The New Gay Struggle

THE WYOMING LYNCHING IS ENRAGING, BUT IT HIDES A DEEPER TRUTH. GAY LIFE, AND GAY POLITICS, HAS CHANGED

What people mean when they say Matthew Shepard's murder was a lynching is that he was killed to make a point. When he was 21 years old, the world's arguments reached him with deadly force and printed their worst conclusions across him. So he was stretched along a Wyoming fence not just as a dying young man but as a signpost. "When push comes to shove," it says, "this is what we have in mind for gays."

Three days after Shepard died, a crowd of around 5,000 gathered in the night on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, in a...

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!