PHOTO: Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Poses For NOH8 Campaign


Lauren Drain is a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for their positive, uplifting message of hatred to anyone who’s not in the Westboro Baptist Church. So it may come as a surprise that Drain has done a complete about face, and is using that face to promote equality and non-discrimination.

She took part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” forum yesterday, where she described being indoctrinated at the age of 15 and picketing “funerals, churches, and public assemblies shouting messages of hatred against the U.S. government and specifically against homosexuals.”

Drain was cast out of the WBC at 22 for questioning their beliefs and methodology, and documents how she rebuilt her life and re-evaluated everything she had been taught in her memoir, Banished. Now, as an opponent of “any and all forms of violence, discrimination, bullying or bigotry”, Drain has posed for the NOH8 Campaign, a charitable organization promoting marriage, gender and human equality:

The main reason I posed for the NOH8 Campaign was in direct response to the judgments of the WBC. I wanted to show people that despite having grown up within the cult and having spent a good portion of my life on the picket line, holding signs condemning our deceased soldiers, reveling in any and all forms of tragedy and simply striving to be hurtful in the name of God; that the WBC is wrong and what I did at the time was wrong!

Now that both Megan Phelps-Roper and her younger sister Grace have left the WBC, perhaps they’ll be next in line to sign up for NOH8.

Photo: NOH8 Campaign

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  • Caine

    um ok am i the only jaded queen on here who thinks this is just a clever way to market her book?
    two big thumbs down. one to her and one to queerty for providing an amazon link to the book.

  • Caleb in SC

    @Caine: No, you are not. The overwhelming homo support as of late has me feeling a little jaded also. Nevertheless, I think we should attribute the best of intentions to everyone until they prove otherwise.

  • RomanHans

    I’m not sure why the world needs books from people who used to hate us saying nobody should hate us. It’s like a murderer saying “Don’t kill people!” or a thief saying “Don’t steal!” The message is nice, but I don’t know about applauding the advice of and/or rewarding the messenger. Still, the gay community should accept these people with open arms, because in cutting ties with their past they are likely to need our support.

  • Chad Hunt

    @RomanHans: Oh i don’t know if I agree with you there. Haven’t you ever seen that delight of a show called, “Scared Straight.” It takes unruly children into the prison system to have them scared by inmates. It is a hoot and a half.

  • Raquel Santiago

    Old news but good news.

  • technicolornina

    I sincerely hope the gay community welcomes all three of these women. Who here DOESN’T have a story–either your own, or the story of someone you know–of a small, scared baby-gay who came out, and SUDDENLY HAD NO FAMILY? (I was lucky enough to have a pretty awesome family, but I also have two friends–one trans, one gay–who came from stringent Catholic families, and you can imagine how well that went over.) We learned to be family to each other. These ladies are going to need that to get through the next fifty, sixty, or even seventy years, and by opening our hearts to them we will find some of the most wonderful allies when they discover just how wrong the “right” people were.

  • Caine

    @technicolornina – I hope you are correct but it still seems way too calculated to me – as if they are marketing the book to me rather than anything else. If she did this and said what she was saying it would be a different story – but this photo feels like an attempt to get some pink dollars to buy the book. It doesn’t feel right.

  • balehead

    Actually it sounds like the donation dollars are down at the church…where the money goes..you shall follow…

  • Taliaferro

    It does seem that the Westboro Baptish Church is in decline. The older generations cannot live forever, and there have been several recent incidents when their protests were met with far superior numbers and when they did not show up as they threatened to do. I confess that I take delight in each and every defection and I suspect that when the media publishes stories such as this, the founder and his rabid daughter gnash their teeth in impotent fury. As for Amazon, well, no one is forced to buy any book he or she does not wish to.

  • Harley

    I agree that we should show her forgiveness now that she has seen the light and let her know WE won’t judge her like her family judges everyone NOT in WBC.

  • Mickie_Newton

    I have a friend who was brought up to hate gay men and women. And for a very long time she really hated us. But, oddly, due to SciFi, her love for Doctor Who and a certain Captain Harkness, who first appeared in the first of the New Doctor Who, began to change. She’d began to adore Jack and then the man that played him. She read his books and grew a far greater understanding of him and of other gay people. But her views had already changed before that. She’d realised that her hate was so incredibly wrong and I am proud to call her a friend.

    Yes we don’t always agree on everything, namely politics…But we do share a great love for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Jack and of course John Barrowman (though I love him for who he is and not his sex! lol)

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