N is for Names

Names are fun. Names are one way of identifying each other, identifying our places and our deities. I give names to the things I hold dear, to things into which I invest time and effort: to the house where I live (numbers are lovely but they miss the essence of the place), to the car I use, to my blogs, to my gender and my sexuality, to everything of significance. Naming it is what gives it significance in some cases.

My name for my outwardly queer, pagan, genderqueer, internet-based self is Hare. It’s so employers and people-I-used-to-know or people-I-vaguely-know can’t get curious and learn all these personal, raw things about me. They don’t need to know who I worship, who I sleep with, how I describe my gender, what mental health problems I have. So, I understand the appeal of other names, of magical names, of switching and changing one’s name. I also have a more personal name that I sometimes use when I talk or pray to deities, but that’s between them and me. It’s like a cloak or a shield or a trance to slip into; it’s something you can put on to cue yourself into a more spiritual state of mind.

However, I’ve also started to learn the value of introducing some of my Hare-self into my [offline-name] self – talking about genderqueer things on my FB, quietly ‘liking’ Pagan pages, wearing my Brigid’s cross every day and answering questions honestly if I’m asked. I’m learning to appreciate my full name, and smaller nicknames, and holding on to the knowledge that whatever I call myself, I will remain – essentially – me. (As a FAAB who plans on changing their surname on marriage, it’s a significant in many sections of my life.)

I think it helps that I’m a follower of a deity with a name which is said and written in so many different ways. I write Brigid and say /bri:d/ but recognise Bride and /braɪd/ and all manner of others. (I use this wiki page for the IPA [International Phonetic Alphabet], because I always get my diphthongs mixed up.) No matter what their name is, I know who my Lady of the Flame is, and I love all the names for them. I’m starting to learn to love all the names for myself, too.




Filed under pagan blog project

4 responses to “N is for Names

  1. I never thought about picking out a new name for myself but I guess it seems less necessary for people who aren’t transgendered. How did it feel the first time you used your new name?

    I have a feeling that if I had picked out my own name I probably wouldn’t get into this kind of trouble http://acollectionofmusings.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/why-janes-and-jims-are-less-prone-to-trouble/

    • I’m still taking those steps, slowly. 🙂 My first name can be shortened a little and then made gender-neutral quite easily, so I’m very fortunate that it still feels like ‘my’ name.

      Haha! I loved that story on your post.

      • Glad you liked the post 🙂

        Is the country you live in accepting? I presently live in a nation where cross dressing alone is a crime.

      • I don’t feel particularly qualified to comment on that, because I haven’t experienced any kind of discrimination or abuse or harassment because of my gender. I can’t say the same for trans* folk, though. However, cross-dressing is certainly allowed, and companies and businesses are not legally allowed to discriminate against someone because they are trans*.

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