Letter: Performance highlights LGBTQ+ issues

From: Cara Bywater, member of The Open and Affirming Committee


The Open and Affirming Committee at First Presbyterian Church is excited about two events that are being brought to Columbus and encourage people from across the city to support these events and join the discussion about equal rights for LGBTQ+ people.

From Thursday to Sunday, Pride Alliance is sponsoring a pop-up theater production of The Laramie Project at 315 Washington St. in Columbus. The Laramie Project is a play which recounts different people’s perspectives about the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was targeted because he was gay. Matthew died from head injuries after being attacked in Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998, at age 21. Matthew’s death triggered momentum and paved the way for the Federal Hate Crime Prevention Act in 2009. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through the Eventbrite website.

As part of the Columbus Film Festival at YES Cinema, LGBT film “Freedom to Marry” will be screened on Friday and Saturday. “Freedom to Marry” is an award-winning documentary by Eddie Rosenstein which looks at the course gay marriage has taken in the United States. Kenneth Turner of the L.A. Times wrote, “In a political climate in which all things progressive are at risk, the film is a reminder of the long and difficult work that victory took, as well as a notification that no triumph can be taken for granted.”

The Open and Affirming Committee of First Presbyterian Church thinks it is important that people come to these events to learn more about challenges the LGBTQ+ community face in order to deepen understanding and move us forward to treating all people equally with dignity and respect. By understanding each other better and promoting tolerance, we pray that what happened to Matthew Shepard will never happen in our town.