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Matthew Shepard Laid to Rest

Matthew Shepard laid to rest

After 20 years, Matthew Shepard is laid to rest.

By Jade Sylvan

On October 26th, Matthew Shepard was entombed at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, twenty years after his murder. Many of us remember that Matthew was killed in a well-publicized anti-gay hate crime in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming, and he and his death subsequently became symbols for LGBT freedom. The decades-long pause between Matthew’s death and his burial was due to his parents’ fear that his grave may be desecrated by hate groups. You can read more about the ceremony in the NY Times article.

We offer our witness to this sacred ritual that represents the resting of Matthew’s spirit, as well as the hope of global social healing.

  • May we recognize that the passage of time does not make his murder any less appalling.
  • May we continue to face unflinching the threats of homophobia and queerphobia that are woven into our society so that we may extract them one by one.
  • May Matthew Shepard’s family and friends feel closure and peace as his physical remains find their resting place on earth.
  • May people who identify as LGBTQ+ feel loved and held in community.
  • May we continue to work to make the world safe for every single queer soul.
  • May Matthew’s spirit feel this love as it becomes whatever is next.
  • May it be so!

About the Author

Jade Sylvan

Jade is a 2nd-year Mdiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School, and is currently a UUA Aspirant. Before pursuing their call to ministry, Jade found fulfillment and success as a writer, producer, performing artist, and teacher. Jade is the author of Kissing Oscar Wilde (2013 Write Bloody Publishing)...


For more information contact lgbtq@uua.org.