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Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) 
12th-Oct-2008 12:03 pm
10 years ago Matthew Shepard was beaten almost to the point of death and hung up on that fence in Laramie, Wyoming - bloody, broken, terrified, and alone. He clung to life for almost a week before he finally died. This is a repost of what I said on the subject in 2004:
Can't Cry Hard Enough

I was planning on writing a rather lengthy post today, but I have no energy to start one, let alone complete it. Today has hit me hard. It's been difficult trying to keep my emotions in check with everything that is going on, and on the top of it it is officially 10 years ago that Matthew Shepard died in that hospital room. The truth is he died on that fence ten years and one week ago. I still cannot get my mind around these things.

I look at Calpernia's blog and think about our emails back and forth to one another and how far she's come in such a short time, and I'm in awe of her resilience, despite such tragedy. I emailed Gabi Clayton about her remarkable son Bill, I hope she is doing well.

Matthew, Barry Winchell, Brandon Teena, Gwen Araujo, Bill Clayton, Danny Overstreet, Billy Jack Gaither, JR Warren, Tyra Hunter, the list goes on and on and on.

Each one of these people is gone for senseless reasons.
Each one of these people could have been one of my friends, children, or siblings.
As far as I'm concerned, each one of them was.

  • It was Matthew's funeral that began the funeral pickets and indeed the entire God Hates Fags movement, and consequently in response The Laramie Project.

    The sum total of all of this is what drove me to write the post linked to below - if you haven't read it yet, please do so now. It's gotten several hundred comments and has been linked to countless times by people all over the world, which is all I ever hope to do with these kinds of posts - raise awareness and spark dialogue for change. When you go to work or school tomorrow, pick at least one person to discuss what happened 10 years ago. Find out what they think and tell them what you think. Get angry, mourn the loss, and if necessary think on these things if you live in the closet and consider coming out. Make National Coming Out Day every day.

    Just think about it - then DO SOMETHING.

    God Hates Stupid Homophobes!
    Another rant from your neighborhood jesus_h_biscuit
    click here to read the post and get the link code
    12th-Oct-2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
    Thank you.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
    Reread, please - it's changed.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
    Moments after I read it the first time I noticed you updated it.

    Essential reading. Thank you again.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
    It's so hard to fight the urge to hunt those hideous 'god hates fags' people down for sport.

    Their entire existence seems bent on causing pain to others for no reason. I have to wonder if that immediately disqualifies them from any kind of civil discourse on our end. Would simply wiping them out constitute some kind of crime, or a kindness bestowed on our species?

    It's a terrible thing to think this way, but at what point do you simply shoot the rabid dog instead of trying to reason with it?

    12th-Oct-2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
    They are within their legal right to protest, and for as horrible as I find them to be - if it doesn't work for them it works for no one.

    I completely hear you though, and don't disagree with you fundamentally from an emotional perspective. The problem as I see it is bigger though - it's those who don't raise enough hell to drown out those sick few.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
    Frankly, we shouldn't have to. They are an anathema to life and decency. They are, quite literally, indecent beings. Repulsive, illogical, and sadfly, quite stupid. They aren't ignorant.. ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information. They choose to ignore said information, thus are willfully stupid. Stupidity with a purpose, and the purpose is to cause pain.

    Ah, for the good ol days of social ostracism and banishment under pain of death.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
    No disagreement here!
    12th-Oct-2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
    You know they had planned to come to Lauren Burks funeral in Auburn, not because she was gay, but because she was Jewish.

    I can't remember what happened, I think they ended up at Eve's funeral instead. But the students were prepared. First the school moved the memorial inside, and then also students were going to form human walls.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
    I've spent some time this weekend meditating on Matthew Shepard and National Coming Out Day. I began the long process of coming out in 1988, and am still confronted with it every day.

    Fred Phelps is an ugly abberation, and I see little difference between him and the KKK, ideologically. And one has to wonder why he focusses so much on gay sexuality. I wonder about him being a self-hating homo, his self-loathing poured out in vitriolic waves against the community he so desperately fears, because if he were self-honest, he would be a part of it. That is a thought too horrible to contemplate.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
    That entire family is comprised of religious nutjobs, fringe lunatics, and disbarred lawyers whose primary source of income is in suing on the grounds of 1st Amendment rights violations. It's a lucrative gig for them. They bank on people hating them, that's the point - but in order for them to get bankrolled on it, you have to hate them enough to try and take their rights to protest and assembly away.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
    They wanted to go to Canada to protest at the funeral of the man who was murdered on the bus, but were turned away at the border.

    I wonder if they'll be able to keep their momentum when Fred dies.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
    It was a terrible tragedy and I am sure that with each passing year it hits you quite hard. There is no explanation for intolerance amongst human beings. Just know that you don't have to go through this alone, you have friends here who are here for you if you need us. If you feel like company or want to talk on the phone be it to talk, shout or scream we're here.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
    Likewise and thank you.
    12th-Oct-2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
    The god hates fags link seems dead.

    Thank you for posting this. I'll be linking to it momentarily.
    12th-Oct-2008 05:43 pm (UTC) - 10 Years........
    12th-Oct-2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
    The God Hates Fags link didn't work for me either.

    I posted my own entry in a great hurry because I'm behind schedule with my work. I didn't manage much of an entry...but it's there.
    Now I have to return to my work... I just want you to know that I'm always here for you.
    12th-Oct-2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
    Thank you for this.

    Thanks also for your Rant, I'll add it to my own post.

    Thank you again.
    12th-Oct-2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
    Oh, man, I am in tears, and all I can say is thank you for remembering.
    13th-Oct-2008 03:30 am (UTC)
    Another great post you've done well with! Ya know.. i was just tellin' roomie that i wish time-travel was a possible so i could go back and stop this from happening. Such a sad and BAD thing that happened!! One we must not ever forget!
    13th-Oct-2008 04:53 am (UTC)
    I followed you over here from a mutual friend's journal. May I friend you?
    13th-Oct-2008 04:54 am (UTC)
    Of course!
    13th-Oct-2008 04:56 am (UTC)
    I posted your code to the 2005 post, btw :)

    Hope to get to know you and feel free to friend me back.

    Do you like hugs?

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