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

Title

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

Authors

Judy Shepard

Publisher

Hudson Street Press

Publication Year

2009

ISBN

9781594630576

Pages

273 pages

Genre

memoir

Format

full length

Item Type

Nonfiction

Annotation

The mother of Matthew Shepard shares her story about her son's death and the choice she made to become an international gay rights activist. Today, the name Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but before his grisly murder in 1998, Matthew was simply her son. For the first time in book form, Judy Shepard speaks about her loss, sharing memories of Matthew, their life as a typical American family, and the pivotal event that changed everything. The book follows the Shepard family in the days after the crime, when their incapacitated son was on life support; how they learned of the response from strangers all across America who held candlelit vigils and memorial services for their child; and finally, how they struggled to navigate the legal system as Matthew's murderers were on trial. It not only captures the historical significance and civil rights issues, but it also chronicles one ordinary woman's struggle to cope with the unthinkable.

Grade Level

9-12

Topic

Family Relationships; LGBTQ (Gender and Sexuality); Family member death; Homosexuality; death of a son; gay; gay adult

Main Character

adult female

Race/Ethnicities

White

Family Formation

mother and father

LGBTQ+

gay male

Keywords

college life; murder; hate crime; gay rights activist; trial; hospitalization; life support; mother's love

Diversity Impact

direct

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

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