Central stands up against homophobia

The Drama Club’s most recent play “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” profiled the death of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student who was targeted and murdered on Oct. 12, 1988. The goal of the play to t isarget the negative effects of homophobia and raise awareness about the issue. Several high schools have cancelled and even banned the play from being shown due to its portrayal of homosexuality, and a teacher in Oklahoma was even fired for showing the documentary version of it. 

At Central, however, the response to the play has been positive. No controversy arose from the play’s performance. By putting on the play, Central is setting a higher standard in two ways. Central is not only sending out a positive message by taking a stance against anti-gay bullying, but also by not backing down from it.

It’s clear that “The Laramie Project” could have easily attracted controversy from parents and students, but that did not and should not have stopped the Drama Club from performing the play. Despite the controversy, homophobia and targeting those who are gay lead to poor consequences, and Shepard’s death is a clear example of that. Homophobia is an issue that needs to be addressed, particularly to students who can be victims or the causes for homophobic bullying.

After Shepard’s death, hate crimes related to homosexuality were put in the national spotlight, sparking a debate over what should be done about hate crimes related to homosexuality. While more effort was placed into targeting hate crimes, others vehemently opposed Shepard for being gay-such as the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, a religious group known for protesting against homosexuality.

The controversy over Shepard’s death is mirrored in the response to “The Laramie Project” at high schools and Central should be applauded for it handling of the play.