Zubaida Ula describes her experience at the vigil for Matthew Shepard. She says that it felt good to be with other people who were in pain. Someone at the vigil stood up and said they needed to “show the world that Laramie is not this kind of a town.” Zubaida found that statement frustrating because, to her, Laramie clearly is “that kind of town,” which is why Matthew’s attack happened. Zubaida feels that the town needs to confront the crime rather than try to distance itself from it.
Zubaida’s frustration with the comment that Laramie needs to show that it is “not this kind of town” seems to stem both from the fact that it denies the real homophobia that is present in the town and places more importance on Laramie’s outward image than on actually changing Laramie for the better and making it an accepting community.