Ten years ago a young man was crucified in a field and left for dead. He died; however, his legacy was found in his death and his victory is found in our freedom. Matthew was savagely beaten to death because he was gay.
He was driven to a remote area, tied to a split-rail fence, tortured, beaten and pistol-whipped by his attackers, while he begged for his life; he was then left for dead in near freezing temperatures. A cyclist who found him some 18 hours after the attack at first mistook him for a scarecrow. His face was caked with blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by tears. Matthew died at 12:53 am on Monday, the 12th of October, 1998. He was 21.
After ten years how far have we come and how much is left to do?
TEN YEARS OF CHANGE - NO PROGRESS
by his mother Judy Shepard
Matthew Shepard Foundation
It’s hard to believe that it has been ten years since Matthew’s death. So much has changed yet so much remains the same.... We need to continue talking to our friends, families and co-workers. Unless we are honest about who we are and are able to share with those who love us what our lives are like, they will not know how to help us. We need those allies in this struggle to achieve equality across the board to realize all of our civil rights....
...It is ignorance that ultimately results in hate and that may escalate into physical violence. The only way to combat the ignorance is to educate and tell our stories. We are all aware of how important this election cycle is to all of us. Please take the time to know the issues and what is at stake for the LGBT community.
Share your stories with those who care about you. It is the only way they will know how to vote to support you. The privilege of having the right to vote is also a responsibility. We must remember that we are not voting only for a new President but also for representatives at the local, county, state and national level. Please vote and encourage everyone you know to vote. Apathy is unacceptable.... We are all hoping the next ten years will be our time....