"Laramie Inside Out"

Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die in October 1998 because of his sexual orientation.

The screening of “Laramie Inside Out,” which initiated GLBTQ & Allies Awareness Month at Texas Tech on Oct. 2, shows the journey the town of Laramie, Wyoming, underwent after the hate crime which gained national coverage at the time.

Director and producer Beverly Seckinger, a former resident of Laramie, included her own experience of returning to Laramie after the murder.

“I was seeing everything through this kind of lens, of a town that I had lived in for 11 or 12 years, formative years you know from fifth grade to college,” Seckinger said via Skype in a Q&A following the screening. “I had a lot of memories for every piece of pavement for that town.”

She said many people who watched her make the documentary and heard her own story of growing up in Laramie told her to include her personal anecdotes in the film.

“Inside the film it’s the 70’s versus the now of 1998. Inside my experience of shooting it was that,” Seckinger said. “So finally I just bit the bullet and agreed to be a guide.”

The Tech Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, the Gay Straight Alliance student organization, the University Student Counseling Center, the University Housing Leadership Community and the Women’s Studies Program helped in bringing the film to campus.

Jeanne Haggard, who helped organize a reading of the epilogue to “The Laramie Project” back in 2009, said there needs to be more events like this to raise awareness and help people think before they say something hurtful.

“To me it’s part of my passion for social justice,” Haggard said. “Because I have daughters, so you know imagining the thought of losing a child is traumatic, I can’t imagine it and I hope I never experience it.

“The more we can raise awareness and get people to think before they say something, I think the better off the world will be.”

There will be another film screening of “Laramie Inside Out” on Oct. 16. For a full list of GLBTQ & Allies Awareness Month events click here.

About Claudia Tristán

News Director    —    Journalism and Marketing double major, Class of 2013
Claudia works to cover current events and political issues that effect the Tech campus. She plans to return overseas as a foreign correspondent.

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