Good Riddance, Fred Phelps: 5 Pivotal Moments For LGBTs In Comics

RossaLincoln

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Good Riddance, Fred Phelps: 5 Pivotal Moments For LGBTs In Comics

To mark the passing of a bigot, let's look at how gay people have fared on the pages of American comic books.

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AzrealMaximillion

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RossaLincoln said:
Alright I'm calling this out.

I'm not going to say I like Fred Phelps here, but there's a line here and literally laughing/celebrating the death of anyone is pretty immature in my books. I expect this kind of stuff from a Gawker media outlet.

Yes, Phelps was a huge knob when it came to being a massively homophobic prick, but you've just fed the Westboro Baptist Church the attention they crave. These are people that picket funerals for media attention but you just gave it up for free. This is a group of people who don't even have the guts to protest near the people they oppose, why give them the time of day and muck up the accomplishments of LGBT moments of any media by association?
 

Barbas

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Oct 28, 2013
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Oh, I don't know about that...once again, people are up in arms and the Westboro Baptist Church seems to be getting the publicity it craves. I read that Phelps used to be a civil rights lawyer, representing non-white residents of Kansas in discrimination cases. You can proclaim that part of his life to be a diamond in the muck if you wish to, but that only makes it stand out more.

Did he change his mind again before he died? Maybe. I also read that his relatives who left the church were denied contact with him, so I doubt I'll ever know, but there is always the possibility.
 

RossaLincoln

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I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed. Though, and I swear I don't mean to offend, I have no problem considering people who aren't bigots morally superior to people who are, nor do I think it's in bad taste to comment on the legacy of hateful bigots by pointing out how they failed, and hilariously so.
 

Fox12

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Jun 6, 2013
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RossaLincoln said:
I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed. Though, and I swear I don't mean to offend, I have no problem considering people who aren't bigots morally superior to people who are, nor do I think it's in bad taste to comment on the legacy of hateful bigots by pointing out how they failed, and hilariously so.
Perhaps, but Westboro Baptist Church was never influential, unlike other hate groups. They effectively angered every political and social group in existence, and I believe their congregation never numbered more than maybe forty something people.

I don't think anyone will really miss him, of course, but what I think most people are saying is that we shouldn't react to hate with more hate. That just gives Westboro what it wants: attention. We should pity and ignore them, since their effectively the little toddler in the room that wants attention, but doesn't have any real power or authority.

Interestingly, I don't know any Republicans under the age of 65 that hate homosexuals, due in large part to the massive Libertarian influence that currently exists within the party. Lets celebrate the positives, not the death of a hateful old bigot who wasted what could have been a positive life. He doesn't deserve it.
 

RossaLincoln

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RossaLincoln said:
I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed.
Only if you consider his crazier, more spiteful, lawyer of a daughter taking over is a "failure".

But still, I cared more when Saddam Hussein died than I care about Fred Phelps' death.
 

vagabondwillsmile

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I'm torn as well - certainly not offended; I don't think any of the commenters are offended per se.

I would have APPLAUDED from my desk, if the equivalent of this was written while he was still alive. A direct challenge like that to him and his idiology would have been bold and most impressive indeed. But now, it feels a little late, and a little like easy pickings.

Look, we pull over on the side of road and stop when we see an ambulance coming - it doesn't matter where it's going or who is in it. We pull over and stop for a funeral procession - it doesn't matter who is in the casket. Civil/equal rights causes are of better mettle than public gloating, or at least they ought to be. This could have been a triumphant article written with dignity and class, rather than a five page treatise that amounts to some interesting comic info on a relevant topic, book-ended by pointing and laughing at some bigotted jerk's tombstone. One path is journalism and being the bigger better person (like the better parts of this article), the other is a glorified tumblr post.
 

ShirowShirow

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Neat rundown. Wasn't aware of these firsts myself. Is Batwoman (A completely different one from the one mentioned in the Batman bit, mind) the first gay superhero to have their own ongoing series...?

As for celebrating Fred Phelps' death being considered offensive or something... Going by that "Be Tolerant of Intolerance" logic... Yeah, sorry, can't muster up the necessary rat asses to act all impartial. I will literally dance on his grave given the chance.
 

RossaLincoln

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MinionJoe said:
RossaLincoln said:
I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed.
Only if you consider his crazier, more spiteful, lawyer of a daughter taking over is a "failure".

But still, I cared more when Saddam Hussein died than I care about Fred Phelps' death.
The failure, as I note in the article, is that gay rights are expanding rapidly and very soon, gay marriage will be the law of all 50 states.
 

gigastar

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MinionJoe said:
RossaLincoln said:
I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed.
Only if you consider his crazier, more spiteful, lawyer of a daughter taking over is a "failure".
Actually it seems that the WBC is ruled by a council of the eldest male members now, after Fred was excommunicated from his own church last year.

Now if his own creations turning against him isnt poetic justice, then i donw know what is.
 

Agayek

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Oct 23, 2008
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While I can wholeheartedly agree with the spirit of this piece, I gotta say that it's in several different kinds of poor taste.

He died, and now you are, metaphorically, picketing his funeral. You're taking advantage of a man's death in order to further an agenda. This is exactly the kind of tasteless, puerile, spiteful, and pointless behavior I'd expect from Phelps, not anyone who actually opposed him. It says a lot about both the author and the Escapist, little of it good, that this kind of sensationalism and spite has their names on it.

Be glad that he's dead, sure, but at least put forth the effort to be a better person than he was.
 

Genocidicles

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It's a strange world when people are basically saying 'too soon' over jokes made about an utter asshole.
 

Amethyst Wind

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I'd like to propose an experiment related to one of DC's failures on the sexuality front.

Batwoman's same-gender marriage was vetoed by DC, but what if everybody acted as if it wasn't?

Hear me out. Sherlock Holmes, until recently, was iconically seen with a deerstalker hat, which had its origins in the Basil Rathbone adaptation, despite not featuring anywhere in the original Conan Doyle works at all. Still, through cultural osmosis, it became an accepted part of his character. Have deerstalker, will Sherlock. People forgot that he didn't have this in the original literature.

My proposal is this: What if all the fans, or even just as many as can be convinced, simply acted like the marriage had gone through and Batwoman was happily wedded to her sweetheart? If it was done enough by fans, would the writers (perhaps when the character was handed over to a new writer) perhaps simply forget that the character wasn't actually married in the first place thanks to executive meddling?

If we change the perception of the character now, could it influence canon later?

If done well enough, would it essentially force DC to accept it? (Yes, they aren't the most progressive of companies, but perhaps it can be explained in terms of bottom line)
 

RossaLincoln

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RossaLincoln said:
The failure, as I note in the article, is that gay rights are expanding rapidly and very soon, gay marriage will be the law of all 50 states.
Ah! My apologies. I misread it as a "failed legacy" when the legacy (ie WBC) shows every intention of continuing their activities.

I've always suspected that WBC was never really about curbing anyone's rights. They're just about pushing buttons until someone retaliates and can sued. It's why so many of them are lawyers. As an added bonus, being classified as a "church" means they don't have to pay any taxes on any monetary judgements that they win.
 

RossaLincoln

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I'm sorry but this is a fucked up article. It really is because as much as people disliked the WBC and their actions it doesn't help when you have articles like this get published that celebrate the death of another human being.

It also doesn't help that you could of quite simply had the entire article exist WITHOUT a single mention of Fred Phelps. While I understand that writers want their content to be relevant this is indeed poor taste and I would actually go so far in saying that the editor should remove this article and remove the content involving Fred Phelps. Something like this can stand on it's own two feet without having to prematurely dance on another person's grave.
 

ccggenius12

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If nothing else, I learned something new today. That Extraño character reminds me of someone... Am I crazy, or does anyone else think Eiichiro Oda might have had a little inspiration when he was designing Foxy the Silver Fox? The hair, the skin tone, the color scheme, just... wow.
 

Major_Tom

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Jun 29, 2008
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We celebrated when The Wicked Witch Thatcher died, so we can sure as hell do it for this asshole. Enough with holier-than-thou bullshit.
 

Kinitawowi

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Major_Tom said:
We celebrated when The Wicked Witch Thatcher died, so we can sure as hell do it for this asshole. Enough with holier-than-thou bullshit.
Obnoxious shits did it in their own thread. It wasn't the main headline of a featured article.

Fred Phelps died. A lot of people will not be mourning him. A couple - friends, family, people who shared his beliefs - will. Plenty of people - myself included - couldn't care less. But this I will say; I don't like reading anything that actively glories in the death of anybody. This is reducing a real flesh-and-blood human being to the level of a panto villain.
 

Braedan

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Major_Tom said:
We celebrated when The Wicked Witch Thatcher died, so we can sure as hell do it for this asshole. Enough with holier-than-thou bullshit.
Here here!

Get off your high horses people. An asshole died, and I'm going to drink a beer to celebrate the world becoming a better place.