As most of you know, I’ve been in Germany, studying hard to improve my Russian language skills, so I haven’t been as diligent about catching up with blogs as I should. But for those of you who aren’t aware, there’s been a bit of Internet/Blog drama going on the past couple of days. Now that I’m caught up and have spoken with the main person involved, I feel confident that I need to write about this.
A few days ago, a blogger and commenter on this blog Erin Pallete wrote a very profound, very honest, very courageous blog entry about who she really is. I will admit I was surprised. Until yesterday, I thought Erin was a fairly hot, very tough, very intelligent woman, based on her comments here and on her writing on her own site. No, I’ve never seen her in person, and have never met her. Our dealings have been Internet-based only, although she and one of my closest frieds, Oleg Volk, are good friends as well. But to me, Erin is still Erin. Nothing has changed, except now I know what she looks like, and she’s not anything I imagined. To me it’s not a big deal.
If you want to read about Erin and her revelation, I would encourage you to do so via the link I provided above.
Now, here’s what I want to say to Erin and to the rest of the blogosphere:
- I support Erin. I support what she did and I support her as a person. I think what she did took a lot of courage. Having made a lot of friends and gained a lot of readers over the years, who have undoubtedly developed their own picture of what Erin is/was, no doubt made the decision to reveal herself a lot more difficult. Good for Erin!
- Erin is still Erin. She’s a terrific writer with an incredibly sharp mind. If your opinion of her writing changes based on the fact that she didn’t fit your perception of her, you’re a moron. Period.
- If you have been a longtime reader or Internet friend, and are all of a sudden feeling “betrayed,” get over it! Erin is not your wife. She’s not your girlfriend. Most of you don’t even know her in person. Ergo, feeling betrayed, because she doesn’t fit the Internet persona you created for her in your own mind, is stupid.
- If you insist on feeling betrayed, fine. It’s a free country. Go sulk in a corner. Stop reading her blog. If you have a blog of your own, vent your sullenness there. But if you insist on using the Interwebs to castigate Erin, to ridicule or insult her and to express your feelings of general ooginess publicly, because ZOMG! ERIN PALLETTE IS NOT WHAT YOU IMAGINED, I promise you I will trash you just as publicly. And I guarantee you I can make up invective better than you can.
- I will continue my blog policy of never banning bloggers or deleting comments, even if they’re rude and offensive to me and/or my friends (unless you’re a spammer, an outright racist or post threats of any kind), so you never need to worry about getting banned.
Now, I need to write a few words about my own views. You all already know my views on gays, gay marriage, etc. I treat everyone alike. I believe in equality. I love my gay friends as much as I love my straight friends, and I refuse to pass judgment on whom they love. Period.
My views on transgender, transvestite, trans (insert description here) are much the same. People are people. I will treat them with respect if they reciprocate. I don’t care if you’re a 6’5″ football player who likes to wear women’s lingerie at night. It doesn’t bother me, and it’s your own business. I don’t care if you’re a former Navy SEAL who has decided to live his life as a woman after retirement from military service. You have earned the gratitude of a nation and my eternal respect. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass with whom you sleep or how you live your life. If you are a woman, then you are a woman. Your talents, abilities, skills and knowledge don’t change because of your gender. If you say you are a woman, I will refer to you as “she.” Period. It’s a matter of respect.
That said… Bradley Manning.
To be honest, I’m just not sure how honest he is about this whole wanting to live his life as “Chelsea” thing. We always knew he was gay. So what? What’s the big deal? But he REALLY started to whip out the “Transgender Card” when he realized he was in danger of serious consequences in court. All of a sudden, “Chelsea” was an excuse to violate his oath, betray his country, and do incalculable damage to our diplomatic relations worldwide, not to mention endanger innocent people. So yeah… I’m going to kick that assmaggot as often and as hard as I can. Not because I think being transgender (if he really is) caused him to do these things, but because he’s now using it as an excuse for the inexcusable.
And a final word…
This has been an interesting experiment in Interwebs. How well do we really know our Internet friends? Can you consider them friends, if you’ve never met, had a drink or shook their hand? How much do you all really know about me? Is my photo real? (It is.) Is Rob’s? The great Claire Wolfe hit the nail on the head with the following:
…Erin’s story is also a great testimony to one of the best (and least mentioned) things about the Internet — the ability to relate to others by their heart and soul, not by their age, color, location, sex, gender, or other non-essentials. Pretty damn good testimony for “gun nuts,” too. Gun nuts. You know — those ignorant, racist, homophobic, redneck intolerant good ole boys.
You all have been reading my blog for a while now. You know who I am. You understand my views. You may or may not agree with them, but you read them. I’m grateful for each and every one of you, even those with whom I ardently disagree. But will I match my public persona? I leave that for each and every one of you to decide. Ultimately, if you ever meet me in person, you will either love me or hate me. That’s your business. Mine is to remind you that I’m me, and I will not ever conform to anyone’s ideal of me.
Deal with it.