Laramie is in Wyoming and it is a beautiful small town where the resident is friendly. They still have a pleased life until an appalling crime happened. On October 7, 1990, the victim, Matthew Shepard, was found in Laramie. It is not just a simplex homicide case but also related to some impressible topic. That is homosexuality. Actually, Matthew Shepard is gay. In other words, he is different from other people. As for homosexuality, most people could not accept it easily and consider that is wrong. Furthermore, these people would do some extreme for homosexuality and change to hate crime. Matthew Shepard is one of the victims. On November fourteenth, nineteen ninety-eight, an interview, Laramie Project, by Moises Kaufman was started. This interview is attention in Matthew Shepard’s event. They collected native people, Matthew Shepard’s family, friends and some related people’s words and attitudes about this event. In this project, some obvious different attitudes to Matthew Shepard could reflect the people’s mind. On the one hand, some older generations are against with homosexuality and do not admit the crime in this town. But some of them would want to keep neutral. On the other hand, the younger generation would care more about Matthew and feel sad for this crime.
The older generation are not only still against the homosexual people and do not want to give an equal treatment to them, because homosexuality violates their ethics，but also some older generation want to defend Laramie’s reputation and does not actually care about gay’s life. Rebecca Hillilker is one of them. When she receives the interview, she is strongly averse to accept and she said “When you first called me, I want to say you have just kicked me in the stomach” (9). Obviously, Rebecca does not want to accept Matthew’s events happened. In other words, she does not admit a gay who was killed in Laramie and she thinks it would take some stains for Laramie. Contrarily, she suspects Matthew makes the “gay panic” and causes others defense to kill him. “They used “gay panic” as their defense, I felt this is good, if nothing else the truth is going to be told …the truth is coming out” (89). Jedidiah Schultz’s parent is another example for older generation. Jedidah came to the computation and used a scene about gay because he needs to get first place to afford his college fee, but his parents are strongly against to him in his scene. At the beginning, Jedidah insists to use this scene and disagree his parents. “I had never, ever gone against my parent’s wishes. But I decided to do it” (10). However, under his parents’ attitude and some argument with homosexuality play, he shakes his belief. He does not know what is right and what kind of attitude should be accepted for homosexuality. “I just can not believe I ever said that stuff about homosexuals, you know” (96). From these words, the older generation is against the homosexuality and dose not give the gay right for “special people”. Their attitude not only pushes the gay people could not get the equal treatment, but also influenced the younger generation to throw doubt upon the gay’s rights. However, there is a kind of people, Marge Murray, who was in older generation but has a different viewpoint. She does not repudiate gay is wrong and does not discriminate gay people. She said “live and let live” that reflects gives homosexuality space to live. Nevertheless, she does not want to have some connections with gay and distinct from them such as two different circle and do not disturb each other.
Comparing with the older generation, the younger would care more about Matthew and the crime because the young generation could understand homosexuality easily, and most of them are Matthew’s friend. So, the reputation of the Laramie and the strongly revolting for homosexuality would be not expressed in younger. While, the older generation always could not understand something new or accept what they do not know such as religion custom and gay right. Zubaida Ula is a prominent representative for younger generation. On the one hand, due to her religion, she should take the scarf on her head. Nevertheless, in Laramie, many people always ask her why she took the scarf and feel she is strange. Although, Zubaida explain the reason for them. People would still not understand. “I know it is part of your religion, but why” (24). From these words, it is easily could see older native people can not accept other custom whatever you said. On the other hand, Zubaida would insist Laramie should be responsible for Matthew’s event. She negates the older generation’s words “Let’s show the world that Laramie is not this kind of town” (57) and criticizes people who want to distance duty. “There are people trying to distance themselves from the crime. And we need to own this crime” (57). Matt Galloway, who is a bartender, also shows us a younger generation’s attitude for Matthew. Galloway has a favorable comment for Matthew such as his good manners. Galloway said Matthew never forwardly disturb others and just set an area to drink quietly. Therefore, when Aaron and Russell’s friends said Matthew come to talk with them first, Galloway is strongly against it. Because he called Matthew as Matt, we could guess he is familiar with Matthew. Therefore, Galloway want to give Matthew a justice result whether he is gay or not. Aaron Kreifels has his religion belief and he is the first person found Matthew. She has a tolerant for gay people and feel sad for Matthew’s event. At the end, she said “he did not have to die out there alone” (95), Aaron would feel satisfy when he found Matthew because he thought god would be tolerant for everyone whatever you are gay or not. Through her words, it reflects she has an equity attitude whoever you are. Her mercy attitude gives people a remission in the panic atmosphere.
From these character’s attitude of Matthew’s event, there are really many differences between the older generation and younger generation. Almost of the older generation want to defend Laramie’s reputation and do not want this small town would be influenced by this event. However, when they do not want to admit the crime and do not give a judicial attitude to gay right, the original Laramie’ ethos would be changed. The scared and nervous atmosphere would be full in this small town. But there are some people like Marge Murray who keeps neutral in the both sides and just does not be disturb. However, the younger generation would not admit the older viewpoint or surrender older people’s words. Although, Jedidah was influenced by his parent and becomes hesitate, but he never accepts homosexuality is wrong. Younger generation gives the new energy to Laramie especially in thinking and want to give an equity treatment for gay people. Meanwhile, they have the courage to own their crime and criticize the people who want to distance. According these generations attitude, we can see the controversy between them.