November 1998

"Are you O.K?" she asked me, after I was done explaining to a group of people what had really happened to Matthew Shepard. I was going to lose it. There were tears welling up in my eyes, as I announced indignantly, barely audible amidst the oncoming sobs "he looked like a scarecrow when they finished. A scarecrow!" I was so upset.

A moment of silence was held in memory of Matthew on Tuesday during the morning announcements at school. But nothing had been said as to why he was murdered, or who he was. I am so angry about this -- I am seeking justice. I refuse to let everyone forget Matthew, to not know the facts. I want to clarify, on the announcements, who he was and why he died. It is important to me. My school did not do him justice. I will not let his spirit fall out of people's hearts.

The leaves are falling constantly in my hometown, the sidewalks and the streets are blanketed in piles of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. The dance of autumn. But this year, my autumnal dance is different. Like the trees, I am losing so much cover as I reveal myself to my new, my first, boyfriend. I am bare, and yet there are parts of me I never knew or recognized that have been beautifully decorated, like the asphalt covered in fallen leaves, by my boyfriend as we journey together in discovering new parts of ourselves.

It is so new to me -- having someone you are intimately attached to. I sometimes forget, and when I realize I am connected to someone in such a special way it is like I am receiving the greatest gift imaginable. He makes me happy, like no one has ever done before. And yet we are so fragile, our fledgling feelings for one another. Will it last? I hope so. Oh, I really hope so. My head, though briefly lowered by Matthew's death, is in the clouds. I didn't think that my life could get much better, and then my boyfriend came along. I sing with thankfulness, I dance with joy. I have been given some wonderful gifts!

Feel free to e-mail me at angooo@hotmail.com


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