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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Do you remember Matthew Shepard's murder?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (32743points) October 6th, 2016

Matthew Shepard stopped at the Fireside Bar in Laramie, Wyoming, 18 years ago today. He left with 2 young men who beat him unconscious and tied him to a fence, leaving him for dead. He was found the next morning by a man out for a bike ride. He died a few days later in the hospital in Denver, Colorado.

Matthew was murdered as an act of hatred because he was gay.

These events impacted me directly. At the time of the murder, I was still in the closet, and I was an active alcoholic. Within 3 months, I was out of the closet, and within 8 months I began recovery from alcoholism.

My life today is so vastly different from what it was before it is unrecognizable. Then, I hated life. Today, I am grateful for my life.

What do you remember about Matthew Shepard’s murder?

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16 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Of course I remember it. I’m horrified and dismayed every time I think about it.

There was and are no positive changes that I experienced because of it. I’ve never been against those in the LGBT community and I was never quiet about my bisexuality. Thinking about it just makes me dislike people even more. Humans are the most brutal of all animals.

janbb's avatar

I remember it with great sorrow. As always with these brutalities I think, “This could have been my son.”

zenvelo's avatar

I remember it as a horrible event. Being in the Bay Area, it received a lot of attention locally, and I remember memorials for quite few years.

JLeslie's avatar

I remember being horrified, disgusted, and very sad. Very very sad. It brought me back to a thought I had while vacationing in Germany 30 years ago. I was lying down in my hotel bed and I thought, 40 years ago they would just storm in, kill me, or put me on a train the the camps. People still do it. They hate, and take other people’s lives. I feel like I can empathasize, but honestly who can really know what that terrorizing moment is really like.

Then I thought of his family. I would be inconsolable for the rest of my life if it were my son, brother, cousin.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Yes, I remember it. My friend Rosa started a gay-straight alliance the next day at our high school, and we quickly learned who the rabid homophobes were. I wish I could say it was the first time I learned how awful people can be.

Cruiser's avatar

I remember how the savage and barbaric nature of the attack struck me…shocked me. The fact that he was still alive when they found him made me imagine the horror and suffering that man had to endure during this hate filled attack. Then to read that he was tied to a fence and left for dead provoked imagery of this man literally being crucified by his attackers.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I didn’t even know but the killers should have been hung by the tongue in public. Same goes for all such psychopaths who carry out hate crimes!

si3tech's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Yes I remember vividly the murder of Matthew Shepard! It was startling, gut wrenching, heart breaking senseless crime. My heart broke for him and for all gays who were/are subject to such hatred. My gay son died nearly 4 years prior to Matthew Shepard’s murder. January 20th 1994. I am happy for you Jake that you can be who you are as we all want to be. My son was able to be who he was and loved for who he was. He was bright and musically talented, playing 1st horn (french horn) in the Sixth Army Band. He played piano and flute also. His sense of humor was outrageous. He was a marvelous cook. We can not sum up anyone by their sexual orientation. He was a thoughtful, loving son. I miss him.

Jeruba's avatar

I do. What happened to him was unspeakably horrible. I also wonder how anyone could live with such evil in their hearts as those two young men had.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I remember that he was a kid and a couple of homophobic psychos beat him to a pulp then hung him on a barbed wire fence to die.

Jake, I would never think anything good could come out of something like that. I am very happy for you, pal. Strange how this world works, huh?.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

By the way, Laramie, Wyoming has had the highest suicide rate in the nation for the last decade. Highest by far. Why Laramie? The CDC is busy trying to figure that out. Not a happy place.

serenityNOW's avatar

Absolutely remember it. I almost have a Pavlovian reaction when I see his name: sadness and I immediately weep a little. After all these years. The cruelty and brutal behavior, and to what end?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@serenityNOW, hi, you back again or had you not left for a while? Hadn’t seen you around for a bit!

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

I was only about 10-years-old when Matthew Shepherd was murdered. But my mother and I watched The Laramie Project a few years later on HBO, and I was in a community stage version of it as a teenager.

I always feel extreme sadness whenever I’m reminded of his killing, especially with how our nation is looking these days.

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