The story just keeps knocking me down.
Yesterday happenings at the funeral came to light. It wasn't pretty.
Purity Baptist church pastor Robin Toogood agreed to let his church be used to host the funeral on July 27 after being approached by the funeral home and informed that the church the Mclean family had ties with in Suitland, MD was too small to accommodate the number of people expected. The crowd was estimated at 300, many of them Mclean's transgender friends and/or local glbt activists.
Toogood gave welcoming remarks and then turned the service over to Rev. A. W. Montgomery of Agape Missionary Baptist Church of Suitland.
First, friends of Mclean became angry when Mclean was referred to as "he". The crowd responded by shouting "SHE".
Then there is this account of what followed:
Basically, he said that God let her get killed so that people could get saved. And that came after somebody, I think it was a deacon, said when you live a certain lifestyle this is the consequence you have to pay.
--comedian/gay activist Sampson McCormick
There was a mass exodus. About 100 people walked out.
Where I was sitting, most people walked out before he finished.
--Arriel Horton, friend of the deceased
I was just kind of stunned. I was just sitting there listening and I and the other people were looking at each other and people in the back just started getting up and left. It was like a mass exit.
The pastor seemed to be more conciliatory after some people started to leave.
--Earline Budd, Transgender Health Empowerment
THE paid for the funeral, according to previous news reports.
I wasn’t particularly offended, even though I didn’t agree with him. He was talking about what preachers talk about – sin and all of that. He’s just being a preacher.
I’m not going to get in the way of a family dealing with their grief. I was not going to make a fuss in the church.
--Jeri Hughes, transgender activist
We cannot change the world or people’s minds all at once, but we sure can make it clear that we will not silently accept that kind of disrespect at a funeral.
--Rick Rosendall, vice-president of the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance