Sunday night at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, a Grammy-award winning choir performed a piece that brought people to tears.
It’s been 20 years since two men left Matthew Shepard for dead, tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming
and the grief is still felt as the audience is reminded of the senseless tragedy through the passages of the album, "Considering Matthew Shepard."
Shepard Foundation, Jason Marsden, says will carry on his friend’s legacy.
“And this is possibly the only way that young people and people in the future, 40, 50 years from now will
still have a vivid and emotionally resonant experience of this story that will help them understand why it
motivated us so much in our time and give them an extra spur to be a part of that in the future,” said
He was 26 when his friend, Matt, was killed. They were a part of the small gay community in Casper,
“Matthew Shepard’s death was really the first time that the media and the general public really took a
look at the phenomenon of anti-LGBT hate crimes,” said Marsden.
In the two decades since Shepard’s death, anti-hate crime laws have been passed in his name, and same-sex marriage became legal.
“Every once and a while something happens that touches millions of people,” said Marsden. “And it
draws them in with the power of the story, and unlocks what they might care about, the potential that
they might be able to offer the world.”
The power of Matthew’s story is still unlocking that potential today. Marsden can see it in the people
watching the music on Sunday night.
“It touches me to see that others were affected in the same way I was,” he said. “And that my grief was
no different from anyone else’s. And that someone else’s grief might produce this incredible artistic
legacy that has the power to shape human behavior.”