How to Confront Organized Hate
Hug, nay, kiss and buy drinks and dinner for the comic book geek of your choice (ahem.) And pass this along to the PFLAG community, community organizers, and other people of good will.
Apparently a few members of the the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, notorious and reviled for their "God Hates Fags" protests outside military funerals and other events, thought they would get their picture taken by protesting outside the Comicon in San Diego, biggest event in the comic book year. The Eisner Awards, comics' equivalent of the Oscar or the Pulitzer, happen there, and the big movie studios stalk the halls for "buzz", which I suppose attracted Fred Phelps.
Somehow, the fans at the convention not only got advance of the demonstration, they put together a counter-demonstration with materials at hand (costumes, signs) that was ten times larger and MUCH funnier. More in-jokes than ... than.. well I can't think of anyplace with more in-jokes than a comics convention, unless it's a couple of "Monty Python" fans, and those groups overlap.
Where else would you find a loving Jesus side by side with an invocation of the Hypno-Toad? Gail Simone was one of the pros there; she spoke clearly and simply about the protesters' intentions as you'd hope from the writer of Birds of Prey, Welcome to Tranquility, and the best run on Wonder Woman since Greg Rucka. I hope word spreads, because this seems much more effective at dissipating Phelps' power than the righteous anger and well-intentioned complaints he encounters elsewhere.
My friend Wayne hopes the Baptists try again in Chicago, giving him an excuse to break out the crotchless Riddler costume and a "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD" sign. As if he needs an excuse.