Matthew Shepard Memorial

Lovingly Hosted by Stophate

"He should be remembered just as a kid,
as somebody who lived his life honestly."
-Judy Shepard

Matthew Shepard Memorial Quilt


Matthew Made a Difference in My Life

This page is reserved for those who feel Matthew Shepard made a difference in their life. People are welcome to share stories about where they were when they first learned Matthew was injured or had died or stories about the difference Matthew made in their lives. The stories can be emailed to us. They will be reviewed, and if they are appropriate, will be added to the web site. While stories can be posted without a name, memories cannot be submitted anonymously.

Difference - Responding to Name Calling and Insults
whenever i hear someone say "thats so gay" or "what's up faggot?" i interrupt them and say "thats so derogatory, and those names hurt people" although i know some may not listen, i know i have made an impact in their lives by saying that just ONCE to them

Difference - in Personal Life
I hope a few of you will find this story interesting and it's all because of Matthew that it transpired.

For most of the last 20 years I've worked two jobs for approximately 16-18 hours a day. Because I had limited time at home or access to media, I was not aware of the horrible events that caused Matthew's death.

I live in Kansas, about 700 miles from Laramie. In February 2004 our local community theatre group was showing The Laramie Project. I'd planned to see it, only because I know most of the students that attend the college and wanted to see "my kids". Many went to school with my daughter who has moved away to college.

When I told my daughter that afternoon that I intended to go to the theatre, she asked "you're going to see the Laramie Project????" I said yes, not knowing why she wondered. My ex-husband and I separated and divorced very recently because he is gay and he wanted to be happy and pursue this lifestyle. I support him wholly in this. She knew I would be upset about the content of the show and didn't want me to go in blindly.

When she told me what the show was about, I truly didn't think I could watch it. Thinking of anyone murdering a man because of his personal preferences made me sick, especially when the content was so close to my heart. I suggested not going and she talked me into it, stating I shouldn't be caught up in what happened to him but look at the story as a whole and appreciate it for what it's really stating.

I went, enjoyed it immensely and managed to avoid that soul-less man Fred Phelps and his followers who were picketing the performance. I cried, laughed, sobbed and left there feeling like I'd truly witnessed something wonderful.

The writer continues and describes falling in love with a man from Laramie.

Difference - in a Community
I just came across this site, I am a openly gay male at the age of 22, and i have been gay since 10, I have joined many organizations and many many more I want to join, I am a fighter for hate crimes, I have embraced diversity since I was 9, worked as a youth minister in open and affirming church, where we can be accepted for who we are, and that my main proirty in my life as a fighter, I saw the Laramie Project on DVD and I also saw it at Kentucky Weslyn College this spring, thanks to the prevention of hate that you showed in our community, I am proud to mention that The laramie Project has changed alot of the community by not judging us. Thanks for everything this foundation has done for my youth and my church, we now have 2 years of embracing diversity and are on our second anniversity of the church, thanks again for letting people be educated for stopping hate in our community our crime rate is now down on hate crimes, thank you again, i can now walk the streets now knowing that i am gay and i am not ashamed of who i am. This is all is a Thanksgiving of hope love and embracing diversity in our community thank you for educating us and protecting america youth, also thank you for educating our GSA on the subject of hate in our local high schools. I wanted to how much I really think about Matthew and how much it hurts me to see that he now gone, but I am a fighter and What happened to Matt was a shame that why, as When I heard the case I wanted to become a fighter against hate, that why my church wants to thank you for your support and the support that i have shown through this difficult time and Judy and David Shepard Your in my prayers forever and ever, till I leave this world as a fighter, i will truly be rewarded just as Matthew was rewarded in heaven for his good deeds, I read the statement over and over and I am courage to stay David that took alot of courage to say that, If I was Matts Dad, I wouldve had said the same thing, because I have one son, by adoption and he 5, if I was to lose my son, just because he was different I would say this too. David and Judy again God Bless. -Anonymous

Difference - from a Teenager
iam 16 years old and i look at life so different now that ive come to understand more while iam actually seeing more, its horrible to see that people have so much hate in them that its shown through their actions. -Anonymous

Difference - from a Mother
im a mum to a wonderful gay man of 21 and ive just watched laramie project on dvd with him .... never again will he walk thru the door without huge hugs ...lets make the world safe for all .... my prayers are with Matts family -Anonymous

Difference - Out of Closet
I could not hide in the closet any longer. Matthew helped me come out. -Anonymous

Difference - Church
As a result of Matthew, I am speaking out in churches against homophobia. I have met some wonderful gay people and they have made my life much richer. -Anonymous

Differences Continued