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Infamously Memed ‘Trading Spouses’ Mom Is Back With a More Positive Worldview

"God Warrior" Marguerite Perrin arrives at the 2005 Radio Music Awards official after party.

Marguerite Perrin, better known as the “god warrior” after her infamous rant on the Trading Spouses TV show, has re-entered the spotlight—and it seems like she’s had a come to rainbow Jesus moment that’s shaken up her whole world view.

Perrin became an internet meme after appearing in season 2 of the U.S. reality show Trading Spouses. The conservative Christian swapped families with a new-age, solstice-celebrating hypnotherapist, and when she returned home after a week of trying unsuccessfully to convert her host family, Perrin had a complete meltdown. Accusing her family of failing to pray for her while she was with the “dark siders,” she demanding to know if their guest mom had hypnotized them and ordered members of the film crew to get out of her house “in Jesus’ name” like they were demons. Perrin repeatedly shouted that she was a “god warrior,” and thus, an internet meme was born.

From Trading Spouses Season 2: Marguerite Perrin, an overweight white woman with short dark hair, shouts and gestures. The test "DARKS!DED!!1!" is on the bottom of the picture in white text.
(image: Fox)

Despite her longevity as a meme, Perrin had largely disappeared from the public since her 2006 appearance on The Tyra Banks Show. However, in 2019, Perrin made a reappearance in possibly the most surprising place you’d ever expect to find her: New York City Pride—and she wasn’t there to hate or proselytize.

Though Perrin’s then-extremist religious views wouldn’t seem to be compatible with supporting and accepting queer people, her iconic rant did win her a fair number of LGBTQ+ fans (it helps that she’s always been very good-humored about it, laughing at herself and saying of her meme-making fans, “You know that kind of stuff, that actually makes my day. It makes my day. That’s not mean spirited, they don’t mean it in any kind of way.” And then, when her elder daughter died in a car accident in 2007, it was her queer fans who were there for her and pulled her out of it.

Speaking to Esquire in an interview given soon after her Pride photo hit the internet, Perrin explained that even her closest friends didn’t talk to her about her daughter’s death because they didn’t know how. It made a terrible time even more isolating, and she was spending all of her time in her bedroom, unable to come out. Her queer fans, on the other hand, sent her flowers and messages of condolence; they refused to give up or abandon her, and it was their support that eventually pulled her out of her grief and depression and helped her reenter normal life.

“[They] weren’t scared to talk about me losing Ashley and saying I’m sorry to hear about that. 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.”

It turns out her time on Trading Spouses, and the viral internet response she got afterwards, forced her to reassess her beliefs and her place in the world. She’d never truly been aware of the diversity in the world outside of her small, very Christian town, or how many people out there didn’t share her faith. Though her overwhelmed, explosive rant on returning to her family (helped out only a little by some creative editing to up the drama factor) suggested otherwise, the experience opened her eyes and her mind, making her more tolerant of people with different lives and different beliefs. As she told Esquire, “Who am I to say who’s going to go to hell and who’s going to go to heaven. Really? I mean, seriously.”

Hoping to use her viral fame and former, less accepting beliefs for good, Perrin had been in talks with producers to make a show that recaptures the circumstances that made her an internet icon, but with understanding and dialogue in place of shouting. The series would focus on placing her in “uncomfortable cultural situations” and act as a vehicle to raise tolerance and acceptance of different groups among viewers.

However, there’s been no more word about the show since the pandemic began, suggesting it’s been yet another casualty of the early stage shutdowns that saw a lot of projects disappearing.

Perrin hasn’t disappeared again, however. Instead she’s started a TikTok account. Like many older people just figuring out how to use the app, most of her videos so far just feature her, and sometimes her husband, dancing. But the comments left include a lot by her queer fans, as well as people just discovering her new(ish) queer ally lifestyle—and she comments back, continuing to cheerfully laugh at the version of herself on Trading Spouses and fangirling over a drag queen when he commented saying he’d like to meet her.

It’s nice to know that people can change, and that even the strictest, most hardcore Christians can come around to loving queer people for who we are.

(featured image: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Siobhan Ball is a historian, an archivist, and loves Star Wars so much her English teacher once staged an intervention with her family to try and get her to read other books. Now writes about it for a living.