'Laramie Project' Screening, Discussion Set Oct. 13

Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured, strung up on a split-rail fence on the Wyoming prairie and left to die – because he dared to be gay. When he died six days later, on Oct. 12, 1998, the nation was galvanized, if only briefly, against LGBT violence.

As part of the second-annual LGBTQ Week at OU, the 2002 film “The Laramie Project,” based on a play of the same name about the aftermath of Shepard’s murder, will be shown.

The screening is set for 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, in Meacham Auditorium. The film is sponsored by the Center for Social Justice, an initiative of the OU Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

A $5 donation is suggested, which will benefit The Welcoming Project, a Norman nonprofit dedicated to increasing visibility and equality for LGBTQ people.

“The Laramie Project” screening will be followed by a discussion about hate crimes in Oklahoma led by Special Agent Ronald Carver of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Division.

The murder of Shepard, a University of Wyoming gay student, was denounced as a hate crime and brought attention to the lack of hate-crime laws in many states, including Wyoming. Oklahoma hate-crime laws still do not protect LGBTQ people.

LGBTQ week at OU is Oct. 17-21. Join the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 2 p.m. daily for a series of study breaks related to LGBTQ issues!