Bob Shell: He’s Different – Lock Him Up!

artist illustration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Thomcat23
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Illustration by Thomcat23. Copyright 2022


Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2022


He’s Different – Lock Him Up!


Xenophobia — the fear of those unlike yourself is abroad in the land.
These are not good times to be a nonconformist. Let the masses find out that you’re not like them and they’ll make you suffer for it. Our formerly pluralistic society, our American culture of individual freedom is being engulfed by so-called ‘cancel culture,’ where independence of mind leads to cultural deportation. Our First Amendment freedom of speech, freedom of thought, is being destroyed by radical conformism. Speak certain ideas and you will suffer.

J.K. Rowling, creator of the marvelous Harry Potter stories, was attacked by the radical conformists for saying that sex is biologically determined, that it is a matter of genetics, not opinion.

Sorry, but she’s right. Two X chromosomes and you are biologically female, one X and one Y and you are biologically male. That’s a simple scientific fact — not a matter of opinion. I am a biologist by training, and this is basic biology 101.

Does that mean that I think anyone with two X chromosomes must wear dresses, put on makeup, and act ‘girlie?’ Of course not! The Book of the Law says, ‘Every man and every woman is a star.’. That means that every man and every woman, every single human creature, is absolutely unique. We each have our own orbit, our own place in this infinite multiverse we inhabit.

Every person should be able to express their individuality unhindered, and only restricted if their individuality infringes on someone else’s.
I should be able to live as I will, think as I will, create as I will, travel the world as I will, do anything I will — so long as I do not infringe on any other person’s right to do the same.

I’m biologically male, born with one X and one Y chromosomes. But if it was my will to live as a woman, no one has the right to interfere with that choice. Should I choose to live part of the time as man, part of the time as woman, that is my right. Should I choose to live as some sort of nonbinary amalgam of the two, so be it. My expression of sex is mine — no one else has the right to dictate that choice.And, aside from sex, I have the right to order all other aspects of my life as I will.

Should I choose to live alone eschewing all nonessential human contact, none has the right to tell me I must live otherwise. Should I choose to live with one other human, that is equally my right. Should I find a triad relationship more fitting, so be it.

Laws against polygamy and polyandry are abominations. People must be free to express their sexuality in the way that is ‘normal’ for them.
I believe government should have only two purposes: First, to leave me the hell alone, and, Second, to make sure everyone else leaves me alone.
Since the mid-1960s I have been a Thelemite, that word coming from Thelema, the Greek word for ‘will.’ For making the choice to live my life as I will I have been reviled, falsely accused, and thrown in prison, where I’ve been since 2007. Because I absolutely maintain my innocence, I’ve been repeatedly denied parole and pardon.

My real crime was not conforming to the small town, small minded, mores of an unenlightened community. I could have been out of prison ten years ago if I’d formally admitted to a crime I did not commit. I refused to ‘cop a plea,’ because I simply cannot admit doing something I never did. I was simply different, and that’s not tolerated. In my time in prison I have met a number of men like me, condemned to this awful place for nonconformity. Do you want to be part of a society that does that? I certainly do not.


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author, former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine and veteran contributor to this blog. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read additional articles by Bob Shell, click here:

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Here’s the link: 

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