The 1998 murder of 21-year-old college freshman Matthew Shepard brought home to many Americans the issue of homophobia and hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Eventually, it led to legislation at the federal level against people who commit hate crimes. But homophobia, the fear and hatred of gay people, has a long history, and despite many advances by the LGBT community, homophobia continues in our own society and around the world. Learn about the ways homophobia oppresses LGBT people, their fight for civil rights, and why an end to prejudice against gay people is important for all Americans. Examine how you yourself might be homophobic. And finally, explore the ways young people—straight and gay—can work together toward mutual understanding, respect, and a better future for all of us by ending homophobia.