Hit Or Myth?
The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard back in 1998 really kicked Americans into high gear to begin accepting gay people.
Before Matthew Shepard, most straight people in this holy land (that is, pretty much most people) shrugged when the issue of gay rights came up. After Matthew, only hard-core haters and fundamentalist zombies found it acceptable to heap scorn upon homosexuals. Without Matthew Shepard, gay marriage probably would have been an easy ten years down the road rather than the expanding right it is today.
The young University of Wyoming student’s execution was the equivalent of Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses being used against black civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama in May 1963.
The kid’s death became a touchstone for anyone who wanted to declare her- or himself a supporter of GLBTQ concerns or, for that matter, any minority group. Just saying the name Matthew Shepard and shaking your head sadly communicated to one and all where you stood on a huge variety of issues.
If ever there was a martyr, it was Matthew Shepard.
Now comes a book that portrays Shepard’s killing as revenge for a drug deal gone bad.
The Book of Matt posits that Shepard was a meth user and a mule. The author suggests he’d screwed up an associate’s deal and was whacked for it.
Sounds like a history-jumbling invention by some holy roller who is certain homosexuality will be the downfall of Murrica. The book could have been written by one of the thankfully dead Andrew Breitbart’s apostles or Jerome Corsi or some paranoiac loon from World Net Daily.
Google the words matthew shepard book and take a wild guess what comes up first (below the obligatory ad for several such tomes). Yep, a Fox news headline about Shepard’s purported drug involvement:
Despite the current general distaste for homophobia, there are still enough dopes out there who are so petrified of catching gay cooties that they gaze fixedly at Fox News for warnings that compulsory sodomy is just around the corner. Oh, and that gay people are really nothing more than meth heads.
Surprise: Author Stephen Jimenez is gay.
Who Is This Man?
Already, folks are jumping with both feet on Jimenez’s methodology, research, and conclusions. At best, Jimenez is a courageous defender of the truth, at worst a gay analog to the self-hating Jew.
Me? I don’t care what Stephen Jimenez is. For that matter, I don’t care what Matthew Shepard was. I didn’t need the story of his murder — true or not — to be on the side of humanity. All humanity.
It’s a damned shame America needed such a gory story to kick it over to the right side of history and morality.