Thursday, January 22, 2009


So I don't know when it started, but as far back as I can remember the name Hannah never seemed to fit me,
as far back as I can remember I recall my knee-jerk reaction whenever hearing my name,
as far back as I can remember I have always felt like other names fit me better,
I have sought refuge in nicknames, some of my relatives call me magz, derived from my middle name,
My most prominent name was Mouse, given to me by a school friend in the 6th grade, and then stuck at camp,
I remember wanting to change my name everytime I changed schools... but I never found the courage.

High School:
1st day of 9th grade, study hall period:
senior: Whats your name?
me: Hannah
senior: thats such a nice name
me: you can have it...

I think his name was Ricky, I like Ricky better...
Although this happened in 9th grade I can remember feeling like that was my auto response when people complimented my name...
no matter where I went I always heard how pretty my name was, and I always talked about how much I hated it...

When one of my current best friends came out as Bi just before 10th grade I remember hearing the word, and although I probably couldn't put together a definition of the word I immediately knew what it was, and knew that I was one. I had the same reaction when I first heard about genderqueer, it was about 11th grade, and I was watching coming out stories on Logo (the gay channel) and there was a young, female bodied GQ coming out to their mother, immediately I identified with that person, on the TV and that term.

I founded my schools GSA, although we wern't technically a GSA, we were a diversity club. My senior year we were having a discussion about trans issues and immediately the tone of the room switched, I remember my then girlfriend shouting passionately at the room that you could be as butch as you could be but you should never change your gender. She then asked if anybody disagreed with her and I raised my hand, but I was the only one... in an instant I felt very alone, and I stopped talking about my gender. But I never stopped thinking about it...

By the time I entered hampshire I knew that my gender was not clear cut, for the most part I think about it as fluid, or non-identified... at this point I am using FTQ to express my gender, female to queer/questioning... im not FTM, im not female... FTQ

and so we are back to the name... I am using the name Helyx, it fits better, it makes more sense internally, and it doesnt have the same knee-jerk reaction, and so I think its worth a try...



Marie said...

It is difficult to read your post, my wonderful baby girl. Hannah was the name of your great-grandmother and it felt so important link the two of you by naming you Hannah.

It is also difficult to understand what all the gender fuss is about. Sex is a biological fact and gender is the social construct around that fact. Not so long ago gender roles were very rigid, being female or male could make the difference between having an education, legal rights, etc. However, today I don't understand what the fuss is about. No one is asking you to wear a dress, act like a lady, wear make-up, etc. Are you offended by using the women's room? It is difficult for me to think of another way my gender impacts my life.

Bottom line, I love you. I don't understand your gender angst. I love you.
your Mom

Rachel said...

Hey, I dig the new name. I kinda wondered when and if you were going to change it from Hannah. Excellent choice, very daring and unique. Hannah's a nice name, but talking to you, it never really seemed right. Hopefully, though, you can find a way to incorporate your lineage into your name. I know my mother would be upset if I changed my middle name, Paige, into something else because it links me back to my mother's hometown.

Loyalty and Respect always,