Oct. 12th, 2004
Six years  

October 12, 1998

Six years ago today, Matthew Shepard was murdered for being gay.

What will you do to end the silence?

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This day almost escaped me unnoticed this year, if it hadn't been for bgtothen's entry, it might very well have. That's sad, because as the years pass, I begin to let slip by the memory of how this unspeakable crime truly hit me; determination is all too quickly replaced by complacency.

Last year, I wrote this entry. Several years ago, I created this flash animation that served as sort of a catharsis to deal with the guilt I felt over the silence I spoke about in the above entry. We move on, forgetting what the cost of our silence truly can be not only to ourselves but to others.

When we hide who we are to friends, at work, at school, we deny someone the impact of knowing someone who is gay. We know that impact is meaningful. It forces people to confront their prejudices. It's easy for someone to vote in favor of laws that deny rights to gays when he doesn't see how it impacts someone he knows. This isn't to suggest that everyone should speak out or "come out" if s/he isn't ready, but recognize that there is a cost. A nation that stood shocked at the death of Matthew not so many years ago, is all too ready to outlaw our relationships, judges who stand up for our rights are smeared as "activist judges" by cowardly politicians fanning the flames of bigotry. But in some ways, we are the cowards when we don't stand up to them—and others—and say it's not all right.

I still hide sometimes... but not nearly as much.

when the curtain falls and you're caught on the other side
just trying to keep up with the act, we'll lie in the back of black cars,
with the windows rolled up, joining the procession of emptiness.

if we say these words, it will be too late to take them back.
so we hold our breath and fold our hands.
like paper planes, we're going to crash.

we don't have to be alone—ever again.
there's a riot in the theater, someone's standing in the aisle,
yelling that the murderers are everywhere, and they're lining up,
carving "M" into your side....
i'm disappearing, into the spotlight, i'm on display,
with the butterfly and the scarecrow.
with smiles like picket fences, you tie us all up and leave us outside.
that voice is silent now, the boat has sunk, we're on our own,
but we're not going to run.
Mood: contemplative
Listening to: Thursday - M Shepard
( Post a new comment )
mglboy on October 12th, 2004 - 07:30 pm

for being you.

no more running
no more hiding
just facing forward
and turning to each other for those times when we need strength
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vwjustinvwjustin on October 12th, 2004 - 07:42 pm
Truely a strong occurance that must be remembered... thanks!
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Jaimieobsidian_heart on October 12th, 2004 - 09:23 pm
I seriously love and admire you David.
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The People's Exhibit A: emodavidology on October 12th, 2004 - 09:53 pm
Re: <3
omg your comment has me all teary-eyed now. i <3 u too. i can't wait til char's back in town so we can all hang out. we'll have to make paul come this time.
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Davedavidluc on October 12th, 2004 - 11:40 pm
Thanks for remembering dude. I had the chance to see Judy Shepard speak when she came to UW, probably one of the most moving experiences in my life.
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eviltickles on October 13th, 2004 - 01:19 am
i watched the animation that you made. it made me sad, but in that "don't forget" kind of way... :-/
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Andreworderinchaos on October 13th, 2004 - 11:46 am
Your animation was very moving, as is your concern to maintain the sentiment of that day not for merely tacky reasons as I've seen some others do, but for a genuine belief that good can come out of that awful situation.

I never realised this before, but did you realise the Bali bombing, which killed 88 Australians and 114 others, happened on the same date in 2002? Ironic in a way that bigotry and prejudice can find the same expression (murder) on the same calendar day.
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beachboytybeachboyty on October 14th, 2004 - 10:56 am
Not for the 10th or even 20th time since discovering your journal last year do I find myself somewhat sad that destiny has not as of yet seen fit to make you a part of my circle of meaningful friendships. You are a gem of a rare find...especially in this town.

Thanks, yet again, for a very memorable entry.

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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on October 17th, 2004 - 01:29 am
thanks... that means a lot.
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