The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed

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"A courageous, eloquent, and devoted mother...gives us all a greater understanding of Matthew and the larger meaning of his life."
-Senator Edward M. Kennedy


Today, Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but until 1998, he was just Judy Shepard's son. In The Meaning of Matthew, Judy Shepard confides how she handled her crippling loss in the public eye, the vigils and protests held by strangers in her son's name, and ultimately how she and her husband gained the courage to help prosecutors convict her son's murderers.

Heart-wrenchingly honest, The Meaning of Matthew is an unforgettable and inspiring story, chronicling one ordinary woman's struggle to cope with the unthinkable.

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About the Author:

JUDY SHEPARD is cofounder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which is dedicated to social justice, diversity awareness and education, and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Shepard speaks across the country on behalf of the foundation.

From AudioFile:

The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming, brought violence based on sexual orientation to public view. His mother, determined that Matthew's life should have meaning, has become an activist for the inclusion of sexual orientation in hate crime legislation (the federal act, named for Matthew, was enacted in October 2009) and for gay rights in general. Judy Shepard's narration is consistent with her statements in the book that in various public situations she is determined not to break down--as she wants the focus of the story to be Matthew, not her. Matthew's father delivers the statement he made at the trial of one of the assailants. Both parents read in tightly controlled voices that are poignant and, by the absence of dramatization, tell a haunting story. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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