In 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, with Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard, at his side. The legislation was an expansion on the existing hate crimes law, granting added protection from crimes against a person on the basis of his or her gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The law was signed almost exactly 11 years after Matthew Shepard died. 3 Presidential terms, 6 Congresses, and 11 long years.
Anyone who has had the opportunity to hear Margaret Cho’s stand-up knows this comedienne doesn’t back down. Delivering refreshing wit and razor sharp insight, Cho is known for spiking each and every joke with a hard shot of reality. Cho has taken on everything from racism to politics to terrorism to rape and LGBT rights, and she doesn’t plan on pulling her punches anytime soon.
I yelled, “cut,” stopped the camera and turned around to find the farmer gone. I quickly glanced around the farmyard to see that he’d gone and shut himself away in his pickup truck many yards away. Turns out he’d made a B-line there the moment he heard the word “gay” and would remain there until the end of the day when we left the farm.