One of those things that will be seared in my brain forever.

I just remembering hearing and seeing the story on the news and being shocked. I was not yet 16 at the time and this shocked the hell out of me.

Too many ignorant people want to minimize Matthew's death as a drug deal gone bad.

Judy And Dennis Shepard To Be Honored As 'Trailblazing Parents' At Logo 'Trailblazer Honors'

Judy And Dennis Shepard To Be Honored As 'Trailblazing Parents' At Logo 'Trailblazer Honors'


Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of late gay historical figure Matthew Shepard and founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, have for the first time released a series of letters they received after their son's murder.

Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old gay man who died in 1998 after being beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. He later succumbed to his wounds and died at a hospital six days later.

Shepard's death received national media attention and ignited discussions about hate crimes against the LGBT community. His death became a rallying point for queer people and inspired, in part, The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 and led his parents to start The Matthew Shepard Foundation.

The Shepards released the letters in conjunction with the Logo "Trailblazer Honors," the only televised LGBT awards ceremony in America, where the two are slated to receive the title of "Trailblazing Parents" for their work with the foundation. Logo's "Trailblazing Honors," will air on Saturday, June 27 at 8 p.m. ET on Logo.

Among the letters released by the couple are sympathetic words from President Bill Clinton, as well as Coretta Scott King.





The Shepards also released letters they received from everyday Americans affected by the tragedy -- including those sent by young children.




In a press release sent to The Huffington Post, Logo says, "In a world before social media, they were mailed hundreds of letters from youth, parents, closeted adults, and then President Bill Clinton. The letters have been displayed at select college campuses that Judy and Dennis spoke at, but for the first time are being shared online in advance of their tribute during Logo’s 'Trailblazer Honors.'"



Check Logo’s "Trailblazer Honors" out on Saturday, June 27 at 8 p.m. ET on Logo. Head here to see the rest of the letter released by the Matthew Shepard Foundation