Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, invited me in the fall of 1998 to speak about the early aftermath of the murder in Laramie. The passionate engagement of those who attended that talk was remarkable, and remembering that night helped to convince me several months later that a book like this might be worth writing. My thanks to all who came that night and especially to the gay-straight student alliance that planned the event.
Ann Miller, my editor at Columbia, offered me unlimited patience, painstaking editorial attention, and warm support. Sarah St. Onge did fantastic work on the manuscript. The anonymous readers of my proposal offered encouragement and welcome advice, and Damiana Gibbons’s research assistance and good humor were both invaluable.
I'm grateful to the members of the University of Wyoming Eng-