3 responses

  1. Regan DuCasse
    October 12, 2008

    I remember where I was the night he was kidnapped and beaten. I remember clearly the end of the week and weekend up to his death, that I waited and listened, as it seemed the nation did, on his struggle to live.

    My sorrow was deep and intense. I had to DO something. I reached out. I reached out to anyone I could. His parents, his friends…I learned that, after all, I was only one degree, one person away from knowing Matt Shepard myself. We passed each other, unknowingly through his best friend, Nikki Pearson.

    There have been other friends of Matt’s who have remained close and strong in my life. His mother has too.
    His mother, and that of Emmett Till, inspired a play that I wrote to bridge the contention between blacks and gays on whose civil rights are legitimate.

    I traveled to Casper, WY and witnessed the commitment ceremony of Matt’s friends, Jason Marsden and Guy Padgett. They toured me through where Guy and Matt attended grade school, I got a full picture of his life there.
    The winds and the stars…remind me always of what is timeless, always present and beautiful there.

    I have grieved over the violent losses of young gays and lesbians and the transgendered since his killing. There seems no end, no compassionate, rational and thoughtful way to reach those who still don’t value the lives of gay people and the transgendered.

    Some days I grow a little weary, sad…but then…
    I’ll see or hear from a young person, gay and not, who has that spark of understanding and compassion and outright love. It’s a cousin, a sibling…a teacher, parent, someone gay in their lives that taught them and showed them the extraordinary strenght and love it takes to love back.
    In spite of everything, in spite of daunting odds.

    Judy Shepard broke my heart when she told me that Matt would have loved me. I was his kind of person and that we’d easily would have had a meeting of the minds and heart. Nikki and Guy told me the same thing.
    So, for the love of every man and woman like him. In his name and memory, I’ll go on until the work is done and young people like himself, or who would care for and like him, are safe and free.
    Love to one and all, your friend in the trenches,
    Regan Talley DuCasse

  2. MirrorMan
    October 12, 2008

    My heart breaks to read these posts, no matter the elapsed time. And I am reminded of Byron:
    “And if I laugh at any mortal thing
    ‘Tis that I may not weep…”

    Matthew, you never really had a chance at life…
    I can only hope that wherever you now reside, you can view the good that has come from what was so inhumanly wrong…

    We, as a race, can be so much better than this…

    It is,indeed, about time we started acting like it.

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