Philip Dubois, president of the University of Wyoming, describes an email he received after he put a statement in the newspaper about Matthew Shepard’s death. The email writer accused Philip and the rest of the Laramie residents of being equally complicit in Matthew’s death because they encourage and condone a culture of hate. Philip felt extremely upset by the email and also felt that the email writer couldn’t understand the effect Matthew’s death had on the community.
While the email Philip Dubois receives holds the entire Laramie accountable for what happened to Matthew, just as the play itself seems to, it does so with a complete lack of empathy for the people of Laramie and so hurts more than it actually helps. It also appears misdirected, as Philip and the university work hard after the murder to encourage LGBT acceptance.