ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

the laramie project

I went to a production of The Laramie Project with my mom and Aileen tonight. It was a pretty powerful show, played by members of the JH community reading from scripts. No fancy set, no big dramatics, just a retelling of the story from a variety of points of view, and it was, I think, better as a result of all of that. I could see an attempt being made to dress it up and turn it into a drama, but as it was, I think, the whole story was crystal clear, while simultaneously leaving a lot of room for a multiplicity of interpretations.

I learned a few things, too, about the events surrounding Matthew Shepard's murder, one of the most interesting of which was that the doctor who initially treated him had, moments before, been treating one of his assailants (he didn't learn that until later). The doctor reflected on the challenge of that, commenting that he had felt the sadness of the situation for both boys, whose bodies he had treated, and both of them just kids, and extended that into wondering if that's how God feels, looking down at us, when we do each other harm. A vast sadness and a feeling of how we're just kids.

The other thing that struck me was a comment from a UWyo student in response to a vigil leader's comment that they should "show everyone that Laramie isn't a town where these things happen," and her feeling that it was too late for that; they were already in a town that had proven itself a place where such things happen. And not only a town, but a state, a country.

I'm glad to have seen this show in Wyoming, where, in the post-show discussion with Judy Shepard and some of the actors, people talked about their difficulties being queer as kids in Jackson or other Wyoming towns, and where it felt a bit like a clear-eyed self-criticism. On the other hand, it also meant hearing some less sophisticated ideas about homosexuality ("Can't we just teach kids that it's not a choice? Who would choose such a thing?") in a forum that wasn't particularly geared for full-on discussion.

And, at the end, Aileen and I got interviewed by a reporter for the NAG. It'll be interesting to see if we get quoted :)

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