Let’s all honor his life. His parents said it all. We are all Matthew Shepard.
Aired April 8, 2014 on ieTV, Trinidad.
Wow. Thanks to Apolo DAzhero on Google + for pointing this out to me. You need to watch this.
Moisés Kaufman and members of New York’s Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard’s visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of “Angels in America” a year after Shephard’s death.
December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998
The horrific events that took place shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998 went against everything that Matt embodied. Two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, led him to a remote area east of Laramie, Wyoming. He was tied to a split-rail fence where the two men severely assaulted him. He was beaten and left to die in the cold of the night. Almost 18 hours later, he was found by a bicyclist who initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Matt died on October 12 at 12:53 a.m. at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado with his family by his side. His memorial service was attended by friends and family from around the world and garnered immense media attention that brought Matt’s story to the forefront of the fight against bigotry and hate. The life and death of Matthew Shepard changed the way we talk about, and deal with, hate in America. Since his death, Matt’s legacy has challenged and inspired millions of individuals to erase hate in all its forms. Although Matt’s life was short, his story continues to have a great impact on young and old alike. His legacy lives on in thousands of people like you who actively fight to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.
To all those lost to disease and hatred and to the hope for a better tomorrow.
I hereby vow that once I finish the content for this Fodor’s iPhone app and even before I see the end of this working non-stop thing ( 12 days and counting) I will upload a blog entry. I think the problem , other than the fact I am working at the station every day, is that I sort of vent sufficiently on Twitter and Facebook not to mention expressing myself on camera.
I will say that thanks to @mudlarklives on Twitter I was angry all day reading about a 13 year old boy who ended his life thanks to bullying. The headline says a lot – click on it and then come back.
I am reaching the point in my life that I have no tolerance for groups that condone hate. That is not even true. I am at the point that I will no longer tolerate such groups and I will now actively engage them in person, on Twitter or any other site they go on. There are too many kids that could be celebrating their difference and living wonderful lives that are dying as a result of ignorance and religious stupidity. I am not religious but if the message in Christianity that you absorb is not one of love and not judging but rather one of hatred – you have issues that need psychiatric intervention.
We have also had the issue in the Caribbean of Jamaican performer and inveterate homophobe Buju Banton having a cocaine matter in the US courts. Some commenting wags have suggested that he is being framed by some gay conspiracy . Perhaps they haven’t noticed that if the gay lobby were such a powerful group in Florida they might have made it a more friendly state in terms of equality. The performer is now awaiting a second trial because of a hung jury. I would suggest that were he in Canada he would be serving time already for hate crimes.
I have heard from some here in the Caribbean that homophobia is part of the culture and that one must be patient and work towards tolerance. I respectfully suggest that if someone said they “tolerate” black people they would be executed at dawn. One should either accept difference or simply say they hate. To me tolerance is what you do when you put up with a bad smell or an annoying habit. If it is part of Caribbean culture to tell a significant part of its population that it is morally repugnant and doesn’t count then the Caribbean is ignorant and needs to get educated quickly. I find it ironic that religion leads a formerly oppressed group to oppress another. And that is my problem. This is the last stand of accepted bigotry. If they are waiting for a genetic explanation for homosexuality it will still not help because last time I checked race was genetic too.
I didn’t mean for this to be more than a sentence or two promise to blog but the death of poor 13 year old Asher Brown because of bigotry and hatred makes me angry. Very angry. Like Matthew Shepard it cannot be allowed to be a death in vain.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls…
And this is the solution
P.S. I wrote this in a moment of tremendous anger and hurt and it may be flawed but I am deliberately not taking it down or changing it. Anger and hurt have validity .