Thirteen years ago today, Matthew Shepard's life was taken. His death launched the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender) movement into the spotlight, and 13 years later, still inspires the LGBT community and its supporters to continue the battle against hate. This is an everlasting battle, but because of Matthew's courage, and his family's strength, there is more awareness now than ever before.

Matthew was born in Casper, WY, lived over seas until college, and came back to study in Laramie at the University of Wyoming. He was always a strong advocate for equal rights and acceptance of all people, for which everyone who knew him remembers him. His death shocked not only the people in the community, but people all over the nation. Today, we should remember Matthew Shepard in the same way. We should also try to embody his passion for life, acceptance, and love.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation has been a defining organization for bringing forth awareness about hate crimes and the LGBT struggles. There are many ways to show your support. Check out the website for The Matthew Shepard Foundation to learn more about events, fundraisers, groups and charities. You can donate there, and there are many links to other websites offering further information on hate crimes, LGBT topics, and charities. You can also read more about Matthew Shepard's life, his family, and the goals of the foundation on the website.

Watch "The Matthew Shepard Effect"