October 2016


18 Years: Matthew Shepard

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.

For historical reference, see 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, or any of the many times he’s been mentioned on my blog via a search for Matthew Shepard.

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