil rights and safety. Hear that conversation here: (https://www.outinthebay.org/25-years-after-matthew-shepard-where-are-we-now/)

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