[Ed: No, this is not ‘Dr. Latebloomer’ pictured.]
There are many people in society who are working extremely hard to violate my civil rights. Many of those people, to my disgust, are physicians.
Never mind that I am a physician myself. My right to be my true and authentic self is being actively suppressed by members of my own professional community.
In an age where “coming out” is a social phenomenon, I have had to pull myself further “into the closet” because of who I am. In a time when being different and going against the grain is celebrated, I have been going quieter, even using a pseudonym on social media.
My friends all know what I do for fun. But most of the general public, and my professional society, do not know of my proclivities.
They don’t know that I enjoy the smell of spent powder in the morning. They don’t know about my inclination to dress up in cargo pants and camouflage (and sometimes blaze orange and pink). They don’t know about my keen affinity for brass and lead. Nor do they know how much time I spend with gloves and solvents and oils.
I usually limit my closeted behavior to special clubs where such activity is permitted and encouraged. But I sometimes practice my hidden interest in public. I have had legal permission to do this for years, but few in my professional circles know this. They would probably be shocked to know what I wear underneath it all.
I long to shout to the world in my true name, what and who I really am, but I worry that there would be repercussions. Many people, including many physicians, think that my interests are evil and harmful. They only see the actions of deviants. They preach against the negative influence on children that people like me might have. But they don’t see the genuinely responsible, loving, ordinary majority of people like myself.
They tell lies about me and those like me. They manipulate data to make it look like people like me are a danger to society. They encourage their followers to keep track of me, lest I commit some evil. They spend millions of dollars trying to smear the good name of people like me.
Why do I feel the need to hide my inclinations when society has become so accepting and permissive of a variety of lifestyles? It’s not because of my gender. It’s not because of my sexual orientation. It’s not because of my religious faith, or lack thereof. It’s not because of my ethnicity.
It’s because I am a Gun Owner.
—“Dr. LateBloomer” is the pen name of a female general pediatrician (MD, MPH, FAAP) who enjoys competitive shooting sports, including IDPA, USPSA and 3-Gun. Evil semi-automatic firearms are her favorites.