Tag Archives: Gay Murder

14 years ago today

6 Oct

On October 7, 1998, Aaron Kreifels was riding his bike through a field in Wyoming. He wasn’t expecting that day to be different from any other beautiful sunny afternoon in the vast plains surrounding Laramie, but that day would change many lives.

Aaron spotted what he initially thought was a scarecrow next to a fence. Then he noticed a glisten of blood. The sun sparkled on what he barely recognized as a face. What Aaron had discovered was the 22 year-old Matthew Shepard, clinging to life.

Most of you know what happened next. Matthew held on for five more days and as his parents held his hand and prayed, Matthew slipped away quietly on October 12th, leaving in his wake a new movement for equality.

The outcries for justice and for greater protections were immediate and resonating.

Since then, Matthew’s mother Judy has made it her personal mission to protect all young LGBT people from Matthew’s horrific fate. In founding the Matthew Shepard Foundation, she has created safe spaces in and outside of schools for kids, and worked with parents to ensure their children learn to erase hate from their lives.

But overwhelmingly what you saw in 1998 was a community ready to act, ready to change something. And Matthew’s story was the catalyst for that. Many of you have seen or read the Moises Kaufman play, The Laramie Project – Matthew’s story as told through interviews of those who were living in Laramie at the time – some of his friends and some who just happened to be riding a bike through the plains of Wyoming that day. If you think of nothing else today, please consider the importance of telling your story – how your story can change the world around you.

This young boy, unbeknownst to him, has changed the world with his.

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26 Year-Old Gay Man Stabbed to Death in Jamaica

5 Dec

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, a member of Jamaica’s only LGBT advocacy group was found stabbed to death in Kingston. Kingston has just recently claimed to gain some control over the crime sprees that have been going on for months. 73 civilians and 3 officers were killed in street battles primarily due to a drug war.

The 26 year-old man who has not yet been identified as his relatives have not yet been notified. But Dane Lewis, director of the advocacy group says the young man’s life had been under threat for some time.

Having myself been a victim of violent anti-gay crime in Nassau, Bahamas – it is no secret that the very Christian and conservative islands have long-held negative views of homosexuality. In 2004, Brian Williams, the country’s leading gay rights advocate was murdered in his home – his body was found with multiple knife wounds. Outside the crime scene, citizens cheered the murder. Much of the bigotry stems from the country’s sexist and homophobic laws which imprison sexual relations between two men, but allow for two women to be in a relationship. Gay men can be imprisoned for ten years. And while lesbians don’t face the criminal charges, the anti-gay violence remains for them.