A moving documentary will explore the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard, 25 years after his death in what remains one of the most horrendous homophobic hate crimes in modern history. Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was just 21 years old when he was brutally beaten and left for dead in the US state on 6 October 1998. He was pronounced dead six days later, on 12 October.
On 9 October this year, marking 25 years since his death, a new two-hour documentary will premiere, honouring his life and reflecting on how the murder marked a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Matthew’s parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, set up the Matthew Shepard Foundation in his memory. The foundation works to educate on LGBTQ+ inclusion and advocate for equal rights. Their fight was instrumental in the formation of the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which introduced federal-level protections for crimes based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.
In the new documentary Matthew Shepard Story: An American Hate Crime, airing on Investigation Discovery, Matthew’s friends, local journalists and members of the queer community will reflect on how his story created change and forced America to reckon with its deep-rooted homophobia.