In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is Laramie a Project?

Last night, Richard and I were fortunate enough to go and see The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. It is a "sequel" of sorts to The Laramie Project. The original project involved the Tectonic Theater Company visiting Laramie, WY four weeks after the brutal kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepherd. Matthew was 21 at the time. His birth date was four days before mine.

In Ten Years Later, the same company went back to try to see what sort of impact has lingered within the community. On one hand, what they found was not all that shocking. The reactions ranged from people still struggling and fighting, to people who wanted to "move on", to those who had no idea who Matthew Shepherd was.

There were definite moments where the audience gasped at what someone said. Some moments of nervous laughter. Some really sad moments. This production includes interviews with the two men who kidnapped and killed Matthew Shepherd.

One of the sentiments that has been really common in the Laramie Project was that this could really have been any town. In fact, just before writing this, I read a story about a man in New York City who was beaten simply for being out. One character in the story stated that we have had a lot of movement, but not a lot of progress. I think I tend to agree.

The problem is that there is always something more important for our top administration and our leaders to be working on. Even I admit that. However, a hate crimes bill, an employee non-discrimination bill, the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage don't seem like big things...WHEN THEY ARE TAKEN INDIVIDUALLY. Together, this is huge, but we need to focus on one thing at a time. Chipping away from the legal barriers that force us to discriminate.

However, I also know that just changing laws isn't going to make society any more tolerant. A hate-crimes law doesn't stop someone from beating someone else up. We need to continue to reach out, organize, tell our stories, and come out. Until we do, we let others continue the discrimination.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home