A house painted like a rainbow

16 Nov

A bit over five years ago, I wrote a post on Karen Knows Best, about Equality House, in Topeka, Kansas.

This past week, someone else wrote a beautiful story about its meaning to him and the community and the state–and what it can mean for all of us.

Long story short: the late and utterly unlamented Fred Phelps funded a “church,” consisting mostly of his many children, and their many children and spouses, which was entirely devoted to the most vile and hateful bigotry imaginable. This church, Westboro Baptist Church, was basically a compound of adjacent houses in Topeka. From there, Phelps’ “faithful” would emerge in contingents to terrorize the grieving families of soldiers, or victims of hate crimes, or anyone they deemed a sinner. (Basically, everyone who didn’t belong to their brand of “Christianity”)¹

In the Spring of 2013, a group of Equality activists bought a house right across from the WBC compound, and painted it as a rainbow, the best known LGBTQIA+ symbol in the world. This peaceful act of free speech activism created a powerful response, from the WBC and other bigoted groups in the city, the state, and the country.

Five years later, on November 9, 2018, one of those young activists from Equality House in Topeka, wrote a very moving piece on what this year’s midterms mean, and how we got here. In the powerful words of Davis Hammet:

Five years of fear, setbacks, dark time, and hard, unrelenting work, can change communities and cities and states. Nothing that lasts is accomplished overnight, with a wave and a word.

But lasting change can be accomplished.

~ * ~

¹ You can read more about Phelps and the perversion that is the Westboro Baptist Church here. I will note that at least two of his sons and one of his daughters, after escaping the cult-like environment of the WBC, accused their father of abuse, which is not mentioned in the Wikipedia page for reasons that escape me. A quick search will bring those allegations (and the receipts thereof) right up.

 

 

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One Response to “A house painted like a rainbow”

  1. KeiraSoleore 27/11/2018 at 2:51 PM #

    I loved this story, AL. Thank you for brightening up my day.

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