Judy Shepard is basically the hardest working gay rights activist in the universe. The Wyoming-based mama has been campaigning nearly non-stop for a decade, since her son Matthew was beaten and left for dead.
Sure, fighting for inclusive hate crimes law’s ain’t easy, but Shepard says it’s worth it.
“I’m just somebody’s mom who got really angry at the system and felt I had the opportunity to make a change,” Shepard said.
Her stump speech brings Matthew to life – his strong opinions, passion for politics, generous nature, short temper. It’s also peppered with references to hope and barbs at the Bush administration.
The work is exhausting, but it has kept her family from becoming victims, she said in an interview afterward.
“In my own mind, speaking like I did today, that is my grief process,” Shepard said. “I get to keep Matthew with me.”
Another thing she’ll keep with her – a distaste for his killers. There’s no forgiving and forgetting here: “It’s not a part of my process… I don’t blame them 100 percent. I sort of blame society for creating the environment to make them think they could get away with it.” Wag that finger, mama!
hells kitchen guy
At this point, she should run for public office. She’s had the public experience.
Public office is probably not a bad idea. Although I spoke to a fellow government employee by phone who works in the capitol of the state I live in. He knew a couple very motivated, hard working individuals, principled but not naive. He said they both dropped out after one term You have to go to endless meetings, kiss everyone’s A** five ways from Sunday and you STILL don’t get anything done. And I live in one of the ‘better’ midwestern states per some recent AOL reported study about effective state governments!
Judy Shepard DOES kick ass! LOVE HER!
She is quite amazing. Four years ago I saw her give a talk in NY, and she was incredibly convincing and what she said was so heartfelt. She is an awesome advocate.
I love her. I breaks my heart, what she lost. I love seeing her picture, one of the most beautiful people I can imagine.
yes, she does – although the headline is ironic, right? 😉
she is amazing, I have worked with her since 1998, and she is tireless and remains as genuine and tiger-hearted as ever
if you really want to know more go to http://www.matthewshepard.org
this year is 10 years since his death – an important time to reflect and get active
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