Matthew's Story

November 25, 2008
By Stephanie Schnabel, Springfield, NJ

We’re knocking holes in the darkness
of inequality and hate,
orientation, prejudice, and bigotry
there’s no time to debate.
Everyone has the choice
of what is moral and what is right,
simply by choosing not to act,
can’t bring the dream to light.
The real dream of tolerance,
acceptance with it too,
takes time; it wont be sudden
seeing it slowly coming true.
Because of one event that caused
to spin the world’s attention
to a little town out west,
on something that caused tension.

A boy was murdered for who he was
trying to make his way,
in a close-minded generation
where it’s bad to be gay.

Two guys treated him like laundry,
and left him out to dry,
alone in the Wyoming wilderness
where they left and hoped he’d die.

The boy is Matthew Shepard
with his parents back on the farm
not knowing of their son’s tragedy,
‘nor of the two that did him harm.

As this event was happening
the whole world watched along,
they witnessed the pain and sorrow
results of the two who did much wrong.

But now the times are changing,
good overpowering hate
the dream slowly coming alive
there’s no room to debate.

The author's comments:
Last year my school put on "The Laramie Project" as its fall drama. Because of the show, I was inspired to write this poem.

For those of you who don't know, "The Laramie Project" is a play based off of real interviews from the real people who live in and around Laramie, Wyoming. These interviews took place around an event that caught the entire world's attention. October 1998, Matthew Shepard, a college student in Laramie, Wyoming was killed because of who he was. He was gay. Even though this show revolved around a gay bashing, regardless if you think that being gay is something you choose or if its something that you are born with, it is more than that... It is about someone getting killed for who he was. It's the same thing if someone who was killed for being jewish, or christian, or Buddhist. It is who they are and regardless whether they are christian, Buddhist, gay, female, jewish, whatever, it is still wrong.
I am a huge supporter of gay rights. But this poem is about more than just gay bashing. I am also not preaching that everyone should support gay rights; everyone has their own opinion. I wrote this to see if people could open their minds about how people are being made fun of, bullied, beat up, and killed about WHO THEY ARE....You can't help WHO you can be, you can only help WHAT TYPE of person you can be.

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