This Web site recently mentioned a new book by a friend of Elton’s, to be published on the third of September.
Judy Shepard has decided to share her story about her sons death and the choice she made to become an equal rights activist.
The name Matthew Shepard brings to mind a horrific murder as well as the issue of gay rights. But with The Meaning of Matthew, the 21-year-old himself comes to life.
During his short time on earth, Shepard faced many problems, including depression and attention deficit disorder. Yet he cared about people, and was repelled by prejudice of any sort.
The author recalls how unprepared she was for the flood of media requests and well-wishers phoning the hospital after the attack on her son. So it was decided that family and friends would utilise a password to get through.
Unfortunately, one of those attempting to call was Elton, who later ”bought out every flower store in town” in order to decorate the church for Matthew’s memorial.
Judy, who describes how she and her husband formed a foundation in her son’s name, admits to being unsure she ”had a spokeswoman” in her. She also acknowledges how helpful others have been. Among them has been Elton, who made an appearance in Laramie in 1999.
At the benefit concert for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the singer pointed out that Wyoming residents had been wrongfully blamed for the young man’s slaying. He returned in April 2009, and again, Judy says, the experience was overwhelming.