By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com February 10 2013 1:57 PM ET
Lauren Drain, a former member of the antigay, antisemitic Westboro Baptist Church, posed for photographer Adam Bouska's NOH8 campaign, calling the church a "cult," and confirming that she still identifies as a Christian, but now stands against "any and all forms of violence, discrimination, bullying, or bigotry directed at someone else due to their personal lifestyle."
"The main reason I posed for the NOH8 Campaign was in direct response to the judgments of the WBC," said Drain in a statement on NOH8's website. "I wanted to show people that despite having grown up within the cult and having spent a good portion of my life on the picket line, condemning our deceased soldiers, reveling in any and all forms of tragedy and simply striving to be hurtful in the name of God; that the WBC is wrong and what I did at the time was wrong!"
Drain was an active member of WBC from 2001 to 2008, when she was excommunicated for questioning WBC's belief system and methodology, according to her official Facebook page. Drain's memior, Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church, is due out in March.
Drain's NOH8 photo was released just days after news that two other young members of the WBC had defected from the hate group. Megan Phelps-Roper and her sister Grace, granddaughters of the church's infamous founder Fred Phelps, confirmed Thursday that both have left the church, and issued a statement apologizing for the pain they have inflicted upon others.