On Monday I posted an open letter to Michelle Shocked in the wake of controversy about remarks she made at a San Francisco concert. That letter has been viewed about 1300 times so far, easily a record for this blog. On Wednesday evening Michelle Shocked released a statement denying any intention to spout homophobia, saying that her remarks were misunderstood, that she was describing the opinions of other people, and that her statement about tweeting “Michelle Shocked hates…” was a prediction of how she would be misinterpreted. She says that she supports the LGBT community and marriage equality. Included in her statement:
“I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them. I say this not because I want to look better. I have no wish to hide my faults, and – clearly – I couldn’t if I tried.”
I am glad to take her word for what she meant to say.
The same evening, audio from the concert has been released. (The relevant part begins at 4:40.) To be honest, it’s really hard to say what she was trying to get at. Members of the audience seem confused as well. In my letter I tried to be very careful to speak from a place of concern, rather than judgment. Hearing the audio, I remain concerned.
And here is my original post of the open letter responding to the initial news reports on Sunday, with the update added at the top.