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What is possible

The Laramie Project at Richmond Triangle Players at the Robert B. Moss Theatre is a beautiful piece of theatre, masterfully presented by artists and technicians of the highest caliber. Congratulations to all involved in bringing this piece to our community. Please make time to see this show.

It has been 20 years since the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard. We have come so far in many ways and in others we have not progressed, and in a few ways it feels as if we are moving backward. It appears that overall the people of Laramie were changed for the better in the aftermath of this horrific act. I wish there was a way to learn these lessons of acceptance and humanity without brutality. No one deserves to suffer the way that child did.

Also, I’m not sure how much things really changed in real ways for LGBTQ+ folks in Wyoming - not sure there was lots of local policy to protect their rights and dignity to “Live and Let Live” as it was so often stated in the piece. I know there wasn’t in the immediate aftermath but I’m not sure what things look like today.

Of course there are always those who dig in and resist giving basic rights and dignity to those they see as different or possessing different values, even following a senseless and disgusting act of violence like what happened to Matthew. What I truly wish we could make people understand is that it is impossible to stop progress. Eventually progress wins. It’s slow and painful. It ebbs and flows. But it does eventually win. How many people have to die or be forever traumatized before humanity understands it can’t be stopped?

What would happen if those fighting so hard to stop it took their seat at the table and tried to find ways for all people to share the world? Share means equal not what has historically been the case which is the straight, white majority takes the whole pie and then pats itself on the back for allowing the others to share a slice and fight for crumbs. All the while lamenting the flaws and clear inferiority of “those people” which justifies their unfair control and completes the endless cycle of inequity, underrepresentation, and uneven power.

In the past two days, the JCC of Northern Virginia was covered in Swastikas, the Supreme Court was marred for the foreseeable future, and for certain many other miscarriages of Justice and acts of hate were perpetrated. But Laquan McDonald’s murderer was brought to justice after years of trying to cover it up; the Nobel prize was awarded to two people fighting for wartime sexual assault survivors and finally giving a voice to those (mostly) women whose bodies have been used and broken since the beginning of time. And last night I saw a beautiful play that was created from the most unimaginable tragedy. I am hopeful, though vigilant, that we will continue to progress as we continue to raise our voices in protest.

Good must come from the destruction otherwise it was for nothing. Good being - full rights for all people. It is possible. I am not willing to accept that mamas lose their babies, or that anyone loses their dignity, liberty, humanity, and sovereignty over their own bodies for nothing.

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