GLAAD's Matthew Shepard Op-Ed Project

October 10, 2008
Matthew Shepard's murder was a dark moment in our nation's history.  Matthew Shepard's legacy, however, has been one that has acted as a guiding light.  His tragic story has provided others with the courage to speak out, come out, and share their own personal stories. In honor of Matthew’s memory and the legacy he has left behind, we at GLAAD launched a project to get those stories told - to look at where we were ten years ago, where we are today and where we still need to go. The Matthew Shepard Op-Ed project led GLAAD to reach out to local partners in communities around the country and identify opportunities to get personal stories, the stories of other victims of hate, and updates on progress in fighting hate crimes printed in local and regional media outlets.  We've successfully helped people in writing, editing and pitching editorials and op-ed pieces to newspapers in almost every state in the nation. Working with our community partners op-eds and editorials have already been published in South Carolina, California, Colorado, Alabama, Virginia, and Oklahoma just to name a few.  Many more pieces will be published today and through the weekend. Remembering Matt is a charge we take seriously.  Given the lack of media coverage of other hate crimes, GLAAD felt more needed to be said about Matt’s story and the legacy his family and the LGBT community proudly carry on.   As you will read, hate crimes are still a tragic reality and the stories of people like Sean Kennedy, Lawrence KingAngie Zapata and many other victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes need to be told. This is an opportunity for you to get involved.  We encourage everyone around the country to engage their local media outlets and submit letters-to-the editor responding to stories about the 10-year remembrance of Matthew Shepherd or to create a conversation in media outlets where none have happened. We all have the power to honor Matthew Shepherd’s legacy by making sure his story, and the countless stories of other victims of anti-LGBT violence, are never forgotten.