Documentary on murder of Talana Kreeger to raise awareness of LGBT hate crimes
Talana Quay Kreeger, 32, a lesbian, was found murdered in the woods near Wilmington, NC in 1990. She was the victim of a hate crime.
Sadly, the hate continued even after Kreeger’s death.
Funeral homes and churches refused to take her body or hold services, concerned a memorial would attract a large crowd of people who were LGBT. Police in effect blamed the victim, saying it was not in the best interest of people who are LGBT to be too visible.
National Association of Social Workers member and filmmaker Tab Ballis, MSW, is working to complete “Park View,” a film about the tragic murder of Kreeger. He hopes the film will educate the public and spur support of initiatives to stop hate crimes.
Despite positive movements such as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, “Park View” is relevant today because people who are LGBT are still under threat, Ballis said.
This year there was a horrific mass shooting at the Pulse LGBT nightclub in Orlando and North Carolina passed an infamous bathroom law that prevents people who are transgender from using the public restroom of their choice.
“In particular, it appears that a false sense of security has made LGBT people even more vulnerable to the specter of hate crimes in recent years — and these attacks are disproportionately directed towards individuals who are too old, too young, too poor, too isolated to insulate themselves from harm,” Ballis said.
Ballis is private practice clinician and part-time faculty member with the University of North Carolina Wilmington School of Social Work. His short film “My Marriage Is Not Threatened By Gay Marriage In North Carolina,” which protested a North Carolina ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage, won a 2013 NASW Media Award for best documentary.
The producers of Park View and the local LGBT advocacy organization The Frank Harr Foundation are trying to raise $15,000 to complete the film and show it at film festivals.
Ballis did research by interviewing community members who mourned Kreeger, reviewing the court case file and poring through archival news footage and news articles.
“Decades later, the LGBT communities of Wilmington still bear the scars of this and other hate crimes that reached a peak during the conservative political backlash of the late 1980s in the United States,” Ballis said.
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