Something positive for a change. because i’ve been carping for so long about how the powers that be get stuff wrong. And earlier this week, i realised that maybe – hearing of yet another silly case to afflict an online friend – we could do something to help peeps get it less wrong.
So instead of just complaining, this post has links to a couple of useful resources – and a poem to, i hope, cheer you up.
The resources take the form of a letter, which is written for peeps, whether women, trans or just anyone, to hand to people who think they have a right to know what your previous name was or why you changed it. It is written in what i hope is a reasonably light-hearted spirit, makes some strong points about why you MIGHT have changed your name, and is available here (in word 2007) or here (in pdf).
Feel free to use it, or not, as you see fit. Play with it: add to it; subtract from it. Its here for those who need it.
With one proviso. If i subsequently find this letter, this text – or a near derivative of same – being offered at a commercial rate and someone is making money out of it, i shall expect a percentage. And if you try and make money out of creativity freely given to the community, expect to pay for it at a penal rate.
[sigh!] and then WordPress will probably want their cut and it will all get very messy…
Anyway…many, many thanks to Marci Hawkins, who did the hnonours in terms of taking the text and turning it into a pretty and attractive pdf version.
…and here’s a poem!
I love poetic language, form, expression. So given that the original was already tending that way, here’s my follow-up verion, fully poeticised:
My name is the name I call myself.
Respect me, and you will use it.
Respect me, and you will ask others to use it too.
I am not, unless I tell you, “also”, “formerly” or “otherwise known as”.
Because my name is who I am:
Out of joy, celebrating union with one I love very much:
Out of fear, for they who might yet find and do me harm;
Out of honour, for a dear, now departed, friend or relative;
Out of disgust, for violence inflicted on me, the child;
Out of growth, as ugly bug,
Discarding identity once held,
I become and become beautiful butterfly.
Or none of these. It may be whim: mere fancy.
Yet, absent reason to suspect my reasoning
Tis out of ego that your will imposed will do me ill.
Proudly affirming a proud tradition,
I owe you neither rhyme nor explanation of my choice:
So do not bridle, do not feel rebuked:
My past is done. If you respect me: hear my present voice.