Smithsonian Museum Will Display Matthew Shepard's Belongings

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It's a touching tribute honoring the memory of Matthew Shepard, 20 years after his gruesome death.

Two decades ago, Matthew's story dominated national headlines after he was found beaten and brutally tortured outside Laramie, Wyoming, killed simply because he was gay. Now Shepard's parents are donating several of his belongings, including fair ribbons and his Superman cape, to the Smithsonian Museum.

"The fact that the Smithsonian Museum of American History would want to preserve Matt's possessions and his legacy — both of us being history majors — is an honor beyond belief," said Dennis Shepard, Matthew's father.

In October, 1998, Matthew met two men at a bar in Laramie. They took him in their car and drove him to a prairie, where they robbed and beat him, leaving him tied to a fence. Hours later, Matthew was discovered and cut down. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

His parents have since become advocates for LGBTQ rights and hate crime legislation, starting the Matthew Shepard Foundation in memory of their son.   

"I hope they learn about Matt that he was just like every other child. There's absolutely nothing different about him. He was gay. He wasn't special to anyone except us. We loved him and we miss him," said Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard.

Shepard's remains will be laid to rest at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday.


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