Did he see the stars over Laramie?

7 Oct

Every year, I re-post the same story about Matthew Shepard. It’s a brief reminder so that the people I know and love don’t forget who he is and the incredible moves forward we’ve made in memory of him.

Tonight, I ran across someone who re-blogged the story and they attached a video from YouTube. It’s a brief interview with Matthew which I’ve never seen. Actually, despite having worked with Matthew’s mom, Judy on several events I produced for their foundation, I’ve actually never seen video footage of Matt.

As brief as the footage is, it hit me hard. I’ve never seen Matt speaking, never heard his voice.

When the tragedy happened, I was starting my sophomore year in college. I wasn’t out to anyone. I remember watching the stories on a TV in my college campus center and so desperately wanting to tell someone how upset, how scared I was.

Let’s be honest, I was doing musicals and I’d never really dated any girls, so it was no surprise when I finally did come out but for me, I was still terrified someone might find out – especially after what happened to Matt. I know I wasn’t alone in that and that this is the reason for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. When something like this happens, it terrorizes more than just the victim of the crime.

Tonight, 14 years ago, Matt was laying in a field, tied to a fence, beaten and bloodied, staring at the stars over the Wyoming sky as he lost consciousness. I like to think that there was a moment before he closed his eyes, that the pain went away and he was able see the stars and know he was loved.

4 Responses to “Did he see the stars over Laramie?”

  1. Trans*forming Mom October 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    No matter how many years have passed, it still breaks my heart to read, hear, and think about what happened to Matthew. Thank you for sharing this video.

  2. nutritionalresearch October 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Wow – I remember when he was taken from us. I remember feeling scared myself. It’s all way too fresh to this day, despite how far we’ve come. Thank you for posting this. So incredible to see this…so incredible.

  3. psychodynamom October 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    I remember when he was killed. So tragic.

  4. Mary October 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks for the post. During National Coming Out Week, it’s important to be mindful of this story and of the importance in speaking out for equality.

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