Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: Matthew Shepard, eleven years later

This past weekend the largest gay-rights demonstration in close to a decade descended on Washington, D.C., where lawmakers may finally approve the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories covered by federal hate crime legislation. (Rather than the stand-alone measure approved by the House, though, the Senate opted for making it an amendment to the defense appropriations bill -- a maneuver that concernsColorado Representative Jared Polis, the first openly gay candidate elected to Congress.)

Here in Denver -- just a few hours south of Laramie, Wyoming, where Matthew Shepard was murdered and tied to a fence eleven years ago -- Newman Center Presents is joining with organizations around the world to present tonight's The Larimer Project: 10 Years Later, an epilogue to the original Laramie Project, in which playwrights documented Shepard's murder. Although no tickets are left for the Univeristy of Denver event, which will feature dozens of readers from across Colorado, you can follow the global project at

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun