Like the Hatfields and McCoys, the Phelps family may someday become an icon of American familial conflict — it’s a form of fame, sure, but probably not what they would have wanted.
There are lots of stories to tell about the clan, and one of the most compelling is that of Nathan Phelps, the son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred. Nate endured abuse for all of his childhood, eventually running away at the age of 18. Nowadays, he delivers talks and advocates for equality, tolerance and understanding.
A new Kickstarter seeks to tell Nate’s story in more detail. Not My Father’s Son is a project by Brad Johnson, a Kansan, who came up with the idea of the documentary after his own mother came out of the closet late in life. His hope was that by telling Nate’s story, he could inspire people like his mom to free themselves from the prejudices that trap them.
Brad’s mom was brought up Southern Baptist, and decades of guilt prevented her from living her truth. He says:
I want to bring Nate’s story to the world because there are millions of families who are affected by abuse of any type – physical, emotional, mental or sexual. After watching how much Nate’s story has helped my own mother, I knew that there are millions of hurting people just like her who also need to hear this powerful story as well.
Much of the photography on the project is already done, but they need more to finish it. There’s a little less than a month left for them to raise $55,000.