Adam Dupuis's picture

Matthew Shepard, Will & Grace, ADHD, And Our LGBTQ History

This week's episode of Wll & Grace had the boys dating younger men and what that meant to both Will and Jack.  The show always does a great job at painting a picture on both sides of the canvas.  With the daddy subject, jack was extremely focused on the looks department, where as Will was more worried about the mental/historical differences.

The dates end before there's any happy endings, but what was the point? Should we stick to dating men our own age? The young are clueless about their gay history?

I'm not a fan of blanket policies and believe we should never say never, so we all should date who we want and age is just a number.

But what the show did hit on was the belief that the younger generation of LGBTqers are lacking in their historical knowledge when it comes to our community. 

One such piece in our history is the attach on Matthew Shepard, 19 years ago today in 1998. If you were around then, you'd remember that the internet was still so young and not as fancy as it was today. AOL Instant Messenger was one year old (it will no longer exist after the December). The world wide web and Mosaic was making our world smaller every day.  The news of Matthew's death shot across the nation, the world.

On October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was brutally attacked and tied to a fence in a field outside of Laramie, Wyo. and left to die. On October 12, Matt succumbed to his wounds in a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado.

In the aftermath of Matt’s death, Judy and Dennis Shepard started the Matthew Shepard Foundation to honor his life and aspirations. Because of the tragedy endured by the Shepards, the beginning principle of the Foundation was to teach parents with children who may be questioning their sexuality to love and accept them for who they are, and to not throw them away. - matthewshepard.org

It was a death that shocked the country, making all the national news outlets and bringing a horrific crime against a member of the LGBT community into every home in the United States. For more on the story of Matthew Shepard, head over to matthewshepard.org.

Going back to the most recent Will & Grace episode, Will's younger date was written as an ADHD, social media hooked, hey squirrel, kinda guy. He reminded me of a handful of my acquaintances.  But did Will give this lecture to his 23 year old date only?  Was he giving the lecture to more than just our youth, but to our entire society.

Matthew Shepard was not the first and he wasn't the last LGBTQ person to die at the hands of ignorance. We remember Matthew, but we must as well remember the other LGBTQ people of the world that have left us not by choice. We as a nation do not respond when another friend of Dorothy loses his/her/their life. 

Worldwide, as of 2009, one transgender person is murdered every three days. The list does not include deaths by suicide, accident, or other causes. Wikipedia has a list of transgender people who were murdered since 2009.

We need to remember our history or it will be repeated? Unfortunately, with the loss of lives we report on every week, we are repeating it.  Are we all just a big ol' ADHD society?