HOPE and the Laramie Project

HOPE and the Laramie Project – 10 years later

Introducing a new blogger… “HOPE” (Heaven On Planet Earth)

Greetings everyone,

My name is John Davie, and I’m a resident of Kitchener, ON, having moved here from my hometown London, ON in 1995.  I’m presently a long-time volunteer with ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area), as well as, a client having been diagnosed HIV+ in 1993.  I also extend my interests in volunteering for Dr. Steingart in Waterloo, ON, who is an HIV/HEPC Specialist at Sanguen Health Ctr.

I’m currently undertaking a couple of roles in the Laramie Project – 10 yrs later.  This presentation will be performed at Sizzles Bar in Cambridge, ON, the end of April, 2012, and is graciously being directed and executed by the owners of the establishment.  The story is based on true facts gathered by several reporters, in respect to the Matthew Shepard story, as well as, to focus on essential concerns towards bullying, that effect so many of us, especially, amongst the youth in society.

I chose to be part of this play to show my own undying respect, for a young gentleman who only wanted to show the world who he was as another human-being.  I’m certain that Matthew Shepard’s life, as short as it was, will never be forgotten.  These types of injustices and cruelty to mankind as a whole, just shows us how vulnerable this world is to meaning nothing.

Introduction to the Laramie Project

As I wrote in my last post, I’m currently undertaking a couple of roles in the Laramie Project.  Below I have shared some quotations from the script, to give you an idea of the role I will be playing in this projection. 

First, some background:


On October 6,1998, a gay University of Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard, left the Fireside Bar with Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson.  The  following day he was discovered at the edge of town, by a young boy riding his bicycle.  He was tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and close to death.

By the following day, Matthew’s attack and the town of Laramie had become the focus of an international news story.  On October 12, 1998 Matthew Shepard died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

My role as Dennis Shepard – (Matthew’s Father)

My son Matthew did not look like a winner.  He was rather uncoordinated and wore braces from the age of 13 until the day he died.  However, in his all too brief life he proved that he was a winner.  On October 6, 1998, my son tried to show the world that he could win again.  On October 12, 1998, my first born son, and my hero, lost.  On October 12, 1998 my first born son and my hero, died, 50 days before his 22nd birthday.

My role as Dave O’Malley – Retired Laramie police officer, Lead Investigator

Well, I tell you what, we now have the AIDS Walk here in Laramie,  it’s in its 6th year. Ok?  And it’s grown.  Last year we raised around $22,000 dollars.  And $5,000 dollars at drag queen bingo alone!  I mean we had drag queens at the Cowboy Bar.  Jim and Jason and Travis and they put on just a great production you know.  Yeah, at the Cowboy Bar!

 I’ve chosen to blog about the Laramie Project – 10 years later, as I feel Matthews’ life should always be remembered.  I know nothing about Matthew, and I’ve never acted in a play with such content of information, that makes you feel so overwhelmed with emotion and emptiness.  This was a young gentleman that chose a life-style that may never be understood by many.  This certainly would not have been a choice of Matthews’, to have been brutally murdered, may he rest in peace.  There are many tragic events that take place in life as we all know, however, I don’t believe there are words to describe  a person’s fate brought on by someone else of this magnitude.  It certainly is not my intent to distinguish between right or wrong, defend or criticize, and there have already been many occasions why I feel I’m even undertaking if you will, this role towards trying to make sense of it all. 

With respect to all of this, my hope is that the Shepard Family will always carry with them, the undying love and support that this tragedy, actually was the right choice for someone to make that felt it was their place to make such a decision.

Again, Matthew – may you REST IN PEACE

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