Sometimes I get to do amazing things as part of my job.
Like meeting the Shepards.
Judy and Dennis Shepard are there with us in Tallinn this week.
While they are here, they will meet with gay activists, do interviews, speak to classes, speak at a showing of The Laramie Project, and even meet with Estonian President Ilves.
In each place, they carry the message of the necessity of tolerance, the dangers of bigotry.
What they have suffered, having their son brutally murdered for being gay, is simply unimaginable.
That they have taken that suffering and turned it into what can only be called their ministry is simply amazing.
I have trouble, 16 years later, talking about my mother's death. I still feel she was taken from me too young.
And I was older when my mother died than their son, Matthew, was when he was murdered. And my mother was not murdered.
The depth of strength they have, to go around the world and tell their story over and over, to start the Matthew Shepard Foundation to fight the battle they fight for LGBT acceptance, to work eleven years for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act at times when it seemed it would never pass, is unfathomable.
I told them last night that I was so sorry for their loss and so amazed at what they have done. And that I wish ever LGBT person could have parents like them.
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