Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps May Be Gay, Suggests Former Member Lauren Drain
There’s a pattern of the most outspoken and virulent anti-gay demagogues turning out to be closeted gays, so it would not surprise me if this allegation were to be true.
Lauren Drain, 27, was a member of the Topeka, Kan., congregation until she challenged the group’s beliefs and had to leave. She sat down this week with the Advocate to discuss her book and her journey from follower to free.
Drain suggested to the Advocate that founder Fred Phelps might have formed the Westboro Baptist Church and begun his anti-gay crusade because of a gay experience. He was a Boy Scout who graduated with honors and was headed for the military, she said. Then, at 17, Phelps changed his mind and was suddenly set on becoming a preacher to fight against “sexual immorality.”
Via the Advocate:
I never understood why, when [the media asked him], “Why are you so against the homosexuals? Did you have a homosexual experience? Do you have homosexual tendencies?” And he would get so mad, he would shut down. And he’d be like, “I can’t talk to this person anymore, they’re stupid.” His reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask him. So I always wondered that — why does he get so mad? If I’m not gay, I’ll just say I’m not gay. And I’m not going to freak out, like, “Why are you calling me gay?” I always thought that was super strange. … I don’t know what happened there, so [speculation] is all that I can leave it at. But something happened, and something made him change his mind about the military, and in turn have kind of a crusade against sexual immorality and homosexuals.
Not only did she leave Westboro, but Drain also has become an advocate for gay rights and anti-bullying. In February, she posed for the NOH8 campaign, a movement that promotes equality.
“I don’t think anyone should judge or persecute another human being or any group of individuals based off of those personal, chosen, beliefs,” she told NOH8. “I am against any and all forms of violence, discrimination, bullying or bigotry directed at someone else due to their personal lifestyle.”