Matthew, in his own words:” “Matthew Boger was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Northern California. As a young boy, and having no formal education beyond the 7th grade, he was disowned and thrown out of his family home by his mother, after sharing the news that he was gay.
Forced to live on the streets of West Hollywood. One night at the age of 14 I was brutally beaten and left for dead in an alley by 10-12 skin heads. I never could understand how a kid my age could be hated so much that my life was insignificant to so many.
I am glad I survived and was able to grow up and see another side.
After years of living on the streets of Los Angeles as one of many homeless teens, I came in contact with a compassionate young man who offered me a way off the streets and a home for the first time in 4 years. I worked in fast-food restaurants and retail stores, saving my money to attend a trade beauty school in 1987 where I learned to be a hair colorist specialist.
From 1990 to 2005, I forged a successful career as one of Beverly Hills’ premiere colorists, quickly acquiring a celebrity clientele including Sharon Stone, Liv Tyler, Nicole Kidman, and Michael Douglas.
Horrified and compelled by the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a student at the University of Wyoming that was tortured and murdered in 1998, I began volunteering at LA’s Museum of Tolerance, which opened in 1993.
It was a way for me to use my voice to speak out against hate for all those who no longer have a voice.
In early 2005, I made a life-changing decision to leave a high-profile career in the world of celebrities to become the Museum of Tolerance’s Manager of Operations.
It was an easy choice. It seemed to be the right one at this time in my life and with no formal education beyond the 7th grade it was also one of my proudest moments.
It was at the museum that I connected with another inspiring man. A former white Supremist who left the movement and dedicated his life to helping others. A few months into our working side by side we realized we had met before…In an alley in West Hollywood when I was 14 years old. He was one of the ten skinheads who had so brutally beaten me. Today we share a friendship and a program called Hate 2 Hope. My goal is to give a voive to all those who have been silenced so one day this will never happen to another young gay teen or gay man.”