Toronto Diary
2 min

Did Fred Phelps have a gay experience?

There are some people that you just don’t want to think about having sex. Fred Phelps happens to be one of them.

Regardless, the internet is currently whipping itself into a frothing frenzy over the possibility that Fred Phelps allegedly had a gay experience in his youth. (Note: Try not to think about that for too long, or your head might melt/explode/combust like the ending of Indiana Jones and the Ark of the Covenant. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

The rumour comes from an Advocate interview with Lauren Drain, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church who recently chronicled her time with them in her upcoming book, Banished. In her interview, Drain hints at the possibility that “something” may have happened in Phelps’s youth that would have caused him to turn on the gay community as well as the military.

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.

Regardless of what “that” thing is, nothing really excuses anyone from launching a campaign to bring suffering to innocent people while they’re trying to mourn the deaths of their loved ones. Whether or not Drain is onto something here, anyone crazy enough to spout that kind of hatred probably wasn’t too balanced an individual to begin with. 

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