The is a article on the AP wire this morning about Aaron McKInney, one of the young men convicted of killing Matthew Shepard. It focuses on interviews with him that are part of the new Laramie Project 10 years later: An Epilogue, that will be performed in over 150 theaters on October 12, 2009.
(Full disclosure: I am on the board of Tectonic Theater and worked on this piece with a journalist I respect a great deal, David Crary. The headline is that Aaron has no remorse for killing Matt and also some disparaging things to say about Judy Shepard, both of which anger and sadden me. How do we create Aaron McKinneys in our society? Here's the piece, you be the judge.)
Matthew Shepard's murder has been with me from morning of October 6, the morning they found him and my phone and email was inundated. I have written, spoken and presented innumerable times about Matt's death, and I often am amazed that his story still garners the interest it does. It was certainly not an isolated incident, as any ant-violence advocate will tell you.
I have written on Bilerico before about this issue, so in this post I want to ask everyone who reads this to try and attend a performance of the Epilogue of the Laramie Project. There are productions in every state (multiple in some states) and many are free or low cost. You can find a local production at www.laramieproject.org and read more about this amazing project and the theatrical history that will be made to honor Matt and the meaning his story has taken on in this country (and beyond).
You will be surprised at what you see - the impact on Laramie, the challenges the town faced and still faces, how history can be rewritten by so many people willing to discard the real facts for their own comfort. You will also get the facts - the irrefutable facts. And you will hear the voices of real people telling their stories. As the Federal Theater Project did during the great Depression, this evening will create a nation - actually world - wide experience. I hope you join us.