...being at the meeting, and going over the list of activites and events for Gay Awareness Week. Everyone was excited and looking forward to a great week. A poetry reading and art exhibit. Our keynote for the week was Leslea Newman, author of "Heather Has Two Mommies." She was a big name, and we couldn't wait to have her speak in Wyoming.
We went to the Village Inn after meeting, as we always did. We pushed several tables together, much to the chagrin of the staff, and were too noisy. We were celebrating our upcoming big week with pie, caffeine, and maybe even some food if you could afford it. It was a night like any other. We told stories and laughed. But like every other good thing, it had to come to an end. People started to split off, leaving to do some homework or heading out to meet friends.
Tommi gave him a ride that night. Both to and from The Village Inn. I don't know what time he left, as I wasn't paying attention. Why would I? I don't know what time he got to the Fireside. I don't know how long he was there before they approached him. I don't know what they said to him, or how they convinced him to go. I don't know why he got in the car, or what happened after they left the bar. And I never will. But he did. And 10 years ago tonight he was attacked. It was some time after midnight, but I don't know how much after.
I do know it still hurts. I do know I still have questions. I do know there are amazing people here in Laramie and abroad doing incredible work. They have opened their hearts and minds. They have looked around them, rolled up their sleeves, and jumped in...working to make their corner of the world a safer, more welcoming place for EVERYone. It might be one person at a time, or in a way that reaches thousands, but they do whatever they can.
Tonight I think of Matt, alone on the prairie on a cold and windy October night...just like tonight.
Today's lesson: Do whatever you can, whenever you can. Never underestimate your power to affect the world around you.