Michelle Shocked has a rollercoaster musical career, but even more up and down is her view of homosexuality.
Shocked went on an anti-gay rant Sunday during a show in San Francisco, telling the audience 90 minutes into the show that “God hates fags and you can tweet that I said so.” Management reportedly responded by cutting off her microphone and ending the performance after most of her fans left.
Her outrage during the show has led to a Change.org petition for venues to cancel her scheduled appearances, and many venues have canceled her upcoming shows while others are listened as tentative.
Shocked was once labeled as lesbian and bisexual after a 1990 Outlines article where she spoke about being a gay role model and not knowing how to identify.
“I was with my first woman lover about a year and a half ago,” she says in the article. “To be honest, the real fear of coming out of the closet, not fear, but the real pressures of coming out of the closet had been if you had certain problems identifying yourself one way or the other.”
But Shocked was raised by a Mormon mother in Dallas and later moved to New York. Years after the 1990 article, she became a born again Christian and denounced homosexuality.
In a 2008 interview with Dallas Voice, she disputed the Outlines article as her coming out, explaining that she believed being gay is a sin.
“There are some inconvenient truths that I’m now a born again, sanctified, saved-in-the-blood Christian. So much of what’s said and done in the name of that Christianity is appalling,” she said. “According to my Bible, which I didn’t write, homosexuality is immoral. But homosexuality is no more less a sin than fornication. And I’m a fornicator with a capital F.”
Shocked may be inconsistent in her interviews over the years because of her evolving faith and personal beliefs or because of her reported mental illness.
In the ’80s, her mother sent her to a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, where she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. She was given shock therapy as treatment and later adopted her stage name because of it.
Regardless of the reason for her hateful outburst, if she hadn’t lost most of her LGBT fans before, she probably has now.