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LGBT Stories: Journalist Wants People To Remember Matthew Shepard's Life More Than His Death

Jason marsden TR


Guestblogger Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee just finished a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD.

Driftwood We met Jason Marsden, the Executive Director of The Matthew Shepard Foundation, at our stop in Denver where the Foundation is headquartered. We were going to Laramie right after Denver so speaking with him was a bit of preparation. I didn't know exactly how to approach Laramie — should we actively seek out Matthew Shepard stories or not? — but after hearing Jason talk more about Matthew's life than of his death, I decided to follow suit and not focus on the tragedy but let people speak about him as they chose.


Recently in this series...
Alan Cumming Discusses Childhood Crush on Elton John, Media's 'Coming Out' Obsession [tr]
A Repressed Memory of a Traumatic Gym Class and an Abusive Father [tr]
Mormon Church Excommunicates Young Man, Forcing Him to Come Out [tr]
Gay Love Story in Bible Leads to New Belief System [tr]
From Cancer Diagnosis to Fairytale Wedding [tr]

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  1. There have always been Christians who attempt to focus on the life of their prophet rather than his death by torture, but somehow they all go on kneeling in front of the torture device just the same. The death of the hero is what makes his life significant.

    Matthew Shepard's cultural value is his martyrdom. We know his name because in being a child who was brutally and tragically murdered by bigots he embodied an archetype. His family and friends remember his life. For the rest of us, "Matthew Shepard" is a metaphor, a cultural trope, an avatar: the embodiment of a principle.

    There's nothing wrong in focusing on his death. Doing so has achieved enormous good.

    Posted by: Bryan | Apr 5, 2011 3:36:18 PM

  2. Yes Bryan, the end justifies the means, right? Don't let any 'Tragedy' go to waste, right? Sacrifices have to be made or allowed to occur to further the common goal and for the common good, right?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 5, 2011 10:56:03 PM

  3. The Matthew Shepard Story (2002) is being shown again on OutTV in Canada tomorrow night (Thursday). I only watch the parts about his life which was fascinating by itself; his horrifying death and the devastating loss to his family are unbearable.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Apr 6, 2011 5:00:40 AM

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