Rulon Stacey reflects on his role as the hospital’s spokesperson for Matthew Shepard, talking about how he began to get choked up during the televised statement because he began to think of his own children and Matthew’s mother’s loss. After the statement, people sent him emails, most of which were kind. One, however, mocked him for his emotions and used homophobic slurs. Rulon clarifies that he does not support homosexuality, but he is still shocked by the hate some people expressed. Rulon emphasizes, though, that most letters were full of compassion.
While Rulon states that he does not support homosexuality, his empathy for Matthew and his family comes across both in the work he does to help them and how he cries while delivering the final statement. Though empathy is not a substitute for pro-LGBT politics, it marks a shift in Rulon toward a more accepting stance and his difference from bigots like the one who emailed him using slurs.