Well, the Westboro Baptist Church, AKA The Cathedral Of Hate, is at it again, this time going after a children’s book.
A children’s book! Okay, so it’s a gay kid’s book, er, a book about being gay, not necessarily for gay kids. It’s Square Zair Pair, written by Jase Peeples, and it aims to expand the way kids think about romantic partnerships and relationships; you know, like including same-sex relationships in the mix.
The book is the story of the Zairs who are neither male nor female; the Zairs do everything in pairs — one round paired with one square. One day when two square Zairs … Two.Square.Zairs … develop a bond with one another and are faced with the prospect of a community banding against them. They deal with rejection from the other Zairs before their community eventually recognizes how diversity actually makes them stronger.
Huh. That’s a good lesson … and not just for the kids, you know?
Anyway, the Westboro Baptist Church [WBC] heard about the book and instantly took their hate to social media to express their hate and also threaten to protest Peeples' reading of the book at Books Inc. in San Francisco. And, as they do because they’re a bunch of lonely, unloved, and unlovable asshats, the WBC actually took illustrations from Square Zair Pair and superimposed their hate mongering signs into the hands of the characters.
Hate is funny. However, the local San Francisco community heard of the WBC threat to protest the reading, and hundreds of folks turned out to form a counter-protest. And the Westboro Baptist Church? They didn’t even show up.
Possibly because it was in San Francisco, that queerest of cities, and maybe the WBC was afraid their members would skip the protest to head to the Castro for cocktails …
Jase Peeples, Square Zair Pair author, was amazed by the community reaction:
"It was an incredible moment to share the story with everyone who came out to support and take a stand against Westboro. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive environment and was reminded how powerful our community can be when we come together. It really was a morning where love won, and hate was nowhere to be found."
I never thought I’d say this, but Goddess Bless the WBC for bringing attention to this book, and bringing out many more people than might have attended the reading in the first place.
And, of course, congratulations to two WBC members, Adam and Steve, who fell in love over Mimosas at QBar and are now setting up house in Noe Valley.