I believe we need this national day as a reminder of the violence and bullying LGBT people face. Nothing has changed. It still occurs.
Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, and died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12 from severe head injuries.
During the trial, witnesses stated that Shepard was targeted because he was homosexual. Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.