Laramie Project Essay

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The Laramie Project In the documentary film “The Laramie Project”, many issues were raised and talked about throughout the course of the film. The theme of prejudice stems completely from the murder of the Matthew Shepard. Prejudice is not just related to sexual orientation, but also class. Besides the obvious controversial topic of homosexuality, this film shows viewers that this was much more than just a murder and that Laramie is not a “Live and Let Live” community. Watching this film was extremely moving. The death of Matthew Shepard has forced me to take a step back and reflect how cruel homophobia can be. Hating someone just because they are homosexual is no different than hating someone because they are Jewish, black, or Latino. It is expressing hate towards someone different than himself or herself. Correlating racism and homophobia may seem like an extreme, but realistically they are closely related. It is clear that Laramie was afraid of change. Catherine Connolly, the homosexual university professor, in the film she says that she felt forced to hide her sexuality because of the fear of being oppressed. It was well defined that some of the people of Laramie would murder a homosexual out of fear of having one in the community even though Laramie based itself on the “Live and Let Live” saying. The philosophy of “Live and Let Live” was that if you leave me alone, I would leave you alone. To the homosexuals of Laramie this was interpreted as, if I do not tell you I am gay, you will not kill me. I could feel the fear in many of the interviews with the gay community. Most of the gays felt the need to hide their identity in the community. In Matthew Shepard’s case the town philosophy of “Live and Let Live” was not followed. When an event happens like this happens in a community, the true colors come out of the citizens living there. Some of the people

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