The True Legacy of Matthew Shepard

It has been almost 15 years since Matthew Shepard was murdered.  I was in high school and I still remember the unnerving awareness that being gay was now linked directly with being a victim. Leaving for school I tensed up at every glance or smirk I saw on my fellow classmates’ faces. When I wanted to take a boy to the prom that year my dad demanded: “Do you want to be the next Matthew Shepard!?”

But all of it was a lie.  The story was a lie.  My fear was based on a lie.  Yet the Matthew Shepard Foundation reports revenue upwards of $900,000 in 2013.  The Facebook page for the NO H8 Campaign posted a remembrance photo stating that the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s mission is to “replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.”   The foundation simply dismisses the evidence provided by gay journalist Stephen Jimenez in his book: The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard as offensive and apparently has merely continued on as if the revelation of truth never existed.

We now know that Matthew Shepard died in a drug deal with his gay lover that cold October night in Wyoming.  We know the drug was crystal meth and we all know the terrible consequences of using that drug.  His death was cruel and unjustified, but it was not a hate crime and it certainly was not a brilliant light shining down upon the ugly realities of a hostile and violent heterosexual population threatening gay people.  Yet why do gays still hold so tightly to this narrative?

The liberal mindset seems to be perfectly comfortable with emotionally gratifying lies as long as they serve a purpose.  The incident emboldened the gay left to push for aggressive hate crime laws, and despite being one of a small handful of gay bashing violence in the entire decade, the story has been continuously used as justification for gay fear of violence.  Even if the story were true -- word for word -- it still illustrates a small and largely absurd scenario for any gay man to find himself in.  Unless you were planning to come onto a couple of young, drunk and hostile straight men in a rural bar in the wee hours to engage in anonymous sex, you really didn’t have much to be worried about.

Yet, as was portrayed in the TV show Queer as Folk, a popular drama depicting gay people living in a heavily populated gay part of Philadelphia, gay bashings are considered commonplace!  The show featured two story arcs surrounding violent attacks on innocent gay men by straight men.  According to Gallup, there may be about 10 to 11 million gay people in the US. The FBI Hate Crimes report for 2011 shows 1,256 hate crimes against gay people in the U.S.  That is about 0.01% of the gay population, roughly one in ten thousand.  A frantic report by Business Insider in 2012 titled: There’s a Disturbing Trend Involving Anti-Gay Hate Crime in the US reports that most anti-gay crimes happen to gay men.  According to the 2010 CDC report titled: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, Sexual Violence by a non-intimate gay man was reported by 40.2% of gay men.  Any violence by an intimate same-sex partner was reported by 26% of gay men. Lesbians reported 43.8% in that same category.   In fact, 28.6% of heterosexual men who reported being sexually assaulted were assaulted by other men.

Where exactly is this vast threat of heterosexual violence against gay people coming from again?  It seems more logical to conclude that that the biggest threat of personal violence a gay man faces comes from other gay men.

Liberal gay groups ignore this information and remain loyal to the narrative of anti-gay hate because it fits their overall bias against Christians and conservatives.  The relatively low danger a gay person actually faces is inconsequential to the looming and never-ending story of gay oppression.  The Matthew Shepard case more accurately demonstrates the statistical information for gay-on-gay violence.  Even the original story implied that the young men convicted to two life terms in prison each were secretly sexually interested and then reacted in “gay panic” resulting in the murder.  Over time it turned into a story of angry straight men targeting an innocent gay man and viciously torturing him until he died, as a way to promote the anti-bullying campaign.  Liberals need an enemy and they refuse to let go.

Personal stories rarely benefit an argument, but it is relevant to report that I was raped by another gay man who intentionally infected me with HIV.  The entire history of violence I have ever personally experienced has come from other gay men in situations that allowed said violence to be easily accessible.  My poor choices put me in danger, not some looming threat needing government-funded outreach programs.  The intentional ignorance by the liberal gay community of the consequences of drugs and dangerous sexual appetites put gay people in danger, not heterosexual Christians quoting Bible verses in church.

The real tragedy of Matthew Shepard is that the true nature of his violent death has never been addressed.  The consequences, however, have been perpetuated ever since by a culture too unwilling to admit its own failures.  While desperately fighting an invisible army, the genuine monsters continue on in the background untouched by hate crime legislation or outreach programs on bullying. While straight people were being lectured on the appropriate ways to feel about and interact with gay people, gay violence, drug abuse and sexual abuse were pushed under the rug and away from the press limelight.  As reported by John Nolte of Breitbart, Hollywood shows us how willing gay liberals are to ignore true abuse.

HIV infections among gay men account for 78% of the total and 63% of new infections in the U.S.  Liberal policies continue to ignore or dismiss this and other unpleasant information as irrelevant, or they blame Christians and conservatives for causing the issues themselves through their “anti-gay” views.  This is also reflected in the way liberal gays approach all areas of social and financial life, as I discussed in a recent article.  President Obama requested $23.2 billion in Domestic HIV/AIDS activities for 2014.  Yet without looking to the source of the problem, no amount of money will help.  Liberal policies continue to fail.

The real motivation, however, can be understood through the words of Aaron Hicklin, writing in The Advocate on the Matthew Shepard book,

“There are valuable reasons for telling certain stories in a certain way at pivotal times, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them once they’ve outlived their usefulness.”

Liberals don’t care about the consequences of their actions as long as it moves their narrative forward.  In the best of motivations they believe if the outcome fits their view of “justice” then the truth is irrelevant.  Unfortunately for most gay people in America, the only people who offer them true justice and freedom are the ones they insist on hating in favor of a fairytale.

Chad Felix Greene (@Chadfelixg), author of Jewish Children’s Books, Non–Fiction and Social Commentary (www.chadfelixgreene.com)

It has been almost 15 years since Matthew Shepard was murdered.  I was in high school and I still remember the unnerving awareness that being gay was now linked directly with being a victim. Leaving for school I tensed up at every glance or smirk I saw on my fellow classmates’ faces. When I wanted to take a boy to the prom that year my dad demanded: “Do you want to be the next Matthew Shepard!?”

But all of it was a lie.  The story was a lie.  My fear was based on a lie.  Yet the Matthew Shepard Foundation reports revenue upwards of $900,000 in 2013.  The Facebook page for the NO H8 Campaign posted a remembrance photo stating that the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s mission is to “replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.”   The foundation simply dismisses the evidence provided by gay journalist Stephen Jimenez in his book: The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard as offensive and apparently has merely continued on as if the revelation of truth never existed.

We now know that Matthew Shepard died in a drug deal with his gay lover that cold October night in Wyoming.  We know the drug was crystal meth and we all know the terrible consequences of using that drug.  His death was cruel and unjustified, but it was not a hate crime and it certainly was not a brilliant light shining down upon the ugly realities of a hostile and violent heterosexual population threatening gay people.  Yet why do gays still hold so tightly to this narrative?

The liberal mindset seems to be perfectly comfortable with emotionally gratifying lies as long as they serve a purpose.  The incident emboldened the gay left to push for aggressive hate crime laws, and despite being one of a small handful of gay bashing violence in the entire decade, the story has been continuously used as justification for gay fear of violence.  Even if the story were true -- word for word -- it still illustrates a small and largely absurd scenario for any gay man to find himself in.  Unless you were planning to come onto a couple of young, drunk and hostile straight men in a rural bar in the wee hours to engage in anonymous sex, you really didn’t have much to be worried about.

Yet, as was portrayed in the TV show Queer as Folk, a popular drama depicting gay people living in a heavily populated gay part of Philadelphia, gay bashings are considered commonplace!  The show featured two story arcs surrounding violent attacks on innocent gay men by straight men.  According to Gallup, there may be about 10 to 11 million gay people in the US. The FBI Hate Crimes report for 2011 shows 1,256 hate crimes against gay people in the U.S.  That is about 0.01% of the gay population, roughly one in ten thousand.  A frantic report by Business Insider in 2012 titled: There’s a Disturbing Trend Involving Anti-Gay Hate Crime in the US reports that most anti-gay crimes happen to gay men.  According to the 2010 CDC report titled: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, Sexual Violence by a non-intimate gay man was reported by 40.2% of gay men.  Any violence by an intimate same-sex partner was reported by 26% of gay men. Lesbians reported 43.8% in that same category.   In fact, 28.6% of heterosexual men who reported being sexually assaulted were assaulted by other men.

Where exactly is this vast threat of heterosexual violence against gay people coming from again?  It seems more logical to conclude that that the biggest threat of personal violence a gay man faces comes from other gay men.

Liberal gay groups ignore this information and remain loyal to the narrative of anti-gay hate because it fits their overall bias against Christians and conservatives.  The relatively low danger a gay person actually faces is inconsequential to the looming and never-ending story of gay oppression.  The Matthew Shepard case more accurately demonstrates the statistical information for gay-on-gay violence.  Even the original story implied that the young men convicted to two life terms in prison each were secretly sexually interested and then reacted in “gay panic” resulting in the murder.  Over time it turned into a story of angry straight men targeting an innocent gay man and viciously torturing him until he died, as a way to promote the anti-bullying campaign.  Liberals need an enemy and they refuse to let go.

Personal stories rarely benefit an argument, but it is relevant to report that I was raped by another gay man who intentionally infected me with HIV.  The entire history of violence I have ever personally experienced has come from other gay men in situations that allowed said violence to be easily accessible.  My poor choices put me in danger, not some looming threat needing government-funded outreach programs.  The intentional ignorance by the liberal gay community of the consequences of drugs and dangerous sexual appetites put gay people in danger, not heterosexual Christians quoting Bible verses in church.

The real tragedy of Matthew Shepard is that the true nature of his violent death has never been addressed.  The consequences, however, have been perpetuated ever since by a culture too unwilling to admit its own failures.  While desperately fighting an invisible army, the genuine monsters continue on in the background untouched by hate crime legislation or outreach programs on bullying. While straight people were being lectured on the appropriate ways to feel about and interact with gay people, gay violence, drug abuse and sexual abuse were pushed under the rug and away from the press limelight.  As reported by John Nolte of Breitbart, Hollywood shows us how willing gay liberals are to ignore true abuse.

HIV infections among gay men account for 78% of the total and 63% of new infections in the U.S.  Liberal policies continue to ignore or dismiss this and other unpleasant information as irrelevant, or they blame Christians and conservatives for causing the issues themselves through their “anti-gay” views.  This is also reflected in the way liberal gays approach all areas of social and financial life, as I discussed in a recent article.  President Obama requested $23.2 billion in Domestic HIV/AIDS activities for 2014.  Yet without looking to the source of the problem, no amount of money will help.  Liberal policies continue to fail.

The real motivation, however, can be understood through the words of Aaron Hicklin, writing in The Advocate on the Matthew Shepard book,

“There are valuable reasons for telling certain stories in a certain way at pivotal times, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them once they’ve outlived their usefulness.”

Liberals don’t care about the consequences of their actions as long as it moves their narrative forward.  In the best of motivations they believe if the outcome fits their view of “justice” then the truth is irrelevant.  Unfortunately for most gay people in America, the only people who offer them true justice and freedom are the ones they insist on hating in favor of a fairytale.

Chad Felix Greene (@Chadfelixg), author of Jewish Children’s Books, Non–Fiction and Social Commentary (www.chadfelixgreene.com)