Always Matt is Lesléa Newman’s poignant tribute to the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, published to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

In 1998, Lesléa Newman was the keynote speaker for Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming and arrived on campus the day that Matt Shepard died. Her book October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard explores the hate crime that claimed Matt’s life. Her new book, Always Matt: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard, explores his life and legacy, and highlights some of the people who have taken action in Matt’s memory to make the world a better place.

Told as a poetic narrative, this book is fully illustrated by Brian Britigan and includes a foreword by Jason Collins, the first openly gay active basketball player in the NBA, who chose the number “98” to wear on his uniform in honor of Matthew Shepard. The book concludes with an essay highlighting those who have taken action in Matt’s memory including Moisés Kaufman, creator of “The Laramie Project”, Michele Josue, creator of “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine”, and President Barack Obama who signed into law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Always Matt Resources

To learn more about Lesléa Newman and to purchase her works, visit

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