Hit or Miss

Matthew Shepard PSA on MTV

I’d read about the public service announcement on MTV featuring Matthew Shepard’s mother, Judy, marking the one year anniversary of his death.  In the spot, a group of boys in a locker room taunt the camera with homophobic epithets and then Judy appears and says “The next time you use words like these, think about what they really mean… Please don’t let there be a next time.”

I have to admit I was fairly blaise when I heard about the commercial – I didn’t think much of it.  I was not at all prepared for the experience when I actually saw the 30 second spot yesterday.  I’ve never really been the target of much direct homophobia – though I definately experienced, and even participated in making, these kind of general homophobic comments while in high school.  It was very disturbing.

The PSA is a very serious reminder that these homophobic insults that are often so casually used (at the college level too) continue to foster an anti-gay culture in our country – in the very location that we should be striving to promote diversity and acceptance: our schools.  I applaud MTV for showing the spots and I regret that few other networks would have the balls to show it.