The city of Laramie, Wyoming is small and quaint. Everyone either knows everybody, knows the business of everybody, or are some how related. It is a town where few LGBT people reside and the closest gay bar is in another state. I believe the town itself was a preferable environment for the incident because the motto or the typical saying from the people there is “live and let live.” In other words, what happens happens and let people be who they want to be. However, that could be understood as let a gay person be gay or a murderer be a murderer because that is their nature; they were born that way. (Thank you lady gaga!) Another reason is the fact that the town is very isolated from the rest of the United States. In the late 1990s, there were barely any laws passed for gay rights and not as many out-of-the-closet people. If the city was used to LGBT people around, I do not think this attack would have been as brutal or even occur based on “gay panic.”
One of the reasons I enjoyed the book version of the play is the format. It is unusual and light. In the Author’s Notes section of the book, Moisés Kaufman explains that the book was written in moment work, the scenes are just snapshots of moments. I think the book was written in such away in order to reveal the point of views of the incident from many citizens of Laramie. The feelings and perceptions of these characters in different moments are glass pieces that fit together to create a large mosaic. Sadly, the mosaic is about the death of a young gay boy named Matthew Shepard.
I read an article on the incident itself. Yesterday the Matthew Shepard Foundation slammed a new book, by Stephen Jimenez, which challenges the fact that McKinney and Russell attacked Matthew because he was gay. Jimenez wrote that McKinney was used to homosexuals and having intercourse with them. Also, Jimenez says that McKinney wanted to rob Matthew because he looked like he had money and easy to take advantage. In his opinion, the homosexual advocates exaggerated the entire story to push hate crime legislation. I am surprised that a gay person would write such things, but then again, everyone is not the same. I do not know what to believe in terms of McKinney’s feelings about homosexuals when in the Laramie Project he does not like gay people who try to hit on him. I am very upset that this event even occurred, but I do not think it needed as much media attention. Other people died around that time but the story everyone wanted was Matthew’s. Then again, why did it take 10-11 years for legislation to be passed to protect the rights of LGBTs?
Mendell, Sean. “Onswipe.” Onswipe. Towleroad, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 01 Oct. 2013.