the laramie project is a play about laramie, wyoming coming to terms with the tragic death of Matthew Sheppard. the cast did a really, really good job, and i think that this is a play that needs to be done more - and in more places. it raises issues that need to be seen - and in a clear light. i like the fact that it does not tell the story from one point of view, but rather, from many points of view. i think that it was a really good thing - because it let the audience see that the city had both homophobic people, and those who weren't.
after tonights performance there was, what was called, a "rep-rap." basically, it was a moderated discussion between a moderator (duh), the cast, and any members of the audience who cared to stay for it. it was really interesting, but i really felt like i should speak up in a couple of places, but being me, i kept my mouth shut because my roomie was there, as were several people who i have not come out to yet, so i am going to say my opinions now.
in the play, and in real life Laramie, Wyoming, there was and is a man who held the first vigil for Matt Sheppard. He happens to be a Catholic priest. And it is his opinion that hate doesn't start with the hate crime. it starts with the hate itself - and the homophobic language, and the way we are taught to perceive people who are gay - or different from us in one way or another. he says that it begins with the words "faggot" or "dyke" being acceptable labels.
well...i think that it goes much further than that. i think that it stems back to what we were taught, when we were taught it, and even more, where we taught it. i went to christian school. i was taught, for most of my life, that being different of any type is not okay. the christian school that i went to for middle school, and maybe this is all of them, had a serious chip on it's shoulder about difference. i was never told, specifically, to hate others - i was told to love everyone. but the undertext was always that being anything other than a perfect Christian was wrong. the subtext was always that it is better to hate anyone different because, underneath it all they are wrong, and bad. they need to find Christ.
that Catholic priest was right. our culture has taught us to hate. but, at the same time, so have our religions. why can't there be more people like that priest? why does it have to be such a big deal? gay/straight/bisexual - we're all just people.
anyway.....to get off my high horse....i just have to say that it's an interesting journey - to try and stop all of these prefabricated ideas about my life. i have to step down and realize that i am not perfect. i have flaws too - and one of them is being a closed-minded Christian.
and i still have a long way to go.