The Laramie Project Welcomed at Catholic High School

Each year brings us greater understanding of each other and a larger scope of acceptance throughout the world. With the eradication of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and a focus on anti-bullying groups at schools, 2011 is promising to be no different. One place where people don’t expect to see tolerance for the gay community is in the Catholic Church. I came across news of a Catholic School, Xavier High in Manhattan, that put on (for the second time in the last eight years) a production of The Laramie Project.
The Laramie Project is a production based on the life and murder of an HIV positive, homosexual college student named Matthew Shepard. The play was welcomed by most of the staff and students at Xavier High School. School and church officials stood by their support of the production even under the judgmental eyes of fundamentalist protesters and most believe they were right to do so. The New York Times reports that, “Parents who had initially quailed about their children being in the show gave standing ovations.”

The play was a tremendous success, performed three times to a total audience of 470 people. Hundreds of people bought wristbands bearing the words, “Erase Hate” to support the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
I have every bit of faith that the coming year will show us proof of our ability to live peacefully with each other. The New York Times brings me back to reality, reminding us that, “Of the 100 licensed student productions of “Laramie” last year, only six or seven took place at religious schools of any faith.”
We still have a long way to go, but my personal New Year’s resolution is to find good in people where I don’t expect it. Hope can be found in the words of cast member Angel Vicisio, “I’ve learned we are the generation that has a chance to change this.”
Via: The New York Times