Matthew Shepard died thirteen years ago today. That wasn’t the date, of course, that he was left for dead by his murderers…that was October 7. It took Matthew a long time to die after being savagely brutally beaten for being gay. These thirteen years since pale in comparison to those hours tied to a split-rail fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. It must never be forgotten, as Matthew has become such a symbol for the hatred, oppression, and brutality waged against gay people. His mother, Judy Shepard, is such a graceful and eloquent accidental activist. This video, from the Matthew Shepard Foundation, is longer than some, about 10 minutes, but please watch.
Do not seek to do harm.
Someday, the work of this organization will no longer be necessary. Woefully, that day is not today. Thirteen years is a long time, but not yet long enough.
photo: CyndiLauper.com "Bring Ya To The Brink"
Cyndi Lauper is a hero. She has, for a long time, been a real champion of equality. Her True Colors Tour was a series of concerts with amazing special guests to many venues to raise awareness for LGBT equality. She just recently launched a new initiative, the Give a Damn Campaign, for everyone who cares about equality, but especially straight people who know what’s right, and that there is a lot of work for us all to make it right. Celebs and the rest of us, along with Cyndi, take on issues like marriage equality, youth homelessness, hate crimes, immigration, older adults, and more. Go to http://www.wegiveadamn.org to get involved.
Now, Cyndi is launching even further into orbit (and earning her wings in a big way) as she has announced that in 2011, she will be opening the True Colors Residence, a live-in center/shelter for homeless LGBT young people, in Harlem. Specifically intended for young adults who have been kicked out of their family homes or have run away from unlivable conditions because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, the home will have 30 studio apartments, a computer room, library, and shared space. With thousands of homeless LGBT youth in New York, and exponentially more throughout the nation…around the world…forward momentum like this is huge.