Friday, October 08, 2010

In Remembrance: Matthew Shepard, 1976-1998

12 years ago this weekend Matthew Shepard was laying in a hospital, hooked onto life support after being tied to a fence.

He had been beaten, pistol whipped and lit on fire. His skull was fractured and his brain stem crushed. There were a dozen lacerations on his face. He was singled out for being gay, by two men who followed him from a gay bar.

He was murdered for being gay.

Matthew was left, tied to the fence post for 18 hours in near freezing weather before being discovered.

The bicyclist that found him thought that he was actually a scarecrow.

At his funeral, the Westboro Baptist Church protested, carrying signs that read "Matt Shepard Rots in Hell."

Video: "Scarecrow"

"Scarecrow", by Melissa Etheridge

Showers of your crimson blood
Seep into a nation calling up a flood
Of narrow minds who legislate
Thinly veiled intolerance
Bigotry and hate

But they tortured and burned you
They beat you and they tied you
They left you cold and breathing
For love they crucified you

I can't forget hard as I try
This silhouette against the sky

Scarecrow crying
Waiting to die wondering why
Scarecrow trying
Angels will hold carry your soul away

This was our brother
This was our son
This shepherd young and mild
This unassuming one
We all gasp this can't happen here
We're all much too civilized
Where can these monsters hide

But they are knocking on our front door
They're rocking in our cradles
They're preaching in our churches
And eating at our tables

I search my soul
My heart and in my mind
To try and find forgiveness
This is someone child
With pain unreconciled
Filled up with father's hate
Mother's neglect
I can forgive But I will not forget

Scarecrow crying
Waiting to die wondering why
Scarecrow trying
Rising above all in the name of love


Anonymous said...

Your dates are wrong it should be 1976-1998

Thom Simmons said...

Thank you...duly noted and changed. It's rarely a good idea to type an emotional piece without have a second set of eyes check for errors!