Guest Blogger

Looking Back: Rare Video of Matthew Shepard

Filed By Guest Blogger | December 15, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Media
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, interview with Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, rare video

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Josh Cohen is a consultant providing need-based, low-cost internet media services for equality campaigns and organizations. During the day, he works for a software company in Redmond, WA. Thumbnail image for Josh CohenAs a member of the Board of Directors for his corporate Employee Resource Group, he focuses on LGBT employee policies and corporate external legislative affairs.

The year is almost over, which is totally freaky because it still feels new to write "2009" in a date field. No matter what happens now, 2009 will be a milestone on the historical timeline for LGBT rights. With the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act and subsequent signing into law by President Obama, this year will be notable. Thanks to this law, LGBT people, like racial minorities and other protected classes now have additional tools in preventing hate crimes.

I was looking through some videos I found for a research project and found an interview with Matthew and then boyfriend from the mid nineties. I remember when I first saw that video, thinking that I'd never seen anything but a picture of him. Watching the video gives a much bigger picture of him, his voice, animations and, friendliness.

Have a look:

There's very little video of Matthew Shepard, this is the only one I've ever seen. It comes from a documentary called "Dear Jesse", which is about Jesse Helms. This is such a case of chance; just by coincidence, when Tim Kirkman, the director, was interviewing students, Matthew happened to be one of them. At the time, he was just an average guy, and there was no way to know how significant he would become posthumously in our movement.

Check out the documentary, "Dear Jesse."

h/t Matt Comer for pointing out the source of this interview.


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Thanks for sharing this, Josh. I'd never seen any footage of Matthew alive - only the photos you see everywhere of him as a victim of violence. It really humanizes him.

Curious....the link goes to wikipedia..rendering this story fairly useless..but loved the hamburger in the middle.

All the more tragic to see him so easy going and full of life....