For 18 years, October’s cooler weather and shorter days is a reminder that the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder is fast approaching.
It’s somewhat daunting to pause and reflect – how much I’ve changed. How much America and the world has changed. And how much has not changed at all.
I want what I write to be, in a sense, timeless. Something that somebody reading this 20 years – 100 years – from now could understand – yet I write this in a context of emotions going everywhere.
Matthew Shepard’s murder angers me. Thinking back on how I felt that October day in 1998 when I crawled into my closet on Braeside Drive in Bloomington, Indiana, is a scary. The emotions I felt that weekend, between hearing that a young man was beaten, left for dead, and his death on October 12, 1998, are still palpable in quiet moments. I never want to experience those feelings again.
At the same time, I cannot ignore the broader context around me today: when a bully is running for president of the United States of America. Each time I think that he cannot get any more outrageous and offensive, he manages to out do himself. I spent the weekend pissed off about his comments that reveal how he gets away with treating women.
So I vacillate – on the one hand, I am pissed off about Donald Trump. On the other hand I mourn Matthew Shepard. That is the context surrounding me as I write.
Strangely, I’d rather think about Matthew Shepard – Trump will be in the newspapers whenever I want to get angry.