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  SPEAKING OUT 2.0

Megan Phelps-Roper Responds To Queerty’s Take On Her Decision To Reject Her Family And Bigotry

Yesterday, Queerty published a story about Fred Phelp’s granddaughters, Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper, announcing that they had left Westboro Baptist Church and were currently in Montreal speaking with universities and attending Jewish cultural festivals.

I am the author of that post, and it seems to have upset many people. While I stand by my article, I did get one thing wrong. I made it seem like the sisters were on an all-expense paid trip to glorify their decision to leave the church. I would like to share a comment I received from Megan on my Facebook wall yesterday pointing out that they have largely funded their trip themselves, and were not seeking credit:

Hi Graham –

I understand wanting to provoke that question, but your article went way beyond that – which is fine, but you said so much that just wasn’t based on facts.

First: we’ve avoided more than 99% of interview requests we’ve gotten since we left. Getting attention or accolades is the last thing on our minds.

Second: “all expenses paid” is patently false. The Jewish community has been incredibly welcoming, and we’ve been staying with different families since we arrived (a function of our desire to spend real time with and understand people we spent our lives protesting) – but we’re responsible for ourselves here. We drove 1,800 miles, and we’re spending our own time and money to take part in something we believe in.

We didn’t ask for attention. We didn’t ask for praise. We’re just trying to deal with the circumstances of our lives as they’ve fallen out to us, and to do as much good as we can. Since leaving WBC eleven months ago, empathy and compassion have become a central focus of ours; if talking about our experiences publicly can help encourage those traits in others, then it’s absolutely a worthwhile use of our time.

I hope this clears some things up.

Megan

I recognize that Megan’s and Grace’s decision to break from WBC took tremendous courage and has been a very difficult journey for them. Examples of cult like organizations terrorizing members into staying in the fold are legion. No one would ever want to be in that situation. I believe their apologies to the communities they’ve hurt are sincere.

At the same time, the sisters should not be celebrated simply because they’ve chosen to stop spreading a message of hate. Forgiveness, particularly for acts as heinous as those they participated in, takes time, even when they come from very young people motivated primarily by family pressure. It is dangerous to celebrate people who repent their hateful ways because it gives the hatred a sort of special status.

Many people are raised in households that spread ignorance and hatred, and eventually, it falls to the individual — with the support and education of a community, of course — to overcome this. I’m glad that Megan and Grace followed this path, but there are others who make this same decision every day without the praise and attention these two have garnered.

You don’t get extra credit for being a decent human being.

By:           Graham Gremore
On:           Oct 30, 2013
Tagged: , , ,

  • 53 Comments
    • Sparkyu1
      Sparkyu1

      Amen! no fawning on people for what we should expect as standard behaviour. I have too high an opinion of my humanity to play fawning lap dogs to people who have decided to “let” me be human

      Congrats for getting free from the cult. But that doesn’t mean I have to celebrate them for deciding I actually get to keep breathing now.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander
      LandStander

      I have read nothing that implies they are LOOKING for “extra credit”. They are being praised for having the courage to leave the WBC, and people are showing their support during what must be a difficult time.

      You slandered their names by LYING about their expenses being paid, and suggesting that they are looking for attention/praise/”gold stickers” when all of the facts say both of those things are simply not true. And then refuse to apologize when you were called out on it!!

      If Megan or Grace are reading this, please know that many people support you, and thank you for your message of tolerance! The author does not speak for most of us, and many find his message disgusting (as you can tell by nearly all of the replies to the last article!)

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HereinNYC
      HereinNYC

      In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to give any press time or accolades to Megan or Grace, but in that same perfect world, the fine folks at WBC would also not get any attention beyond the people who actively believe in their perspective.

      Given the never ending press that WBC gets, I think it’s refreshing to see stories about how the WBC weltanschauung is being actively and effectively rejected, especially by those who were previously in their ranks.

      I think it’s easy to extend the negative press to those currently or formerly associated with WBC as fruit of the poisonous tree, but i don’t get a sense they are doing it for a meal ticket, reality show shopping or celebrity hunting.

      I hope that the positive message of Megan and Grace will help to balance out our obsession with WBC and hopefully.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SwanQueen
      SwanQueen

      While I don’t think they should be glorified simply for leaving the church, I do believe they deserve recognition for trying to make up for the damage they’ve caused to these communities. There is no need to vilify two people who are simply trying to make things right. And I do consider the previous article to be an example of bullying- just because they are well-known does not mean they are incapable of being bullied. Maybe we should try giving some people the benefit of the doubt before judging them- otherwise we are no better than the WBC.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      Bravo to Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper for undertaking their difficult journey and handling yesterdays obnoxious Queerty story with grace and tact. The story’s author should take a lesson from their playbook… his defensiveness is really sad. “Please look elsewhere for an apology”…. I hope the editors of Queerty are reading this and that they please look elsewhere for a writer.

      People who abandon hatred and take the side of righteousness should ABSOLUTELY be praised. It doesn’t “give hatred a special status”… it shines a light on hatred and exposes it for the ignorance it represents, and shows the public that education does change prejudice and good can overcome wrong.

      The more haters hear about Megan and Grace’s story, the more haters will start to wonder if they themselves could be also wrong.

      Funny I have not heard any stories of people saying “I used to support gay rights but now I realized that was wrong”…. all the stories seem to be very one-sidedly “I used to fight against gay rights but now I realized that I was wrong.” Hurray.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      ooops… I think it’s pretty clear there are no editors at Queerty… but there must be someone signing paychecks somewhere that should start paying attention to the gross errors and bad attitudes in a significant number of stories.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      Nobody expected an apology from you, pal. Trust me. But you got more than “one thing wrong”. The whole idea that you think they want praise is WRONG and THAT is what makes you a dick.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daveliam
      Daveliam

      So this entire post amounts to, basically, “Sorry, not sorry. Oh and I might have made a mistake but that doesn’t matter somehow.”? Nice responsible adult response. Sometimes I just can’t with this site……

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jvp3299
      jvp3299

      Megan and Grace,
      Thank you so much for what you have done and what you are doing. It is interesting to me that the same attitudes and beliefs you left with the WBC are the ones Mr. Gremore is espousing in his article. He did not hear one of the things you clearly stated in your response. He lied about the truth of your lives and is being critical and judgmental towards you. He is absolutely not a voice for the vast majority of the GLBT community. We should support and praise every person that overcomes their hate and ignorance about truth, especially where it comes to human rights, love and goodness. In praising everyone, we gain strength and power. Also, I think you should be glorified for leaving that hate filled group. That is a great example for others to follow. I am a big fan of yours and hope many, many more will follow your example.

      Sincerely,
      Jim Pierce

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teleny
      Teleny

      I think these girls look pretty young and sweet. I’m glad they were able to leave the hate group. Welcome to the family girls!

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • a308936
      a308936

      Wow. Talk about completely missing the point why some many readers were annoyed with the original article.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sprocket
      sprocket

      >>At the same time, the sisters should not be celebrated simply because they’ve chosen to stop spreading a message of hate.
      <<

      No, this is both unfair and completely naive. You obviously don't understand the full impact of religious indoctrination, especially when raised by an entire family whom one is dependent upon and entrusted with their entire childhoods.

      Thank you Megan and Grace. It takes a great deal to work your way out of this.

      So glad Nate Phelps left when he did too.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bozen
      Bozen

      While it’s commendable to stand by your article, it would be even more commendable to apologize. Breaking away from a hate and abuse ridden cult is anything but “being a decent human being”.

      Mr. Gremore, you went above and beyond writing an objective article for reflection – you filled it with trivial cattiness and snark for no reason other than your own misunderstanding. The outpouring of praise in the comment section was only to offset the unnecessary belittlement in the actual article.

      @Daveliam: Hit the nail on the head with his description of this follow up article. Your two articles concerning these girls are undiplomatic at best, and assholish at worst.

      Who runs Queerty? Is it just me or has there been a brain drain of substance?

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith
      Keith

      You do correct one error here. I don’t think you deserve any “credit” for that, though.

      You also seem to stand by your previous statement that they are on “tour,” another very suspect claim considering they have spoke in two cities for no money in a year.

      The new problem is your apparent attempt to imply that you are simply trying to warn others of the risk of over praising these two women and don’t need to apologize for that. Fine, except that was clearly not the intention of the first column that’s title and last line declared the girls were actually seeking said praise (which is also untrue).

      Keep trying, you’ll get your position figured out yet. This seems already more reasonable. And remember, we can all learn something about admitting when we are wrong from Grace and Megan.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joesilentio
      joesilentio

      I never meant for you to apologize to these girls. They seem smart and tough and have tackled with much more than the likes of you. I meant you should apologize for being a terrible writer and getting almost all of your facts wrong. I am still completely done with Queerty. I’ll just read Towleroad from here on out.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      GRAHAM GREMORE… ego bruised much? This post is embarrassing. Just let it go.

      They’re right, you’re wrong.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      Thank you Megan and Grace.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaoming
      yaoming

      No, you don’t get extra credit for being a decent person, but I think you do qualify if you were raised in an environment of hate and indoctrinated in it daily throughout your life, so I am definitely congratulating these brave women and hope they continue to be an example of how there is a way out of hate towards toleration and acceptance.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BigWoody
      BigWoody

      I celebrate the sisters for having enough love and intelligence to escape a cult that had brainwashed them since birth. Kinda like the Stockholm syndrome isn’t it?

      I understand and most often enjoy the snarky spin of Queerty’s articles. I believe you missed your mark on this one, Mr. Gremore.

      A Perez Hilton you are not. Nor are you a quality journalist or writer unless you can admit your error with a proper retraction.

      In your reply above you write”but there are others who make this same decision every day without the praise and attention these two have garnered.” Really? Every day? The child brides who escaped Warren Jeffs polygamist mormon cult are the latest example I can recall of escaping a cult.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      “You don’t get extra credit for being a decent human being.”

      Uhhh… you kinda do when you’re told EVERY day from the moment you were born by EVERY person you care for and respect that being a decent human being will only guarantee you an eternity of hellfire and damnation.

      It must be really depressing knowing that these young women, even with their history of psychological torment, have much more compassion and bravery than you do.

      Perhaps you could ask Meghan and Grace for lessons on being a decent human being, because you clearly aren’t there yet.

      Oh and Queerty, is there any way you could note the authors of the blog posts on your main page? That way I don’t give this douche-nozzle the satisfaction of even an accidental page hit. I certainly have no interest in anything he could possibly have to say until he grows up a little.

      Oct 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lyceius
      Lyceius

      Yeah I do kinda think they get special credit for walking away from all that hate that was beaten into their heads growing up… We are not talking about any joe blow on the street with parents who have a bigoted view… we ARE talking about the WBC… and for them to take a stand and get away from that. Yes I feel that deserves recognition regardless if they desire it or not.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      GOD HATES QUEERTY!

      Oct 31, 2013 at 4:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      QUEERTY HATES PEOPLE WHO STOP HATING FAGS!

      Oct 31, 2013 at 4:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      QUEERTY’S GOD HATES FAGS FACTS!

      Oct 31, 2013 at 4:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Freddie27
      Freddie27

      If you’re not going to apologise, then I don’t really see what the point of this post was meant to be, other than correcting the horrendous piece of what you call “journalism”‘s major error, namely THEY WEREN’T PAID. And you still don’t understand THAT THEY NEVER SOUGHT PRAISE. You are yet to provide a single piece of evidence that Grace and Megan went on this trip so that people would praise or like them. To compare their experience to that of “many other people” shows quite succinctly how ignorant the author is. Westboro Baptist Church is not like any other. It is a freakish cult, where leaving means losing your entire family and everything you were brought up with, and they still left because they genuinely felt it was wrong. They have now decided to repent of their past actions and make up for it, despite all the huge emotional issues they must be dealing with. So, yeah, they should damn well be celebrated for incredible courage in leaving a cult and evolving their attitudes. Isn’t that what the movement’s all about? Getting people to change their attitudes toward gay people and celebrating that when they do?

      The truth is, and you can drop the pretentiousness, you tried to drop some Queerty snark into a really serious and uplifting story, and you got called out for it. Big mistake, huge. And this little defiant strop you’re throwing here ain’t cute either, nor is it intelligent or profound. It’s frankly rather embarrassing.
      Not cool, Queerty, not cool.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 4:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Did I miss something here?

      The ladies left the cult and haven’t been accepting many media requests and they aren’t getting their entire trip paid for.

      That would seem to refute the two central points of the original article.

      I’m guessing it was tough for them to break away from that crazy family and congratulations to the both of them for overcoming their upbringing.

      Just because other people do similar things everyday doesn’t make it any less of an accomplishment. So to appease the author of the post, how about if I say “Congratulations to everybody who has broken away from a crazy cultlike anti-gay family this year” (Eye Roll.)

      Oct 31, 2013 at 5:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Graham, you are astonishingly full of your own self importance. For someone who counts a Tweet by Oprah as one of their life accomplishments I don’t rate you highly and I sure as hell won’t respect what you have to say if this is the best driveling self-flagellating bullsh!t you can come up with.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 6:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joshua
      Joshua

      You can’t imagine the hell that they had to go through to escape such a hateful cult that is the WBC that they were raised in and forced to be a part of their ENTIRE LIVES. Of course they deserve praise for their courage and their desire to make amends for the actions (even though they were forced into it) and of course people are going to be annoyed at that immensely distasteful article of yours. You do not throw out unfounded accusations like that and then expect people not to be upset with you. It’s very unprofessional and frankly quite childish.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 6:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • startenout
      startenout

      We praise athletes for standing up against homophobia. We praise actors for attending parties that support gay causes. We praise gay men for being shirtless. Yet for some reason, we are going to deny these girls any such recognition or kudos for literally turning away from family (who happen to be one of the world’s most vociferous and evil hate groups) and the only left they have ever known because they decided that the persecution of people for their differences is wrong. I’m sorry.

      You can stand by your article, but this is hypocrisy. They’re not asking for praise, but they do deserve some acknowledgement for finding their own inner strength to “come out” against the homophobia, anti-Semitism and just plain hatred for all humanity that the WBC spreads. As far as I can see, they have as much inner fortitude as the 20 year old who finally comes out as being gay after having been a bully his whole life to hide his homosexuality. They have as much courage as any lesbian who left the persecution of her hometown to head to a big city just hoping to find something better. These are simple, everyday heroes looking to better humans; to deny them recognition for it only sets us back, and yes, it makes us the bullies.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 6:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • startenout
      startenout

      In my first paragraph, it should read “the only life they have ever known” not “left they have ever known.” I’m on the train, so I mis-typed and autocorrect must have taken over. lol

      Oct 31, 2013 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ottoman
      Ottoman

      Of course the fact that queerty and other sites post stories abotut their family almost on a weekly basis, definitely at least monthly, proves that they are from no ordinary family. Congratulations to Megan and Grace, continue on your journey, write a book, be happy and make money off your experiences if you want.

      Queerty used to crucify Katy Perry on the daily for being a fake lesbian and now they praise everything she does, it’s like they’re getting paid to promote her music. And don’t forget they were posting St Lucia ads on their homepage while writing stories about that country’s homophobia. Queerty has no buisness questioning anyone else’s integrity.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 6:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonty Coppersmith
      Jonty Coppersmith

      You certainly do get extra credit for being a decent human being when you’ve been brainwashed and indoctrinated to hate your whole life and you find the strength to reject life as you know it in pursuit of truth and love. These ladies are going out of their way to expose themselves to the very people they were taught to hate. I find that admirable. The writer is being a jerk, and I’m glad to see that his attitude is not representative of LGBT’s. Graham, you can reject accusations of being a dick all you want, but in this case they are certainly true.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 7:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      It’s true – on Queerty, you don’t get extra credit for being a decent human being.

      On Queerty you get extra credit for having nice biceps like Nick Jonas.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • K. V.
      K. V.

      This article just proves what the one before had shown me. Queerty obviously is a lousy news source, if they allow incompetent idiots like this Graham to post such ignorant and incorrect things. I just wonder how long it’ll take for him to suffocate with his head stuck so far up his ass.

      I will not be returning here ever again. I removed my bookmarks of queerty from my browser already.

      I hope you do grow up and I wish you good luck.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AnnaMcManus
      AnnaMcManus

      Johnny said I am impressed that you able to profit 9964 bucks in four weeks on the computer. top article>>> http://smal.ly/D40dg

      Oct 31, 2013 at 9:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      Still don’t trust them…and now I don’t trust you too….

      Oct 31, 2013 at 9:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @startenout:

      Your first paragraph just nailed it!

      Oct 31, 2013 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greenbauble
      greenbauble

      Graham, I feel I’m just echoing the general sentiment here but you need to understand how much you’ve offended your readers. I was saddened and dissappointed by your first post on this subject and I’ve kept my eye on the site waiting for your apology. This spiteful non-apology is even more depressing.

      These girls don’t just deserve praise and support “simply because they’ve chosen to stop spreading a message of hate”. They gave up their homes , their families and their financial stability. You can’t even bring yourself to apologize for your own hateful words.

      Publishing lies, distorting the truth and refusing to empathize or apologize are all tactics that hate-mongers use. The sisters may have stopped spreading the message of hate, but it looks like you’re quite willing to pick up the slack.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      Doubling down on a bad choice is kind of dumb. The sisters fleeing the most hateful family in the US is news and worthy of praise. But, like so many people who write and comment on Queerty, you have to find something to be negative about.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      “This is my opinion and I reject accusations of being a “bully,” “dick” or “asshole” simply because I don’t agree with what other people think on the matter.”

      Spoken like a true…well…see the apt adjectives above.

      “You don’t get extra credit for being a decent human being.”

      True, but I think the decision to turn away from hate and pursue the cause of being a decent human being is worthy of acknowledgment. Let us know when you decide to become one.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hermes
      Hermes

      I have been in counter-protests against WBC in two cities, at three locations in support of the young people, mostly straight young people, who came together against them and against hate. I also have some understanding of fundamentalist religious cults and of human nature. Some of it professional, some theological, most experiential. (In notation: I am particularly well versed in hyper-Calvinism, which Rev. Phelps follows, and dominion theology which he may or may not, but which many of those who tacitly agree with him do.)

      What these two young people have done is extraordinary. You may not think it is, but I assert that you have no idea what actually being part of and believing the doctrines of an extremist group – regardless of the core religion – does to someone. That the two of them were able to escape (hopefully for good) and go on to attempt to live normal lives is in fact very noteworthy. I simply do not agree with this author. The author listed incorrect facts (lies to many people) in his initial article and publicly refuses to apologize for his actions. He shows a lack of understanding that is frowned on in reporting and fails to provide context to his lack of apology. Still, this is not really a news source, and my solution to this is not to read his future posts.

      Regards,

      Hermes

      Oct 31, 2013 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      You’re not just blaming the victims — you’re criticizing them for not paying for gas in the getaway car. Ridiculous. Welcome to the good guys, Mss. Phelps-Roper! Sorry about the trolls.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      @Ottoman: Queerty also wh*red itself out to “buy us because we’re Russian… oops no we’re actually Latvian” Stolichnaya vodka by turning the entire site into a lustfest for the inane “Stoli Guy” promo, disabling comments and silencing any discussion, pro or con, of the boycott.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Graham, I’m not trying to psychoanalyze you here…oh what the hell yes I am. But I’m guessing there are two possible explanations for this.

      The first, you never had a rough time of it, at all, came out to smiles and fanfare, dropped into an easy job, a relationship, and never struggled so don’t recognize that it is difficult due to a lack of empathy.

      Or more likely….

      You had a tough time of it and are incredibly resentful that these two seem to be getting some attention while you didn’t. In other words, you’re the straight guy screaming at the gays “Where’s MY Parade!?!?!?”

      Either way you’ve managed to do the nearly impossible. Look at the list of posters here all disagreeing with you. ANY other topic would have us figuratively at each other’s throats in disagreement and yet you have managed to bring us all together in a big Hum Ba Ya new age circle of agreement that your article was…well….kinda douchey

      Oct 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeromie
      Jeromie

      As a member of the LGBT community Mr. Gremore, you either know someone, or experienced for yourself what it’s like to have to give up your friends, your family, and even your whole world sometimes to be true to yourself and make a new life. You also know from your own experience or through someone else’s that you hold near and dear that in making that huge choice there has been and will be those who will come to us asking for forgiveness for the way they treated us or made us feel.

      Forgiveness is a huge part of what it means to be queer, and it makes us better and stronger people in the end. Why are you so afraid or unable to give these two girls a second chance? What’s in it for you to hold such a pubic grudge against them?

      Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper are at the beginning of a very scary and uncertain crossroads in their life, and are doing something that most of us will never have the opportunity or strength to do in our lives by asking the very same people who they minimized and derided for years to open their hearts, listen to their story and learn from their experience.

      After so many years of signing petitions, speaking out, and demanding that these people change their ways, we would be absolute hypocrites to pull our hands away now at the very moment they are answering that call and reaching out to us. We have a chance to show the world what a beautiful and gracious community we have built, and your narrow-minded rhetoric Mr. Gremore, is exactly what the world doesn’t need right now.

      Read my open letter to Mr. Gremore here: http://jeromiewilliams.com/2013/10/31/open-letter-yes-queerty-the-phelps-sisters-do-deserve-gold-stickers/

      Oct 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      @Cam: “Look at the list of posters here all disagreeing with you. ANY other topic would have us figuratively at each other’s throats in disagreement”

      Don’t worry, he fixed that in his latest blog post. Race-baiting will have us back at each other’s throats in no time. Though he’s still beating that same old Meghan/Grace Phelps drum in that post too.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NateMSP
      NateMSP

      I applaud the courage it took for Megan and Grace to leave WBC! I also support them in their attempts to try and make amends for their past. I can’t see any reason that they should’ve been attacked or vilified in either of the articles. Our community is known for forgiveness and acceptance, and that includes those that have wronged us in the past! I welcome Megan and Grace’s apology to our community and the other communities they’ve hurt with open arms and an open heart!

      Oct 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlexW
      AlexW

      Far more dangerous to withhold forgiveness in the face of genuine repentance; it was the decency and compassion of David Abitbol, as opposed to that sort of prejudicial small-mindedness exemplified by the author, that brought Megan and Grace to question what they were doing and eventually put a stop to the harm they inflicted on others. I hope the sisters Phelps-Roper will continue to use their unique platform as they have; modestly, selflessly, and helping to build up reconciliation and understanding.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick212
      Nick212

      And just where is the decency and humaneness in your post? Where is the compassion and understanding? No one’s looking to put these girls on a pedestal for doing the right thing but they deserve more support than you can obviously bring yourself to give them, particularly when they had to figure out that “the right thing” to do was antithetical to absolutely everything they’d ever been taught or shown in their entire lives.

      What they’ve done takes guts beyond anything you can clearly imagine yet you withhold your appreciation for their strength until sufficient “time” has passed? The appropriate sentence, your honor? Please let us know lest we vaunt them prematurely.

      In the meantime, learn to apologize honestly–and fully–for the inaccuracies you printed about them. That’s what responsible, self-aware adults do.

      Oct 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChiChi Man
      ChiChi Man

      To echo many of the posters, this phony retraction is the epitome of navel-gazing hypocrisy.

      You’re completely wrong. Admit it and GET OVER YOURSELF!!!!!

      By your ludicrous analogy, we should never praise LGBT people for coming out “cuz they’re just living their lives like normal, honest people…” WTF??

      As a gay “journalist”, you should have a clue about the courage it takes to rebel against an oppressive upbringing. These young women were immersed in hatred and bigotry, but still found their humanity. They should be praised and they should be celebrated. Not simply because they overcame they’re upbringing, but also because they offer insight into the minds of bigots and help us understand how to sway even the most intolerant minds. I’d rather hear about these women than the D-list, celebrity-driven crap that Queerty vomits out on a daily basis.

      Finally, their measured response to your slander speaks volumes about their integrity. What does YOUR response say about you?

      Nov 1, 2013 at 3:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheNewEnergyDude
      TheNewEnergyDude

      “At the same time, the sisters should not be celebrated simply because they’ve chosen to stop spreading a message of hate.”

      Why not? I’d much rather celebrate someone making a big leap into a very unsure and scary situation considering that’s all they knew and were raised to believe in, sending a message of love and acceptance. What…would you rather see the message of hate the WBC promotes?

      And then to have you “follow up” your original post, not once (with this article), but *twice*, needlessly throwing race into the mix because you’re trying to prove some point…

      I hate the WBC as much as the next guy, but jeez, Gremore…you’re an asshole. Shut up.

      Nov 1, 2013 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bittyboots
      bittyboots

      I hate to dampen everyone’s blame & shame parade, but I still don’t see why Mr. Gremore isn’t entitled to express a fair opinion. Certainly unpopular by the likes of those compelled to comment, but not without merit, namely because these “girls” are in fact women. Adults. In fact, the older of the two has been an “adult” for almost a decade. I’m so glad that they’ve stopped spreading the Westboro brand of hate, and I wish them well. But it’s annoying to see this journalist pilloried for daring to express a simple opinion. In a world where there really are outrageous things happening every day, this is a tempest in a teapot. I’d love to see all this righteous anger channeled into a just cause that actually deserves it.

      Nov 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cjweaver
      cjweaver

      I guess I’m just a bit curious as to what the point of this second article actually was. Some sorry excuse for a correction? Your readers already did your corrections for you, Hunty. They did the research and posted in the comment section of the first article what the real facts were. I understand that Queerty is a blog priding itself on a second-class Gawker-esque version of snark, however Queerty is also a really valuable source for LGBT-relevant news. This, by extension, also makes you not just a blogger, but a reporter. I fully support you having your own opinions and voicing them (however different from my own they may be), however I think it was incumbent upon you to get the facts of the story straight before you pushed that “publish” button. You exaggerated/falsified details of the story so that it would better fit your views of why we shouldn’t put these girls on pedestals. It was wrong and reprehensible. The tragedy here isn’t that people are rallying behind two incredibly brave and strong young women. The REAL tragedy is that the person writing about these two women has apparently checked his professionalism, as well as his duty to his readers, at the door.

      Nov 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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