Fred Phelps, the gay-hating preacher who is, according to his son, on hospice care, might be gay himself. That’s the claim hinted at by a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps is said to be very ill and on the brink of death. Nathan Phelps, Fred Phelps’ son, went on Facebook yesterday to say his father’s condition had deteriorated and he stated that his dad is on hospice care at this time. Fred Phelps has spent many years picketing the funerals of people in the LGBT community, often carrying signs stating “God Hates Fags” and other hateful sentiments. Now, a former church member has stepped forward to the media to hint at why she questions his motives.
The former church member, Lauren Drain, spoke with popular gay magazine The Advocate and she explained that she used to observe the media questioning Phelps about his own sexuality. When questions would be posed about Phelps’ sexuality, she says, he would clam up and get very angry, but he would never deny that he was gay. He would just say he wouldn’t talk about it anymore because it was “stupid.” Drain said she did not understand why he would not just go ahead and deny that he was gay.
Former church member Drain began to question the motives and practices of the church, after which she was cast out of the congregation rather quickly. She has since become a gay rights activist and fights for marriage equality for gays. Prior to her leaving the church, she observed Phelps being questioned by the media about his sexual orientation and she also noted that in his younger years, he had planned on joining the military, but then very suddenly and without warning he abandoned those plans and decided to become a radical preacher and speak out against the gay community.
Drain says that numerous questions have been posited to Phelps about whether he had ever had a gay experience himself, and that he refused to answer any of those questions directly, preferring instead to cut off the conversation before it went any further. “His reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask him,” said Drain. She also says she was confused about why he would not answer the questions and why he would become so enraged. Drain’s account hints at the fact that she has serious questions about Phelps’ own sexual orientation and also hints that he might possibly be gay.
It is possible there could be something behind Drain’s questions. Researchers have been delving into evidence that supports the concept that the more homophobic a man is, the more likely he is to become sexually stimulated by gay pornography, prompting some scientists to believe that homophobia might be a sign of someone’s own repressed homosexuality. Several studies have been performed that support this view.
As Fred Phelps nears the end of his life, those who have been terrorized by his actions seem to have mixed feelings about his impending death. Some say his funeral should be picketed in retaliation for all the funerals he has picketed in his lifetime. Others say the best thing to do would be to ignore his death and funeral altogether.
Fred Phelps might be gay, hints a former member of his church. As his eventual death draws near, speculation on this man’s legacy and his own sexual orientation will continue to increase. Some say they would not be surprised if the truth comes out after he passes on.
By: Rebecca Savastio