That's Not a Scarecrow

A brutal assault in Wyoming and a rise in gay bashing fuel the debate over sexual orientation

Matthew Shepard was not openly gay. He was just himself. If people asked and he felt comfortable in their presence, he'd say, "I'm gay." There was no flaunting it. After all, he was a freshman at the University of Wyoming in the Cowboy State, a campus where real men were supposed to love football and all-night parties. Shepard, barely 5-ft. 2-in. tall and on a good day 105 lbs., preferred political debate and languages (German and Arabic) to the stereotypical masculine pursuits of his father's alma mater. Shepard said his jaw was recently broken by a man in a Cody, Wyo.,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!