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Ithaca College Film Series to Screen 'Laramie' Documentary

ITHACA, NY — In October 1998, Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and left to die. The horror of this incident pushed Laramie, Wyoming, into the media spotlight and sparked a nationwide debate about homophobia, gay-bashing and hate crimes.

Filmmaker Beverly Seckinger’s documentary on the aftermath of Shepard’s murder, “Laramie Inside Out,” will be presented at Ithaca College on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in Textor 103. Free and open to the public, the showing is part of the Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series sponsored by the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services.

An independent producer and a professor in the School of Media Arts at the University of Arizona, Seckinger grew up in Laramie and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1981. She decided to return to her hometown to see how Shepard’s murder had affected the site of her own closeted adolescence. Along the way she met Westboro Baptist Church Reverend Fred Phelps, who condemns Shepard and all homosexuals to an eternal hell, but also many more — parents, teachers, clergy and students — who tell their stories, speak out and take action against homophobia.

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