Note: The entire contents of this blog are satirical and anyone who thinks this is real or gets bent out of shape because of this needs to get a life.

When I got an email two weeks ago from an individual calling himself “Fred P.” I never expected it to snowball to the point where we are now. To those of you in the greater Tulsa area who have been living under a rock for the last two weeks, let me take you on a tour through the looking glass. Fred Phelps, of the hateful Westboro Baptist Church has agreed to serve as Grand Marshall of the 2008 Diversity Festival Parade. I was able to sit down with Mr. Phelps recently and discuss this wild change of personal beliefs.

ATG: It’s nice to meet you. If you don’t mind me saying so, you seem a lot more laid back than I would have expected.

FP: Not laid back, just resting my jets. Even a dynamo has to cool off once in a while.

ATG: And a dynamo you have been. You have been a hate merchant for quite a number of years now. You have sullied the funerals of victims of AIDS and American Veterans. Why the change of heart now?

FP: Not a change of heart, my heart has always been steady, it’s always been strong. I’ve simply stopped trying to change who I am.

(At this point, Mr. Phelps smiled at the man to his left. A sense of calm came over him and he reached over and planted quite an amorous kiss on the young man’s lips. Up until this point, I had assumed that this person was Mr. Phelps’ lawyer. My reaction was naturally one of extreme shock.)

FP: (Laughing heartily) I’m sorry, but I never get tired of that reaction, it just makes my day. My heart was turned against those I desired most for years, so worried was I about God’s wrath upon me. But yet, here I sit, not only still alive, but the happiest I have ever been. Bruce (Phelps’ 20-something companion) has been a life preserver for me sent straight from the Lord.

ATG: So you are gay? You were a closet case all along?

FP: (He flashed anger. It’s the first glimpse I’ve had into the famous Fred Phelps temper. It fades quickly, however.) I detest that phrase, closet case. Makes me feel as though I’m a piece of luggage. But yes, I have been suppressing my true nature since I can remember. Since I’ve come out, my daughter Shirley has come out as being Lesbionic and I had a little boy from my congregation who told me that he wished to be a little girl. You know, after reading the Good Book with fresh eyes, there really are no passages in the Bible which prohibit homosexuality or transsexuality.

ATG: Well, I’ve always thought so…(I paused as a strange idea swam through my mind.) You know, I never thought I’d be agreeing with Fred Phelps! (A short bout of laughter ensued.) So, why did you choose to be the Grand Marshall at Tulsa’s Diversity Parade? As big of a personal turnaround as this is, I’m sure you’ve had quite a glut of offers.

FP: Indeed I have. In fact, just yesterday I had to turn down an offer to be the Master of Ceremonies for New York Pride. That smarted a bit, I must confess, but my consenting to be a part of the Diversity Festival here was all for love. After all, I met my lovely boy Bruce at New Age Renegades here in Tulsa.

ATG: And that was the first time you had ever danced in a gay bar? (He nodded yes.) How did it happen that you even were allowed inside? Weren’t you spouting your former maliciousness at this time?

FP: I was going in stealth and then at the right time I was supposed to start yelling “GOD HATES FAGS!!” At the top of my voice, right in the middle of Gloria Gaynor. I don’t know if it was Gloria or all the friendly people, but I didn’t start yelling. Then I saw Bruce and I was lost…and I was found.

ATG: Wow, that’s just amazing! I’m so glad for the both of you. Is there anything in particular you are going to do as Grand Marshall?

FP: Yes. I was particularly upset at the new decency standards, because I was looking forward to wearing ass-less chaps and a big black cowboy hat and firing twin cap guns into the air to begin the procession. As it is, I guess I’ll have to settle for fuchsia hot pants, nipple rings and a kazoo. Whatever…it’ll still be a HOOT!!

ATG: So I guess your days of hating are over.

FP: Hardly. If you know my congregation, you know they run on hatred, it’s like a drug to them. So that’s why I’ve finally moved on to the true enemy…short people.

ATG: Short people? You can’t be serious.

FP: Oh, but I am serious. We all know that being short is a choice. Short people are closer to hell and as much as they’d like you to believe that they have no power over their height, we know that’s not the case. St. Peter has a measuring stick up by the pearly gates and it says “You must be this tall to ride this ride.”

ATG: Well, I think I’ve had enough surreality for one day. Thank you for your time, Mr. Phelps. It was nice meeting you and your boyfriend.

FP: I prefer the word “lover”. Thanks for your time. I look forward to all the fun in June!

(Dazed, I finally made it back to the Powers That Be, and they made some 37 phone calls confirming this piece before they let it run. I still can’t believe that interview actually happened.)



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