Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Look at the face of this young man. Look at the beauty in his eyes, the joy in his smile..... look at this young man and understand that he was killed because he was gay.

Look at this young man and call or write your senators.... tell them to pass the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill.


Elke Parker knew her son was special. But it wasn't until his death did she find out the extent of his talents.

"I am. I am who I am. I am the person you see. I would not change who I am for anybody," she read from part of Sean's writing called "I am."

There was another poem she found in Sean's things called "Grin."

"I stand tall with all of my pride. You hate. You discriminate all who are not like you. Yes, your words do hurt. But I stand in the end. I'm a strong person, bigger than you... I'll be standing there with a grin."

"I didn't know I had a poet," Elke said.

What she did know what that her son was handsome, talented, fun-loving and different.

"When Sean told me he was gay, he said mom, I understand if you don't want to love me anymore. I told him there is nothing, ever, that you can do to make me stop loving him," she said.

Sean was her third child, the baby of the family, and Elke says every one was behind him. They wanted him to be what he felt inside.

"I never thought that who sean was, is what would take his life," Elke said.

"You never think to talk to your son about do you want to be cremated or do you want to be buried?" Elke said.

The last week has pushed this mother, to almost break.

"I can't believe how much hate there is in this world," she said. Because she says her son was so much more than just a gay man.

"He was a leader. He was a friend. He was just a giver. No matter what you needed, you didn't even have to ask."

And it was the giving heart that packed Sean's funeral with almost 700 people. Then there were the ones who couldn't make the service.

"On his Myspace we had over 50,000 hits within two days, with messages from people. We knew Sean, we loved Sean, he did this for me, this is how he helped me."

A bit of comfort to his mother.

"I am proud that I was his mom. No. I am proud that I am his mom, not was."

Pride that will not let her son's spirit fade. So Elke will be pushing for a hate crime bill in South Carolina in Sean's memory.

"It may not help Sean today, but I want it to help future victims that they can be assured that there is justice."

Justice for Sean.

"If your son or daughter is different, you need to support them for who they really need to be," Elke said.

And who Sean was lives on in his infectious smile.

"This young man made such an impact on people's lives. He died way too soon, but, he will be remembered," Elke said.

The family believes it was hate behind the blows thrown outside Brew's.

Federal and local law enforcement agents are still trying to figure out if 18-year-old Steven Andrew Moller will be charged with a hate crime in the death.

He has already been charged with murder.

NOTE: I wrote about Sean Kennedy's murder on May 19, 2007. I did not have the photographs or his mother's comments at that time. I want this young man's murder to have an impact..... the HATE must stop!

I've brought the original post forward. It's directly below this post.


ConnieJane said...

What a shameful waste... and for what? Hopefully Sean's murderer will be charged with the hate crime this is. I just don't understand this kind of hate. Thanks Don.

Nancy said...

Don, there aren't to many of us who get what today really means. I will spend the day remembering all of my family, friends and others in my like who have passed. I try to remember the fun times and forgive and try to forget the bad and the ugly.
We all grieve differently, but to make today a Bid Celebration is WRONG. I like to respect this day. I'll spend it my family, no party's.
What a handsome young man... When a young life is cut just plain tragic.
Peace and know I'm thinking of you and yours

leone said...

Very few things bring a tear to my eye with what goes on in the world nowadays (I think we become de-sensitised) but that has.

Just sickening and very sad for him and family.

BostonPobble said...

Thank you for putting Sean's face wih his name. Too many people can ignore words. It's tough to ignore that smile.

RIC said...

How immense the diffrences are between the expressions of those two faces...
Before being a blogger I hadn't quite the idea this kind of crimes were somehow current in the USA...
It's a shame indeed!...

Michael in Norfolk said...


What a beautiful post and memorial to Sean. It sickens me that so many people would rather hate than understand or just simply leave others alone. Intolerance is at the root of most of the problems in the world today. Too bad those who claim to honor God, Allah or whatever other name may apply are usually the worse offenders.

"T" said...

This is a shame. Horrible.

One wish would be for some tolerance in this day and age.

Not everyone is going to live in total agreement with everyone else in this world.

Not on politics, religion, how to raise children or even how our tax money is spent.

There are so many issues.

And really, when something like this happens it hurts everyone.