Seventeen years after his tragic death, Matthew Shepard continues to serve as a symbol of the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth across the country, inspiring films, plays and books.
Now, a new documentary is taking a no-holds-barred look at the young man and the enduring impact his too-short life continues to have on the global fight against bullying. “Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine,” which is directed by Michele Josue, features interviews with some of Shepard’s closest friends, family members and confidantes. The film uses the slain University of Wyoming student’s personal journal entries to give viewers insight into his life.
“I’m here because I’m depressed and confused,” Shepard writes in one entry, as seen in the clip above. “I hope to be un-depressed. I have learned that failure is not always bad, and that it is necessary. I want to go to college and succeed, I want my life to be happy.”
In a separate segment, Shepard’s father, Dennis, recalls the moment his son first came out as gay to him.
“I think he thought I’d start yelling and screaming and fall over in a faint, but it didn’t matter, he was still my son,” Dennis says. “Matt is my son; he always will be.”
“Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine” airs July 27 on Logo. Head here for more details