The 12th of October marks the anniversary of the tragic event that took young Matthew Shepard‘s life in 1998. On the 7th of October, Mathew was brutally attacked and tied to a fence in a field outside of Laramie, Wyoming, and left to die. He eventually succumbed to his wounds the 12th of that same month.
Watch the following video about Matthew Shepard’s Story
The Matthew Shepard Foundation
After his death, Matthew’s parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, started the Matthew Shepard Foundation in his honour with the aim of teaching parents with children who may be questioning their sexuality to love and accept them for who they are.
Since its inception, the foundation has worked relentlessly prevent and fight against hate crimes, as well as to give a voice to LGBTQ youth through projects like Matthew’s place — an online resource center for LGBTQ youth.
The Laramie Project, a play portraying accounts of real people affected by ‘one of the nation’s most heinous anti-gay hate crimes’, has also gained the attention of the international media. They also publish several publications and reports. Although its biggest victory was probably the passage in 2009 of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act:
‘Matthew Shepard became the victim of one of the most notorious anti-gay hate crimes in the nation’s history, and his parents, Judy and Dennis, dedicated their lives to strengthening hate crimes law and raising awareness of the violence the LGBTQ+ community faced. In October 2009, the Shepards joined President Barack Obama as he signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. It expanded prior federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.’
How To Contribute
You can support the Matthew Shepard Foundation and help us honour his memory in several ways:
- Donate to the Foundation or create a Donor Profile
- Create your own fundraising for your wedding, birthday, anniversary…
- Give to the Combined Federal Campaign, a workplace giving program for federal employees (ref. # 28121)
- Through their purchasing partners: Amazon Smile, Chavez for Charity, Forever Equal, Love and Pride, and WeCare.
- Visit and purchase in their own store
- Volunteer with the foundation