“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. …The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”
by Hubert Humphrey




"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

freedom is about more than just firearms

This probably comes as no surprise to some of my readers, but I grew up in a very conservative family, and for many years, I had a… shall we say "less than salutary" view of homosexuals, transgenders, queers, and all of the rest of the terminologies and categories people can fall into other than "straight and square". I would not say I was homophobic, per se, simply because they did not frighten me, but rather in the "separate but… y’know what, just stay over there" heading.

I am quite proud to say I have gotten over that particular kink of mine. As to the how, it is quite simple – I got involved in firearms, and then the rights and liberties revolving firearms. After all, if I firmly and ardently believe that people should be free to choose how they will defend themselves and their families – or even if they will defend themselves and their families – it just is not internally consistent of me to not likewise believe that people should be free to choose with whom they spend their lives.  And, being the engineer I am, I hate internal inconsistency almost more than anything else, so I modified my world view to be logically consistent across the board. 

In other words, it all comes down to freedom of choice, and while liberals pay lip service to that concept… except when it comes to “firearms”, “self-defense”, or any of those other icky concepts, those of us who fully support the notion of “freedom” are honor-bound to uphold it… in its entirety. 

So what does this have to do with the price of .22LR in Hell, Michigan?  Regular readers of this weblog should be familiar with the name Erin Palette – after all, I gave her a fairly decent character reference on my way (mostly) out the door.  Regular readers of hers are fairly aware of the fact that she leads something of a… non-traditional lifestyle. 

Well, today, you get to find out how non-traditional

Though I cannot access the logs directly at the moment (my desktop is in a box… somewhere, with my monitor in another box… somewhere, and… yeah), I can remember my private IRC conversation with Erin wherein she “outed” herself quite clearly, simply because her reaction amused me slightly.  She told me she had something important to tell me, and that it would probably cause me to freak out a little.  After even just four years in the Navy, it takes a bit to wierd me out, so I asked her to proceed, and she informed me that she was functionally a woman living in a man’s body.  My response, and I darn near quote was, “Oh.  Huh.  Ok.” 

A little surprised by my relative lack of reaction, I would imagine, she asked if I had any questions, and I asked for a little clarification, simply because my experience with the concept was… limited.  Once we cleared up my relative ignorance, it was pretty much a non-event for me, though I understand how it was quite stressful for her. 

I stand with Erin Palette sidebar 200x424 The important thing, for me, is that Erin is Erin, regardless of the packaging she might come in. 

Unfortunately, not everyone shares my opinion on that matter, even amongst those folks in the ostensibly pro-rights community, and those people have convinced Erin to be rather… cautious in how she shares her particular situation.  Out of the goodness of her heart, she decided to do a photoshoot with Oleg Volk to try to increase the funds donated for the “Spay Squeaky” campaign, but knew that doing so could potentially have some pretty significant repercussions for her, even amongst the community she largely regards as friends. 

And, frankly, that disappoints me.  Unfortunately, having personally witnessed some of the bigotry Erin is concerned about – bigotry even from those who argue in support of rights… at least when they pertain to firearms – I know she has cause to be concerned.  Which brings me to the upshot of this whole post: 

If you have nothing nice to say, then sit the hell down and shut the hell up… to completely bastardize a comment my mother was fond of. 

“Outing” herself to the world as body dysmorphic was a hard decision for Erin to make, and an even harder one to follow through on, as you can see from her post.  However, should that decision or her lifestyle cause you heartache or grief, that is your problem, not hers, and if you make it her problem…  Well, I would point out that not only is she armed, she has a lot of friends who are likewise armed, and none of us are terribly fond of standing by and allowing our friends to be bashed, be it gay-bashing or otherwise. 

There is nothing wrong with Erin.  There is nothing that should be fixed, or, as I understand it, even could be if the desire was there (apart from a full-up gender-reassignment surgery, which is not on the table for a variety of understandable reasons).  And, frankly, it is none of your damned business or concern how Erin identifies herself – it does not impact your life, detrimentally or otherwise, and you have as much vote regarding it as I have a vote regarding what Pantone number your skin should be. 

If you claim to support freedom, then it is time to support the freedom of all people to live their lives as they see fit, in whatever way they see fit, so long as they are not detrimentally affecting another person against other’s will.  If you cannot bring yourself to do that, then you cannot honestly claim to support freedom, can you? 

And if you are one of those folks who do wholeheartedly support freedom, head over Erin’s way and give her some words of kindness or support; I can only imagine what it is like to live with something like this for a significant fraction of your life, much less admit it to the world, but I know words of encouragement never hurt. 

18 comments to freedom is about more than just firearms

  • David Phillips

    Bravo Zulu.

  • Thank you so much, Linoge. You’re the one you pulled me into this community, and I’m forever grateful. I’m so glad you have my back. BIG HUGS!

  • @ Linoge: Well said, sir!

    @ Erin: I obviously can’t speak for all of us around here, but a Venn diagram of “those I would want to hang around with” and “those who have your back” would be a single circle.

  • @ Jennifer: Thanks.

    @ David Phillips: And thanks as well.

    @ Erin Palette: I have done something horribly wrong if there was ever any doubt of that :).

    @ Jake: Bingo.

  • Jens

    What’s relevant is who Erin is, not in what size/shape/colour/clothing/car/whatever she is. She is a person who inspires and stands by her friends, which puts her in the “good people” category. That’s all that matters.

  • Got it in one, I dare say.

  • Don’t get the My Little Pony thing, but remember my generation and imagine that it’s like my old Gi-Joe thing, so I can deal with a transubstantiation on that matter and on her too if it matters – and if she makes a better girl than a boy that’s fine too.

  • Yeah… the new MLP scares the wife and I on a variety of levels, but different strokes and all that.

  • What’s funny/sad is that I’ve gotten more crap over liking MLP than I have over coming out as queer. Humans are strange.

  • Why, you could almost say humans are… queer.


  • Heather from AK

    Well said.

  • towerclimber37

    @ Erin Palette:

    I think I’m much like Linoge on this. as long as you’re not self hating (self defeating imo), you’re rational and kind, I see NO reason why we can’t be friends, if you want to. Caution is always an indicator of intelligence, so you may spurn me at that juncture. I never claimed *I* was intelligent. 🙂
    Jake has it right. I don’t see character of person having to do with sexuality of person. you’re either good folks or you’re not.
    looks to me like you’re good folks 🙂 I KNOW linoge is. never met him, but my brother has.
    The character reference I received was good enough for me and I trust his judgment.
    That being said, if you’re ever passing through bristol Tn and need a clean bivvy for the night, holler.
    My wife loves company and cooks a mean squirrel! (just kidding..she likes Italian)

  • @ Heather from AK: Thanks :).

    @ towerclimber37: Forgot y’all were in Bristol…. Of course, I was driving through somewhere around midnight. Maybe next time :).

  • towerclimber37

    @ Linoge:

    hahahah well, Pm me for my phone #. we always keep a spare bedroom open and ready for family and friends that pass through.

  • We will have to see what we can work out :).

  • I very definitively disagree with one thing that Linoge said above: “There is nothing wrong with Erin. There is nothing that should be fixed.” You’re not comfortable in your own skin. Whatever the reason, I think that constitutes something “wrong.”

    My advice for Erin would be, if you haven’t already, sit down, and try to figure out who, and what, you want to be. What, psychologically, would it take for the body you’re in to feel like yours? Once you have an answer, be that. Rely on friends and people you trust, and ignore anyone who tries to make you something other than what you want to be.

    “Who do I want to be?” This is a question that only you can answer, the answer may not come quickly, and the exercise of answering it will likely be uncomfortable as you focus on and address aspects of yourself that you are not comfortable with. As someone who has “been” 3 or 4 different people, however(and a better person every time), I can say it’s possible, and it’s worth it.

  • That comment I made was exclusively to address the standpoint that something was wrong with Erin psychologically, and that it needed to be corrected. I think we both can agree that is not the case.