July 10, 2013

In 1998, 21-year-old University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered because he was gay. This hate crime brought new awareness of LGBTQ rights to Americans, and it has stuck in the mind of author Lesléa Newman, the keynote speaker for the University of Wyoming's Gay Awareness Week when all of this happened.

Lesléa has written more than 60 books, many of them with LGBTQ themes, like the groundbreaking children’s book “Heather Has Two Mommies.” She wanted to write a book to honor Matthew’s legacy and also to educate young people who might not know who he was. This led her to writing “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard.” While it’s a book of poetry, it details what happened and is footnoted with information. MTV Act spoke with Lesléa to learn more about what she hopes the book will accomplish and how people can join her in honoring Matthew’s legacy.