The Laramie Project is a play that depicts the life of Matthew Shepard, who was tied to a fence post, beaten, and left for dead in Laramie, Wyoming because he was gay. He died three days after the brutal beating. The show was put together by a team that traveled to the town of Laramie so that the same fate might not happen to others. To find out more about Matthew Shepard, click here.
Tyler Civic Theatre recently said that they were going to produce this show, and rehearsals have already begun. The show is being funded by Tyler Area Gays. In the past couple of weeks, people have gone to the board of TCTC, and told them that they would prefer that the show not be done because it would promote the "gay agenda." This is the letter that I wrote to TCTC in response:
To Whom It May Concern,
I understand that The Laramie Project is going to be performed at Tyler Civic Theatre in June. This is a great opportunity not only for the performers to be able to play such difficult and stretching roles, but also for the people who choose to come. They will be educated as to the effects that prejudice has had on many people, including myself. Having seen the show in the past, I must say that it had a profound impact on my life and the way that I think about the people around me.
The show is not just a play; it is the story of a young man who was killed because of the type of person that he was. He was killed because of hate, and also because of fear. People fear what they do not understand, and pulling the plug on the show would be allowing prejudice and hate to continue.
I urge you to stand up for the young man who was helpless, who was beaten, and who was left for dead. Stopping the production of this show is agreeing with Matthew Shepard’s killers. They too thought his life meant nothing.
If TCTC’s mission truly is to educate and to enrich through theatre, then this show is the perfect way to do that, and I hope that no hate or fear will stop it. Thank you for your time, and I hope that open minds will prevail.
If you would also like to write them a letter, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org