Judy Shepard

Mother’s Day is next Sunday, so this week on “Now I’ve Heard Everything we’re featuring interviews with and about mothers.

Matthew Shepard

Today, a loving and devoted mother who suffered a devastating and very public loss.

On October 6, 1998, a 22-year-old gay University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tortured, and died six days later.

Two other young men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were later arrested, tried, and convicted in Matthew Shepard’s death.

After her son’s murder, Judy Shepard took on a new role as advocate for the LGBT community.

She created the Matthew Shepard Foundation and lobbied for anti-hate crime legislation.

I met Judy Shepard some 11 years after her son’s death, when she wrote a book about him. So here now, from 2009, Judy Shepard.

Less than a month after our interview, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama a few days later.

George Takei

Happy birthday to George Takei, who today is 83.

George Takei
Photo: Gage Skidmore

Many of us remember him best as Helmsman Sulu on the original “Star Trek” TV series, or perhaps as an author or activist or wildly popular and widely quoted and retweeted internet commentator.

George Takei was just four years old when the Japanese empire attacked Pearl Harbor and plunged America into World War Two.

The U.S. government ordered Japanese-Americans into internment camps, and the Takei family of California was among those taken into custody.

I met George Takei in the fall of 1994, when he published his autobiography.

Here now, from 1994, George Takei:

George Takei today is a strong advocate for LGBT rights and is ver politically active. And he has over 10-million followers on Facebook