The increasing vocalization by both supporters and opponents of homosexual rights has launched the topic into the spotlight, reenergizing a vibrant discussion that personally affects millions of Americans and which will determine the direction in which U.S. national policy will develop. This essay serves as a continuation of this discussion, using the Matthew Shepherd Hate crime, which occurred in October of 1998, as a focal point around which a detailed analysis of homophobia and masculinity in American culture will emerge.

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