A former member of the (hopefully soon legally recognized) hate group Westboro Baptist Church is speaking openly about what heinous assholes they are. Lauren Drain calls the church a "cult" and even though she still identifies as a Christian, she now stands against "any and all forms of violence, discrimination, bullying, or bigotry directed at someone else due to their personal lifestyle."
Posing for photographer Adam Bouska's NOH8 Campaign, she says:
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! I now try and lead by example, with love, compassion and an open mind.
Although the word "lifestyle" is a bothersome choice for something that isn't a preference, it's pretty amazing how far she's come so fast considering she was indoctrinated into a cult as a young child. In fact, she even speaks to that:
I just wanted to clear one thing up; when I said "personal lifestyle" I was NOT talking about being gay or insinuating that being gay is a choice, I was trying to referring to anything someone may be discriminated, bullied, attacked or persecuted for. Most likely a poor choice of words on my behalf, but please read the statement I made in its full context.
She goes on to say that she's lost everything — her friends, her entire family, her community. Even if all they do is ridiculous amounts of hate-picketing and bullshit legal shenanigans, it doesn't matter. As many of us know, even when your family is FAR from ideal, the thought of cutting them off completely is extremely difficult. The ties that bind, and all those irksome and unwieldy emotions!
Hopefully Drain's story will give strength to others in seemingly impossible situations, and maybe one day lead to the downfall of this repugnant cult.