What’s In a Name?

When I started this blog, I did so anonymously. I didn’t want my family members to find out about it, since I talk about a lot of things here that I’ve never told them and never plan to discuss. Now that I am dating a stealth trans woman, I have an even better reason to prize my anonymity. If someone who knows me in real life happens to find me out, it could have dire consequences for both of us, depending of course on who finds out and what they choose to do about it. So I chose not to use my name, and have continued to do so because it still makes sense not to be too revealing.

One of my personal ambitions is to eventually have some of my writings published. I have been carefully considering what name I would use for that. Whether or not I use a pseudonym, I would really prefer not to be connected to my maiden name at all, as it represents a connection that is bitterly twisted, a family history I would rather distance myself from to whatever degree I can. Why should I keep the name of a man who is abusive and spiteful, who cannot see beyond his own black-and-white conception of the world and condemns me for having no blind belief in his cruel god? Although most of the other members of my paternal family line are inoffensive enough (as far as I know them, anyway, which is not far), I am really quite annoyed that I have been represented by my father’s name in the first place. My mother’s maiden name is not much better in terms of its sound and rarity, but at least that would have been more true to my alliance with that side of the family. But truthfully, I don’t want to use either of my parents’ names. I want to have a surname that reflects my own identity and my chosen family, rather than what I was just born with.

When I first started this blog, I kept those things in mind as I thought about what to call myself here. I didn’t have my identity resolved, so I just relied on the moniker “The Gray Lady” to refer to myself, even though I thought it was a little hokey. Now I’m not so sure if that fits, since I have felt more settled into my identity as asexual, and less like I really count as “gray” (despite the fact that I am sexually active). So after debating it for a while, I’ve decided to change it. I’m going to go by my real name, Elizabeth, which is not the name I normally go by, but is what I’ve finally decided to use for publishing my writings. I like that name. It’s mine, I own it, have always owned it. I think it fits me and represents me well; not just one aspect of my identity, but me as whole. And I figure it’s a pretty common name anyway, so my family probably won’t figure out who I am even if they do somehow come across this blog.

I still haven’t figured out my last name yet, so I kind of consider that nonexistent for the time being. Some day, my name will change again, but at least for now… This way, I think I am a little less blank.