I’m sending this message to you in hopes that you may send it on. I hope that as in other times a cooler mind may win out before others make a choice we, the LGBT community, won’t be able to take back. It has been reported today that Fred Phelps has died. It is safe to say that, given his attitude and his devotion to hate, those of us within, and around, the LGBT community will not mourn his end. He caused many families pain at a time when they were already hurting from the death of loved ones. However, this is his legacy, not ours.
The very post I saw his death reported also had a call to picket his funeral as he has done to so many. This was by a friend who has seen his hate, and understandably wants to exact revenge. But if the actions of his life have shown anything it is that the funeral is no place for revenge or the spirit of hate. We may not feel sorrow at his death. It may even be a day of relief. But this is the time to show why he was wrong to protest the funerals of our family.
This is the chance to show the world how we are better people. We aren’t people who make the death of a man the reason to celebrate, no matter who that man is. We are the better people. And no matter who he is to us, he was someone’s father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. We may still be fighting against them, but today they need the respect they didn’t have the capacity to give when it was us. If we act in any way other than respectful we become no better than them. In stooping to that we relinquish the right to call what they do wrong.