On Tuesday's episode of the syndicated talk show Katie, host Katie Couric will welcome Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was brutally killed in 1998 because he was gay. Matthew was a 21-year-old college student in Laramie, Wyoming when he was brutally beaten and left for dead after his killers learned of his sexual orientation. Matthew's murder received unprecedented media attention across the nation, and was a watershed moment for America's awareness of the anti-LGBT violence that continues to torment the lives of so many today.
On an episode titled "Moving Forward after the Unthinkable," Judy will speak with Katie about how she worked to change the homophobic views of one investigative reporter covering the case of Matthew's tragic death, and how she has become an unforeseen advocate for equality and LGBT youth. Along with her husband Dennis, Judy created the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which seeks to generate understanding, compassion and acceptance for LGBT youth through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs, and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.
Also appearing on the episode will be Moisés Kaufman and Leigh Fondakowski, co-directors of two plays centered around the aftermath of Matthew's murder, The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. The Laramie Project is based on more than 200 interviews with residents of Laramie, Wyoming following Matthew's death, and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later revisits the town and the changes that have occurred since the tragic incident. Moisés and Leigh will talk with Katie about the impact these plays have had, and the tool they have become in creating social change.