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Today is the 13th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old gay college student from Laramie, Wyo., who was brutally beaten into a coma and left to die, propped up on this fence.
Years before the It Gets Better Campaign, the Trevor Project, or anything remotely close to legalized gay marriage, Shepard’s death galvanized the LGBT community—and others—to demand hate-crimes legislation.
(Photo taken from Newsweek’s original story on the beating, in 1998.)