For Matthew Shepard

Along the lines of lending voice to the living, here’s a great little story and memorable quote to paste on your fridge:

In 2006, Democratic congressman Barney Frank was accused by Republican John Hostettler of having a “radical homosexual agenda.”

“I do have things I would like to see adopted on behalf of LGBT people,” responded Frank. “They include the right to marry the individual of our choice; the right to serve in the military to defend our country; and the right to a job based solely on our own qualifications.

“I acknowledge that this is an agenda, but I do not think that any self-respecting radical in history would have considered advocating people’s rights to get married, join the army, and earn a living as a terribly inspiring revolutionary platform.”

Several years ago, on two separate occasions, my son’s two dads were gay bashed in Toronto. Once, they were strolling near Casa Loma when a man came from behind and struck Uli with a baseball bat. They hadn’t even been holding hands; they had been, I believe, admiring the flower gardens. That’s all it took.

My partner and I were once heckled by a man in our old neighbourhood as we were similarly out for a walk, probably heading into the shops to pick up something for dinner. Maybe we were collecting our son somewhere, I don’t remember and it doesn’t matter. The man looked us over pseudo-sexually, made an assumption and said, mockingly, “Where do lesbians go?” (dirt in his mouth is how that word sounded.)

“To heaven!” replied my quick-witted girl.


About Nor

I'm a creative non-fiction writer, with a special interest in memoirs and obituaries--life stories, local histories with flesh & blood anecdotal details. I'm also beginning to create podcasts of people's stories and expanding their audiences. I'm a diarist, an editor, and a political activist. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and spend days tapping keys or staining my fingers in ink.
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One Response to For Matthew Shepard

  1. Loved this piece!
    There are days when I feel like joining some urban guerilla underground movement against idiocy! That’s probably because I don’t have your excellent ability to articulate these matters – or Heather’s rapier wit!
    Looking forward to next week 🙂

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