Ignoring Ignorance

The Reverend Fred Phelps is coming to town. He's the freak show who protested gayness at Matthew Shepard's funeral.
He now tours the country protesting performances of The Laramie Project.
Matthew Shepard was the man in Wyoming who was brutally murdered for being a homosexual.
Phelps perpetuates stereotypes of old men from Meridan, Mississippi who hate just for the sake of hating.
Hate is still real but I don't think it is represented in the form of a preacher from the South who calls upon all of us to rise up in the name of the Lord and sing praise when a dirty fag is killed.
He is an awful little man but he is a show. He gets attention and uses it to perform tricks of unparalleled anger and grotesque distortions of Godliness.
I am proud that a Tucson high school is performing The Laramie Project and I have a much greater interest in supporting the kids and faculty who are doing the play than I have in participating in a protest of Phelps. There's a peaceful protest that's going to be held by one of the local LGBT organizations. My understanding is that the event will be held away from Phelps and his Band of Baptists. I support the group but only in my head. I'd way rather go to the play and ignore the lurking performer whose name is Phelps. I want to see the kids who are brave enough to get up in front of their peers and families and perform a moving piece about hate-crimes and how devastating they are to the fabric of a millenium society.
I don't want to discount my gay and lesbian friends and family who feel much more strongly the weighty responsibility of representing a view in opposition to Phelps'. They have the right and the will and the menaing behind standing together and saying, "No."
I just feel like the vent is not right for me. I want to be in the tiny group of people who are headed toward the future. I want to be the stylish young woman in the crowd who is there to show the students and the faculty that they rock for making the choice to do the play. I want to be a bridge-builder.
There are places for everyone in any situation. Some people need to stand strongly at either end of the problem and they are amazing, powerful people. Others need to wait and see which side is better for them. I like to be firmly in the middle. I don't want to give attention and energy to the likes of Phelps because the more attention and energy that movements like that get, the more they think they have a right to act out and develop websites that are completly disrespectful of the innocent injured and dead.
I do want to give energy and attention to the brave kids at Rincon High School. No public schoool in Springfield would have performed a play that contains The Gay. If they'd wanted to, the school board would never have allowed it.
Here in Tucson, they'll perform it and it will be awesome.

arizonasarah at 11:28 a.m.

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