'Dear Matt': Reflections on the death of Matthew Shepard
Originally Published: October 16, 1998 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 17, 2015
Matthew Shepard was the 5'2" openly gay twenty-one-year-old University of Wyoming student who was kidnapped, beaten, and left tied to a fence in near-freezing temperatures for eighteen hours on October 7th, 1998 and later died as a result of his injuries. At Columbia University, hundreds of students and staff expressed their feelings about Matthew's life and death by writing on a giant sheet that was displayed on campus, and then sent to Matthew's family, friends, and University of Wyoming colleagues. These messages are being shared here as education, with the hope that they can play a part in reducing the ignorance, bias, anger, and/or whatever else that contributed to Matthew's violent end.
- Thank you for being honest. No one should live in fear."