Flower at the site where Matthew was murdered | Courtesy BRC
The Borderland Rainbow Center, a support and outreach organization for El Paso’s LGBTQ community and their allies, is set to perform a play based on the real events surrounding the murder of Matthew Shepard.
In reflecting on why the community should watch the play, Ashley, a BRC Social Work Interns shares, “You may think that LBGTQ issues do not impact you. You may think immigration issues do not impact you, or Indigenous or Black American issues do not impact you. I want to assure you that without question these things do impact you, whether you are part of those communities or not. What we give permission to be done to one group, we give permission to be done to all groups.”
Shepard was killed for being a gay man in Laramie, Wyoming and according to BRC officials, the performance of the play is to bring awareness to violence against LGBT individuals that happens still today 20 years after Matthew’s Death.
Matthew was tortured, tied to a fence, and left to die. His murder, along with other hate crimes like the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr in Texas, inspired the Federal Hate Crimes Act.
Passed in October of 2009, this law gives the U.S. Department of Justice the power to investigate and prosecute defendants who selected their crime victim based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
The play contains mature content and language. Materials and support are provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Profits from this play benefit the Borderland Rainbow Center.
There will be three showings in three different locations and times:
- Friday, January 18, 7PM at St Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church (6280 Los Robles Drive)
- Saturday, January 19, 2:30PM at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (1810 Elm Street)
- Sunday, January 20, 3PM at El Paso Public Library Main Branch (501 North Oregon Street)
Tickets can be bought on the Borderland Rainbow Center’s Facebook Page