Friday, August 14, 1998

Fred Phelps Hates SM, Too

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #84, August 14, 1998)

In the recent cable-TV presentation of “More Tales of the City,” the inclusion of film clips of Anita Bryant discussing homosexuals took me back to my younger days. It was either 1978 or 1979 and Ms. Bryant, who at the time was still a spokesperson for Florida oranges, visited the Twin Cities for the opening of a fruit warehouse on Kasota Avenue. I was among the many people who picketed her appearance there—and who made sure we drank only California orange juice and lemonade that summer.

How times have changed. Anita Bryant, whose supposed attitude about homosexuals was “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” has become Fred Phelps, a hatemonger (and proud of it) whose message is summarized in the title of his website:

Fags, however, aren’t all that God hates, according to Phelps. Bryant’s public personna was too demure and polite to allow her to discuss some of the grittier topics that are included on Phelps’ website, such as his ostensibly documented claims that 33% of gay men are into fisting, 29% are into golden showers and 17% are into scat. (By the way, those numbers seem a bit inflated when compared to the actual number of red, yellow and brown hankies I see in peoples’ pockets.) All of these activities are considered totally depraved by God aka Phelps. God also hates exhibitionism, fetishism, all forms of sadomasochism, bondage, crossdressing, voyeurism—and the list goes on. God evidently hates anyone who does any of these things, even if they happen to be straight. And God certainly hates baby-killers (the majority of whom, I’m sure, are straight). Apparently, to paraphrase Bryant’s orange juice commercials: “Hatred—it’s not just for homosexuals anymore.”

How does one respond to such hatred? Is it better to not dignify it with a response, to dismiss it rather than gratify the ego of the hatemonger by responding? Will ignoring it make it go away? Perhaps a case could be made for this viewpoint, but a case can also be made for the famous quotation that “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” The GLBT community, the leather/SM community, and humanity in general all need to be aware of what the Fred Phelpses of the world are saying and doing. As I read Phelps’ website, the thought occurred to me that if one changed every occurrence of the word “fag” to the word “Jew,” that’s probably what Hitler’s website would have looked like if he’d had one. Phelps supposedly disavows the use of physical violence, but his words could certainly incite hate crimes to be committed by others who have no such inhibitions.

I had another thought about Phelps’ website: A lot has been written about pornography on the World Wide Web and its effect on children, but a hate-filled website like this one seems to me truly obscene.


It was recently brought to my attention that I have been a bit lax in a matter of protocol. A recent edition of this column referred to “Mr. Minnesota Drummerboy,” which is an oxymoron. A boy is never addressed as “Mr.” My apologies for the error. Now, for the record, here’s how it works: We have Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998 Roger Gregg and his boy, david (note that a boy’s name is not capitalized), whose title is Minnesota Drummerboy 1998. (The “D” on Drummerboy is capitalized, because “Drummer” is the proper name of a magazine.)


Congratulations to new International Ms. Leather 1998 Megan DeJarlais of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She won the title July 18 in Atlanta. For the full story, check out

Upcoming Leather Events

Mr. Minnesota Drummer Fundraiser Weekend

Friday Fundraiser and Beer Bash
Friday, August 14, 9 pm-close, The Town House, St. Paul
If you haven’t experienced a Friday night leather event at The Town House, you’re missing out—come to this one. There will be door prizes. There won’t be a cover charge.

Saturday, August 15: Event to be announced—watch for it!

Sunday: Mr. Minnesota Drummer/Minnesota Drummerboy Send-Off
Sunday, August 16, 6-9:30 pm, The Saloon
Come wish Mr. Minnesota Drummer and Minnesota Drummerboy good luck as they represent us at the Great Lakes Mr. Drummer Contest in Columbus, Ohio August 28-30 (see below). Special guests to be announced. $5 at the door.

International Mr. Fantasy Weekend
August 21-23, Omaha, Nebraska
The ultimate Field Trip: a Fantasy Bus will be traveling from Minneapolis to Omaha for Fantasy Weekend. Roundtrip fare is $45 and seating is limited, so call right away if you’re interested. And you’ll need hotel and weekend package reservations. FFI write Fantasy Productions, Boystown, NE. The Radisson Redick is the host hotel; call to reserve your room.

Ms. Minnesota Leather 24-hour “Run”
Saturday, August 22, 11 am to Sunday, August 23, 11 am, Taylor’s Falls area
This fundraiser for the Ms. Minnesota Leather contest promises “24 hours of midsummer’s night fun.” Prepayment of $15 to $25 (sliding scale) includes food. Camp on the grounds, or just come for the day. Open to men and women. Info: call or write for registration form.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

August 28-30: Great Lakes Mr. Drummer/Drummerboy Contest, Columbus, Ohio. Be there to support Mr. Minnesota Drummer 1998 Mike Vintean and Minnesota Drummerboy 1998 david as they represent our community. A full weekend of events is planned, including a Black Toga party and a Tough Customer party. For further information contact Boy Toy Productions at, or Columbus, OH. Host hotel is the Courtyard Marriott–Downtown (special rates when you mention Great Lakes Drummer).

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