EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Shepard’s Father Remembers When He Learned His Son Was Gay

Matthew, Judy and Dennis Shepard

Nearly 17 years have passed since Matthew Shepard was murdered on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming, yet for many people who marched in the streets in the days after his death it still feels like yesterday.

The outpouring of anger, disbelief and passion stimulated unprecedented conversation and resulted in groundbreaking hate crimes legislation. Earlier this year, Michele Josue released Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, a documentary she’d directed about the man she’d gotten to know well when they were both students at a boarding school in Switzerland in 1993.

The documentary used Matt’s personal journals, home movies and interviews with his other close friends to reveal a rarely seen version of the young man as a sensitive and fun-loving friend, son and brother, a side of Shepard that’s been largely overshadowed by his status as a symbolic gay martyr.

Related: Matthew Shepard’s Friend Offers Intimate Look At The Complex Man She Knew

The doc will premiere on Logo July 27. Watch an exclusive clip with Matthew’s dad below.