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You may ask yourself ‘Why are people the way they are?’ after reading this drama. I know I certainly did after finishing both the book and the movie. It was quite heartbreaking to read about the beating of a human being just because some people didn’t agree with his sexual preferences. I personally find that to be completely disgusting and uncalled for. I never knew about the town of Laramie until after reading this story. It was an eye-opener for me because I never realized how judgmental a city could truly be. One quote that proves this is: “Laramie is a town defined by an accident, a crime” (Kaufman, 32).

A question we were asked to answer was who is responsible for actions or beliefs: the individuals or the community. I strongly believe that the community of Laramie was responsible for these actions and beliefs. They were a very religiously based town, which brought along strong beliefs on sexual orientation. Not every single person in the town was completely against gays or lesbians. A quote from the book proved this by stating, “As far as the gay issue, I don’t give a damn one way or other as long as they don’t bother me” (Kaufman, 32). Marge is the person who said this quote from the drama. She never comes out and says she hates gay people or anything of that nature, she just simply didn’t want to be bothered by it. But just because one person wasn’t completely filled with hatred and judgment doesn’t mean the rest of town was either.

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Throughout this entire drama, it was obvious to me that the town of Laramie was the whole reason for these actions. There was a quote that really spoke to me as I read this story: “And I’m thinking, Lady, you’re just missing the point. You know, all you got to do is turn around, see the mountains, smell the air, listen to the birds, just take in what’s around you. And they were just—nothing but the story. I didn’t feel judged, I felt that they were stupid. They’re, they’re missing the point—they’re just missing the whole point” (Kaufman, 32). This quote to me just gave more evidence as to how some of the people living in Laramie were completely oblivious to outside issues going on in the city. It can be very easy to get caught up in the scenery or beliefs in life, but when a life-changing event happens, it tends to shake things up. It’s sad to think that it took such a huge event in that town to happen for people to not be as judgmental and one-sided on their beliefs.

One of the other questions we were asked was what’s the difference between hate crimes and other crimes, and how they should be addressed. This was most definitely a hate crime, rather than any other type of crime. A hate crime is a crime that is solely based on disagreeing with another person’s beliefs of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. There is a wide variety of differences when it comes to hate crimes vs. other crimes. Hate crime is not always associated with physical assault. It can also be down through harassment, intimidation, and damaging someone else’s property. It is completely gross to think that people can be harmed based on their own beliefs/preferences.

In conclusion, reading ‘The Laramie Project’ was an eye-opening experience. Especially since I had never heard of the town of Laramie before this class. I strongly believe that the community of the city had a huge addition to this hate crime. The citizens of Laramie were big on their religious beliefs and sexual preferences. It all adds up as to why this happened in such a small, quaint town.

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