18 years have passed since Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence beaten and left to die on a cold October night near Laramie. Anyone who has a moment to stand by a fence, any fence in Wyoming can hear Matthew in the wind if you listen. Gently swaying the prairie grass, his is a spiritually haunting sound you will never forget.
Matthew Shepard’s legacy is now one of both joy and justice.
This year Joshua Brandon Vallum became the first to be sentenced under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for a crime against a transgender person after pleading guilty to murdering Mercedes Williamson in 2015 because she was transgender.
Matthew Shepard was born in Casper in 1976. Matthew’s dad said that if his son were there he’d been out leading the parade and that’s what makes this pride so very special. It’s a joyful celebration of our community in what one celebrate termed ‘in the middle of nowhere” that is giving everyone everywhere hope.
— NewNowNext (@NewNowNext) June 29, 2017