Education

Free film about Matthew Shepard on Friday at Mesa Verde High

Matthew Shepard’s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard have toured the world fighting for equal rights for gay and transgender people.
Matthew Shepard’s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard have toured the world fighting for equal rights for gay and transgender people. lsterling@sacbee.com

A free showing of a documentary about Matthew Shepard, who has in death become emblematic of the battle against hate crime, will occur Friday at Mesa Verde High School.

In addition, Shepard’s parents will take part in a question-and-answer session after the viewing of “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.” The event takes place 4-5:30 p.m. Friday in the small gym at the high school, 7501 Carriage Dr, Citrus Heights.

The event is open to the public. Those who want to attend are asked to sign up at eventbrite.com. .

Dennis and Judy Shepard set up the Mathew Shepard Foundation after the killing of their son on Oct. 7, 1998. Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay student at the University of Wyoming, was attacked and tied to a fence in a field outside of Laramie, Wyo.

Five days later he died in a hospital. Two Wyoming men are serving life sentences for the slaying, during which Shepard was pistol-whipped. Shepard’s death sparked outrage and greater awareness of hate crime against gays.

Los Angeles filmmaker Michele Josue’s documentary “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” focuses on the caring, fun nature of Shepard.

The film features home-video footage of Shepard as a youngster and remembrances from family and friends, including Josue, who attended a Swiss boarding school with Shepard.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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