It would certainly be understandable if there were members of the LGBT community, as well as so many others, who felt inclined to picket the funeral of Fred Phelps. Though the weight of his actions and pickets has dissipated over the years, there was a time when his actions and leadership cause a tremendous amount of grief for an awful lot of people. It is my hope, however, that no one will descend to the level of hatred and pettiness that seemed to fuel the last decades of his life. We would only be harming our own souls, to carry out such a callous, immoral and emotionally void action. It is my prayer that in the last moments of his life, the Reverend is able to find peace and love, as he prepares to be humbled before his maker. The time for the hurt is ending. It is time to let the healing begin. Truly, the best way to avenge hurt inflicted by our enemies is to simply forgive them, and not allow them to have a stronghold in our hearts.
I Will Not Picket the Funeral of Fred Phelps | Kristen Hotham Carroll for the Huffington Post Gay Voices
In case you haven’t heard, Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps is basically on his deathbed. The internet has mixed feelings.
EIGHT VERY MAJOR REASONS WHY THE SAFETY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TRANS WOMEN IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE AND CANNOT BE TRIVIALIZED, MINIMIZED, OR SUGAR COATED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.
- Duanna Johnson: In Febuary 2008, Duanna Johnson, 40yrs old, was arrested by two Memphis police officers and was brutally beaten and abused in a Memphis jail by the two police officers. Her assault was caught on taped and aired on major news channels, garnering major attention. Duanna went public, talking about her assault and became “the public face of our community’s campaign against racism, homophobia, and transphobia.” On November 10th, Duanna was shot ‘execution style’ between Hollywood and Staten Avenue in Memphis, Tenn.
- SANESHA STEWART: Sanesha Stewart was stabbed and killed on Febuary 10th, 2008, by an ex-convict who was enraged after finding out she wasn’t cisgender. Sanesha was 25yrs old.
- DANA LARKIN: Dana Larkin was murdered while working as a prostitute in Milwaukee, Winsconsin. She was 26.
- CHANELLE PICKETT: Chanelle Pickett was strangled in November 1995 at the home of William C Palmer after he realized she wasn’t cisgender. Palmer was quitted of murder and only served 2yrs in prison on assault and battery charges. Chanelle was 23.
- VENUS EXTRAVAGANZA: Venus Extravaganza was strangled and stuffed under a bed in a New York City hotel. Her body was found 4 days after her death.
- BRANDY MARTELL: Brandy Martell was fataly shot in the torso and genitals in a street corner in Oakland. Brandy was 37yrs old.
- LATEISHA GREEN: LaTeisha Green was fatally shot on November 14, 2008. Her killer, Dwight DeLee, was found guilty of first degree murder as a hate crime against gays.
- PAIGE CLAY: Paige Clay was found murdered in an alley in West Garfield park, Chicago. She was 32 and well known in the Chicago ball scene.