THE ULTIMATE SILENCE
October 12, 1998
Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts,
The impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves,
Then listen close to me ...
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.
~ Shel Silverstein
Seven years ago today, Matthew Shepard was murdered for being homosexual.
What will you do to end the silence?
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I wrote an entry about this last year. While some things have changed about myself and my outlook on life (and I now do know one fairly openly gay person and at least three fairly openly bisexual people) my feelings still stand.
This past year the drama class at my school presented "The Laramie Project". Unfortunately I couldn't be in it, but I did write a news article about the play for my school newspaper, and I went and saw it. I remember a point, right before intermission, where I thought back to this remembrance of him. Let me explain something to you: my outlook on life has always been heavily influence by things I've read and seen. I immerse myself in books and stories, but mostly in characters. I see the world through their eyes, live things I'd never get a chance to otherwise through their experiences, and learn empathy through their differences.
When I was watching my classmates fill the shoes of the Laramie people, when I thought about that picture of Matthew... suddenly that wasn't just an anonymous face I'd never met. Suddenly, it wasn't just some kid... it was Justin -Sunshine- smiling back at me, it was Doyler, hell, it was Draco bloody Malfoy. Most importantly, he was my friend. I... well, I pretty much broke down at this point.
I wish more people had the opportunity to view the world like this. I wish this sort of thing would never happen. I think that we all can do something about it to make sure it doesn't happen again.