Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine

matt shepard is a friend of mineDo you remember where you were the night Matthew Shepard died? He died very late – after midnight on October 12, 1998. The following day I participated in a fairly loose demonstration/vigil in New York City with my good friend Mark. The organizers expected a few hundred but our numbers grew as the event continued. The police cornered us in a block and brought in the mounted police. It was a scary moment and made even more surreal since we were simply trying to publicly mourn a young man who had died a horrific death in Laramie, WY. Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine is a documentary by Shepard’s friend Michele Josue who after 15 years continues trying to make sense of the tragedy and find peace within herself. Along the way she interviews many who were close to Matt during his short time on Earth. Josue’s film is a very successful personal project which brings the very public persona of Matthew back to the real Matt from the people who knew and loved him the best. It’s a gorgeous tribute to a quiet, sweet young man who came to signify LGBT Rights and specifically hate crimes. Eleven years after Matthew’s death President Barrack Obama signed into law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine reminds us of the fight the entire Shepard family took on after Matt’s death and how they changed the world. There’s still so much to be done, but we must continue to celebrate the victories. I cried at the end of this film. It’s important to keep remembering. 4 out of 5.

Visit The Matthew Shepard Foundation online.

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