Matthew Shepard

Recent Articles

Desecrating Maya Angelou’s funeral

When news circulated that the notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, was planning to protest the “home-going” service of our nation’s most beloved citizen, poet, author, civil rights activist, and sister-sage to us all, Dr. Maya Angelou, there was a collective gasp of disbelief. Rev. Fred Phelps’ legacy, to no one’s surprise, is hate. And his signature stamp is turning funerals into circuses by exploiting the First Amendment. He elevated his hateful platform onto a national stage in 1998 by picketing Matthew Shepard’s funeral with homophobic epithets and his signature “shock and awe” placards of lewd and sexually graphic distortions of gay men. When the notorious demagogue died this March, many thought the seeds of hatred he sowed died with him. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The Matthew Shepard we don’t know








There are numerous hagiographies on the Matthew Shepard murder. Twenty years after Shepard’s murder, they’re being challenged. Are we ready for the tale investigative journalist Stephen Jimenez, himself gay, spins? I had the pleasure of meeting him at his book reading in the Harvard Coop this month. I told Stephen, referring to his book, that perhaps it’s easier to kill the messenger (him) than hear his message. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Matthew Shepard and Trayvon Martin: bigotry knows no boundaries



The nation is once again divided along the fault line of race. In a perceived 2013 post-racial society, William Faulkner’s prophetic quote of the last century — ”The past is never dead. It’s not even past” — has come back to haunt us in this century. Faulkner’s quote haunts us because of the recent verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. The story, as you well know by now, of how George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman of a Florida community, was acquitted of all charges — murder and manslaughter — related to Trayvon Martin. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,