Virtual Legacys

Matthew Shepard


Matthew Shepard took a major part in the help for gay rights. He was a sweet hearted young man, in college, who just wanted to be excepted for who he was, but not by his sexuality. Matthew’s murder was in fact a hate crime. (Though his murderers claim they were under the influence of alcohol and/ or drugs.) But his murder made more people aware of the hate crimes and the situation that gays are facing. Though sadly, we lost a wonderful person, we gained a little bit of a better chance to improve the way gays are being treated.
After the murder of Matthew a huge national debate about expanding hate crimes legislation. The Matthew Shepard Act (also the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007) was passed in 2007. This act also adds to the United states federal hate crime law. The act explains how the victim has to be involved in a federal protected event before the attack.
Also just the fact that more people realized what so much hate for such a little difference can cause. Many people were disgusted and appalled by what the two men did to Matthew Shepard. Still, there are many people who agree with the actions of Matthew’s murders and don’t want equality for gays. We need to prove to the disagreeing others that we are all people, and just because we’re not exactly the same, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be treated differently. No one should have to result in any violence in order to try and prove what they believe in. Nothing is gained from it. Only lost.
- Sarah Crommett

Elaine Noble


Some do. Others watch it be done. Elaine Noble was one who did. Elaine was the first openly gay supervisor elected to office. Even though she was nervous about what people would think she still went through with being a public figure. She knew that it would be hard but she still stuck to it which is why I think that she is a very important person. She showed gays that it doesn't matter what people think about you. She showed them that they can do anything that they want to. No matter what people say or do to you it still shouldn't effect who you are and what you do. You just need to believe in yourself and be true to who you are. Elaine Nobel might have said that she was nervous at one point in time but she never let it show. She would deal with whatever she needed to, to be in the place that she wanted to be in. She said that she faced people spitting on her on her way to work and she felt like she was never really safe on her way to and from work.
Elaine still went through with everything that she was faced with. She never backed down and never let it get to her. She was an inspiration to many gay people. She showed them that they all mattered in the world and that they all were put on the earth for a reason. She was an inspiration to many which is why I feel that Elaine Nobel was a very important person.
- Marissa Nason


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Robert Kohler

Robert Kohler (also known as Bob Kohler) played a big role in the gay rights movement. He was an activist for over 40 years, he fought for gay rights, transsexual rights, queer youth, and people with HIV/AIDS. Bob never gave up. He was a member of the Division of AIDS Services and Income Support Watch, which is an organization that helps provide housing for HIV-positive homeless people. But when that started to fail to do its job he stood outside the building for 18 months straight. Some people yelled at him and said hurtful things, but he never gave up. He showed gays that there is hope. He let them know to never give up, no matter what comes in your way, weather it's discrimination, hate crimes, or even the government. He didn't care what people thought about him, all that mattered to him was the fact that people should be treated equal, no matter what. He inspired many, young and old.
-Rachel Bickford
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