When bestselling author Anne Rice congratulated actress Ellen Page via Facebook on February 15 for having the courage to publically come out as a lesbian, not everyone on Rice’s page shared her sentiment; not even a day later, Rice posted that she had had enough of the homophobia.
Our post commending actress Ellen Page for her courage in coming out as gay attracted a lot of hostility and hate and hate speech — as well as positive and substantive comments. I have banned many from the page today. I will no longer tolerate hate speech in the guise of Christian belief with the usual irresponsible pick and choose bible quotes and talk of “sin” and hellfire. I have had enough of it, and I think the world has had enough of it too. Again, I commend Ellen Page for her bravery in coming out. I hope more celebrities and public figures will be inspired to do so. Anyone who thinks this does not matter is deceiving himself or herself. It matters very much. Gay people in all walks of life suffer from bigotry, bias, superstition, and ignorance. Hats off to Ellen Page! (And please do NOT come here to tell us publicly that you “don’t care.” If you don’t care, don’t expect us to care that you don’t care!).
Rice is best known as the author of the series “The Vampire Chronicles,” including “Interview with a Vampire,” which have sold millions of copies and been adapted into several movies. Her works are known for including gay and bisexual characters; prior to the publication of the graphic novel “Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story” in 2012, she confirmed that Louis and Lestat were a couple and Claudia was “absolutely” their daughter; she added, “they were the first vampire same-sex parents.”
Her son, Christopher Rice, is openly gay and known for his own bestsellers; in 2003, he won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Mystery for his novel “The Snow Garden.”
Anne Rice recommitted herself to Catholicism in 1998 after having abandoned the faith in young adulthood, but left organized religion again in 2010. According to a page on her personal website, she wrote,
For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten …years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.
07/28/10 As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of…Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
07/28/10 My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.
07/29/10 I quit Christianity in the name of Christ on this page so that I could tell my readers I was not complicit in the things that organized religion does. I never dreamed others would be so interested, or that they would feel the need to talk about their own religious struggles. But they do. And the public conversation on… this is huge, and I think important.
The comments on her page continue to grow; Rice has remained active in the conversation and responsive to those who want a reasonable debate, but those who post nothing but vitriol are banned.
A conversation between Anne Rice and her son Christopher will be featured in the upcoming issue of FourTwoNine magazine. Subscribe here.