The Sunflower

Documentary directed by WSU grad to screen on campus

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo


A documentary written and directed by a Wichita State graduate will be screened as part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s “Gaypril” events.

“Out Here in Kansas,” written and directed by Adam Knapp, explores the relationship between gay people and the church. The film will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Campus Activities Center Theatre. Following the screening, attendees will be able to discuss the film with Knapp.

Admission is free for WSU students and $2 for the general public. Proceeds will go to Spectrum: LGBTQ & Allies. ODI, the Elliott School of Communication and the Kansas Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists are sponsoring the screening.

“Out Here in Kansas” is based on two news articles written by Knapp. The stories centered on Burt Humburg, a fundamentalist Christian who was an All-American football player. Humburg realized he was gay as he was winding up his football career.

Humburg’s former pastor, Joe Wright, was instrumental in Kansas outlawing same-sex marriage in 2005. In 2011, Knapp wrote an article for The Andover American about Humburg’s coming out and Wright’s involvement in banning same-sex marriage.

From there, Knapp was inspired to bring the two together to discuss their thoughts, which is the premise of “Out Here in Kansas.”

The film had its premiere in October and since has gotten positive reviews.

“Adam Knapp’s powerful documentary ‘Out Here in Kansas’ tackles the controversial issue of Gays and the Church through the eyes of a gay All-American football player living in Kansas and a Christian pastor,” wrote Molly McMillin, President of the Kansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “As Adam tells the story, he explores both sides of the issue with sensitivity, humor and insight. He holds nothing back. The gripping film is meant to open minds and hearts. It doesn’t fail.”

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About the Writer
TJ Rigg, Reporter/Copy Editor

TJ Rigg has worked for The Sunflower since August 2012, when he started as a general assignment reporter. Eventually, he added additional responsibilities of copy editing stories and taking photos for assignments before being named Editor-in-Chief in March 2014. He served in the position for a year before resuming his responsibilities as a reporter and copy editor. Under his leadership, The Sunflower earned the All-Kansas award at the 2015 Kansas Collegiate Media conference. The award is the highest level award a newspaper staff can receive at the conference. In addition to The Sunflower, he was written stories for other publications including The Butler County Times Gazette, Andover American, Flint Hills Media Project and more. Rigg also works for KWCH 12 Eyewitness News, the CBS-affiliate in Wichita, as an associate producer. He helps other producers with their shows by writing stories, building graphics, editing video, etc. He also fills in and produces shows as needed and contributes to the station website and social media pages. After college, he plans to continue his work with Eyewitness News as a news producer, with the ultimate goal of producing the 10 p.m. weeknight newscast.

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