Friday, December 4, 2009

What's in a Name

I'm often asked how I chose the name Lucy. I think most people assume there must be some deep, personal reason behind my choice, but the short answer is that I just liked how it sounded.

I tried out many names as I searched for the one that I felt was just right for me. At first, my choices leaned toward the more uncommon with names like Corrina, Annabelle and Viola. For a while, I used the name Sophie but it just never felt quite right. I also asked my mom on a few different occasions what she would have named me if I had been born female, thinking that I might use that name either for my first or middle name, but she would never tell me, probably guessing my reason for asking. As I continued to try out different names, I liked the way Lucy sounded; it felt like me.

Lucy is a name that's always been around me, mostly from pop culture. From Lucille Ball (and no, my name is not Lucille; it's just Lucy) to Lucy from Peanuts to Lucy Lawless of Xena: Warrior Princess fame (who my mom is a HUGE fan of). The main character of the anime series Fairy Tail, which I am currently following on Crunchyroll, is also named Lucy.

Lucy from Fairy Tail

I also liked that Lucy is a normal, fairly common name but also that you don't meet a Lucy every day. I was able to maintain my uniqueness somewhat without people constantly asking how to spell my name or thinking that I had chosen it to make myself stand out more.

The simplicity of my name, though, often seems to be lost on restaurant workers. Many times I've had to repeat my name more than once when asked a name to use for an order. Now, sometimes I may not speak loudly enough for them to hear me but it seems to me at other times that they can tell that I'm male, even though I'm dressed and presenting as a woman, and so are questioning the legitimacy of the name Lucy. This feeling has been confirmed on more than one occasion when I have had to pick up an order for a "Lucian." The masculinizing of my name bothers me; you may not agree with me that I am a woman but when I tell you my name is Lucy, I expect to be called Lucy, especially at a restaurant. If I said my name was "Darth Vader," I would expect to pick up an order for "Darth Vader." I'm not as bothered when people I know still use my male name because I understand that it's a transition process but with someone I don't know at a restaurant, I would expect to be called by the name that I give.

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