How the 'God Warrior' Ended Up in NYC's Gay Pride Parade

Wednesday November 20, 2019

Back in 2005, Marguerite Perrin was immortalized in an Internet meme. Dubbed "The God Warrior," her tirade on the reality show "Trading Spouses" remains about as a intense meltdown ever captured for reality television (and that's saying something).

Perrin, who rears from rural Louisiana, had participated in a season of the series that matched unlikely couples and traded spouses for a few weeks. For Perrin, it was major culture shock — a devout Christian she was paired with a Boston hypnotherapist and his three children who considered themselves "New Age Humanists." She tried in vain to make them "born again," and failed miserably, which led to her famous tirade.

"Upon returning home, she unleashes a fit of rage before her family, complaining that they had not been praying for her while she was sleeping in the house of the "dark side"," reads a description from Know Your Meme. "She also refers to herself as a "God Warrior," which became embraced by the netizens who watched the episode."

"They're tampering with the dark side. This is tainted! I am a God warrior, and I don't want anyone tainted doing anything with my family!" she said.

Her Internet fame led to her appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (where she gave him a bubble-head doll of herself) and The Tyra Banks Show, before slipping into relative obscurity. Now some 14 years later, she again is getting an Internet buzz for being seen in the most unlikely of places: the New York Gay Pride Parade last June.

In a story published in Esquire this week, the God Warrior explained how it happened.

'''God's got a mysterious, humorous side with me,' she says of her accidental appearance in New York."

It was the death of Perrin's eldest daughter Ashley in 2007 that led her there. Severely depressed after her daughter's death, she didn't get out of bed for days and friends found her so morose that they felt it impossible to bring the subject up with her.

"In their stead, the gay community stepped in. Co-opting her as an online viral icon, gay men reached out with condolences and notes and flowers," writes Esquire. "'[The gay community] weren't scared to talk about me losing Ashley and saying I'm sorry to hear about that,' she remembers. 'I was pretending like I was happy and I was okay. They would not leave me alone. You couldn't help but talk to them and be okay with them. The people that write those little memes and do those little things, I love that. That's what got me out of bed after Ashley's death.'"

Last June Perrin was leaving a church in New York City while the Pride Parade was passing where she was recognized by some marchers.

"'You can tell when somebody knows who you are. Just like this light goes off on their face.' Not particularly interested in chatting with anyone, Perrin didn't go to them, but they came to her. The group quickly introduced themselves, saying, 'We wanted to tell you we were so happy to see you in New York and we want to tell you we're very sorry to hear about your daughter Ashley.' Twelve years after the fact, they still remember, so Perrin asked for a hug. It's the people who turned her into a meme who also helped her heal."

Today Perrin runs a dance studio where her famous meme still can be an issue. "Admittedly, some of the girls were 'leery' to join her studio, familiar with her booming Southern drawl and viral infamy. She's had offers for a Dance Moms-style series, but that didn't particularly interest her," Esquire adds.

As for her famous meme, she was candid. "'I might not have said it all in one sentence, but I did say all those things,' she confesses, through a laugh.," Esquire reports. "'I'm not going to put it off on editing. I would've liked them to take 100 pounds off of me if they were going to edit something though.' After her episode, everyone had an opinion on God Warrior, and she's not surprised. 'I laugh at it now because I watched the show," she says, "and I look back at a scene and I'm like, 'I can see how people felt the way they felt. I get it. I totally get it.'"

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