10/18/2015 08:41 am ET

Here's How Matthew Shepard's Tragic Death Changed U.S. Politics

Matthew Shepard was a "Jesus Christ figure," activist David Drake said.

This past week marked the 17-year anniversary since Matthew Shepard was targeted and brutally killed for being gay in Wyoming, on Oct. 12, 1998. As HuffPost Live continues its coverage of all things queer for October's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history month, USC gender studies professor Chris Freeman and activist David Drake explain how his death woke up the nation to the necessity of protecting the community. Check it out in the video above. 

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