June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
I read The Laramie Project five years ago. The play was written about Matthew Shepard, a young gay man whose murder in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming drew national attention and led to efforts to address American intolerance toward gay and lesbian people. Moises Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project, a New York theater company, traveled to Laramie to interview members of the small town over the year following Matthew’s death. The play uses the words of Laramie’s citizens to show the aftermath of the hate crime in all its complexity, as people try to understand what happened and why. It is one of the most powerful things I have read to this day.
Portland, TX is likely grappling with similar questions, after two young women in a relationship were shot and left to die in a park there. One of the teens, Mollie Judith Olgin, has died, and the other, Mary Christine Chapa, is in “serious but stable” condition in the hospital. No one has been connected to the attack, but it does not seem to be a random event. Although police have not yet identified this as a hate crime, the girls’ relationship will remain a factor in the investigation as it moves forward.