The year 2009 is almost over, which is totally freaky because it still feels new to write “2009” in a date field. No matter what happens now, 2009 will be a milestone on the historical timeline for LGBT rights. With the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act and signing into law by President Obama, 2009 will be notable. Thanks to this law, LGBT people, like racial minorities and other protected classes now have additional tools in preventing hate crimes.
I was looking through some videos I found for a research project and found an interview with Matthew and then boyfriend from the mid nineties. I remember when I first saw that video, thinking that I’d never seen anything but a picture of him. Watching the video gives a much bigger picture of him, his voice, animations and, friendliness.
Have a look:
Update: h/t InterstateQ for pointing out the source of this interview.
There’s very little video of Matthew Shepard, this is the only one I’ve ever seen. It comes from a documentary called “Dear Jesse”, which is about Jesse Helms. This is such a case of chance; just by coincidence, when Tim Kirkman, the director, was interviewing students, Matthew happened to be one of them. At the time, he was just an average guy, and there was no way to know how significant he would become posthumously in our movement.
Check out the documentary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Jesse