The Advocate


Following the brutal assault on Matthew Shepard near Laramie, Wyo., in October 1998, time seemed to freeze—especially for his family. As surgeons frantically tried to save the young student’s life, his family recalls receiving teddy bears from advocates across the country. Hundreds of attached cards urged his parents not to discount the opportunity to speak out on the importance of LGBTQ acceptance.

Dennis and Judy Shepard listened to those pleas and took them to heart. They founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in December 1998, not

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