On a cold October night fifteen years ago, you closed your eyes for the last time upon a world that I can only imagine, must have seemed so very dark and hateful. I have no way of knowing what was in your heart and mind that night, and I wouldn't blame you if you had despaired for humanity. We all did, in the days that followed.
Matthew, I came home today to see my favorite TV show, Rachel Maddow, conducting the first live broadcast of a same-sex wedding in California on national TV between two young and such very brave men.
Matthew, it got better. It got so very much better...
There are no words to describe the deep grief I felt in the days that followed your death, as the news trickled to the wider world. But, although I didn't know it at the time, it would be the moment that would galvanize and shame a country into action, into reflection. You had such an impact on us, Matthew... You were on TV, you were on the West Wing, you were on a bill that finally got written to say, "no we will not let this hatred go without punishment again." You did so much, Matthew, you did so much good! You wrung our hearts and those hateful people, those hateful people who blindly parrot a tired old book, even they could not speak out in hate.
It got so much better, Matthew. You could have gotten married today. You might have been renting a tux, writing your vows and buying flowers as I write this. It's late here on the West Coast, and I imagine, and hope, a great many men and women doing just that, at this late hour .
You would have been so proud of us today, Matthew.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you did for us. You started a little stream which became a river that's on its way to joining the ocean...I hope it won't be too long before I get to write to you when that happens.
I'm closing my eyes tonight on a better world. Good night, all.