Sunday, October 25, 2009

"The Meaning of Matthew": BOOK REVIEW

"Seldom does a man or woman become an icon before the public gets to know them, but Matthew Shepard didn't have much choice. His violent thrill-kill at the hands of a couple of gay-bashers just outside Laramie, Wyo., 11 years ago this month stunned the nation and energized a new generation of gay and lesbian activists."

Book Review: The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard
David Williams writes:
Judy Shepard has always maintained her son was not a saint, but as her speaking career on behalf of gay rights blossomed, that part of her message often got lost. Her moving book sets the record straight in simple, motherly language that's a breeze to read.

During his senior year at a Swiss boarding school, he took a short trip with several classmates to Marrakech, Morocco. One night while wandering alone to savor the nightlife, he was raped by three thugs. The attack shattered him. For the rest of his life he suffered periods of depression from which he never fully recovered despite a regimen of prescription medications.

Eventually he stopped taking care of himself. His diet grew sporadic, his bills went unpaid, he'd forget to take his medications, his drinking grew more frequent. Life began to improve a little when he returned to his home state of Wyoming for college in the summer of 1998 and got involved with the gay and lesbian community there. But then one night he ran into two small-town drug addicts at one of the few bars in Laramie where gays felt comfortable. Within two hours he'd be struggling for his life. READ MORE