New Documentary “Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine” Introduced By The Writer, Director Of “Boys Don’t Cry”

Kimberly Peirce, the writer, director of “Boys Don’t Cry,” the 1999 film based on the true story of transgendered teen Brandon Teena, taped this thoughtful introduction for tonight’s Los Angeles premier of “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.”

1. “Boys Don’t Cry” came out in 1999. It was written and directed by Kimberly Peirce, a female filmmaker in a male dominated industry.

Hilary Swank won best actress for playing a girl who lived like a boy and liked girls.

2. Kimberly Peirce introduced “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” at the Los Angeles premier, sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves.

3. “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” is a new documentary about losing a friend to hate.


4. Here is Matt with his friend Zeina. This is back in the 90s, before camera phones, facebook, and gay marriage.

5. In October of 1998, Matt Shepard was brutally beaten and then left to die in a field. Why? Because he was gay.

Laramie, Wyoming

6. The killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, justified what they’d done, claiming “Gay Panic” — the uncontrollable rage one man feels when he thinks that another man is coming on to him.


7. This was the 90s, so to many, this sounded reasonable. Maybe this still sounds reasonable to some.

8. 15 years pass. Matt’s friends have grown up. Now they want you to know Matt. In this new documentary, his friends visit where their friend was murdered.

Laramie, Wyoming.

9. Here is a recent pic of Zeina with Matt’s Mom, Judy Shepard, and Matt’s good friend, Michele Josue, the writer and director of “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.”

10. Here is Kimberly Peirce talking about how she first heard the name, Matt Shepard, while going into production of “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Video available at:

This taped introduction will play tonight at the Los Angeles premier, sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves, a non-profit that combats racism, antisemitism, and prejudice and nurtures democracy through education programs worldwide.

11. This movie tells the Matthew Shepard story from the point of view of the people who knew him best—his friends.

12. In 2013 “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” comes out.

Video available at:

Find a screening of it

13. History.

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