Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Best Men

Stephanie Allen Santos, Davydd Cook and Christopher Lawrence Menard in The Best Man.
The cast — which included Carl Haffner as Thom, Khris Lamb as Simon,
Kevin Scott as Kipp, and Joe McParland in a cameo as The Minister —
received a standing ovation at the wrap-up matinée.

Despite all the guffaws, the three-day run of The Best Man carried a
certain serious resonance, and newsworthiness, given that it helped
kick off Pride Week in Windsor. Two same-sex couples were actually
married on stage at the opening Friday.

But when the players gathered on stage at show's end Sunday, they did
not drag out the bows and applause. In fact, they turned serious, as
Khris Lamb dedicated the performance to Carlos Rivera, the 26-year-
old LaSalle man whose body was found in a Windsor apartment Thursday.

Rivera, who worked at the gay club The Tap, had been strangled.
Police are looking for Jesse Imeson, 22, in connection with the murder.

Lamb said Rivera’s slaying reminds everyone why gay communities stage
Pride celebrations in the first place. The idea is to make society more accustomed to varied sexual preferences.
Though it’s too soon to say whether Rivera was killed from
homophobia, it certainly looks possible. Either way, the gay
community in Windsor will mourn the senseless loss of a young man,
and perhaps worry that sexual preference might still cost someone
their life, even in Windsor.

Thoughts go back to Sal Vonatti, another young Windsor man who was
shot in the head last year outside a Detroit gay club and left for
dead. He survived, but lay in a coma for weeks and is still going
through rehabilitation.

The Best Man therefore had more to provide than chuckles, which it
did admirably. This weekend, anyway, it provoked thought.
Even in 2007, homophobia might make the most intolerant among us not want a
gay person as a best man, but as a dead man.

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