What’s in a name?



Who I am.


That was such a weird thing to think about subjectively. You are born, and you are given a name. I never once considered the possibility of being called something else.

Unfortunately, gender segregation is everywhere. My name, as it read on my birth certificate, was something that obviously would not work in my new life. Furthermore, my $oldname was something that represented a lot of pain, and a lot of darkness.

But my entire life, growing up as a boy who would one day be a man, your name is everything you have. I remember playing John Proctor in The Crucible, and truly believing my final speech as I was giving it in the play. If you haven’t seen it, you should really check it out. A few minutes of your time, and you will understand what I mean.

Is a name really all you have?


Your name is not you.

Your name represents you.

In my case, my $oldname represented a person who never existed at all. I slowly realized that a name is nothing more than encapsulation of a person. That completely blew my mind.

In software engineering there is a common practice of naming things. Typically it’s one of the most controversial exercises a software engineer can go through. Naming things is hard, and is extremely risky. The second you name a complex idea, you create an identity. That identity will live and ultimately die,  but for the duration of it’s life the identity will serve as a symbol for an idea.

To be nameless

To live a nameless life is liberating. I have freedom from the shackles of a life I was born into. I would suggest renaming yourself to anyone, regardless of gender identity. 

To be nameless is much more than losing a simple name.

To be nameless is to kill the identity that symbolized your past, as well as liberate you towards a new symbol moving forward.

I spent 2 years of my life “nameless”

I had many names, and many people new many different variations of myself.

My resume disagreed with my license which disagreed with my inbox. I was many people, and still no one at the same time. I was free. I was empowered, and given a unique opportunity to create a new symbol for myself. A symbol that could be whatever I wanted, a symbol that could represent any person I chose. It was as exciting as it was terrifying.

The new symbol

I needed a name, a symbol, something that demanded respect while still capturing me. I spent almost 2 years debating over what it should be, or where I should draw inspiration from.

I legitimately named myself after my online accounts, specifically GitHub.com

It seems ridiculous, but is it all that crazy?

The variable name should not matter.. however the value of the variable can break a program, and some names are better than others.

I had a new value, and just needed a fun name. The name made things simple, but my representation of a human being was drastically complicated.

So try not to take your name too seriously, because ultimately it is a symbol for a person. The person behind the name is what matters, and I have been fortunate enough to live 2 lives under 2 names.

I realize that at the end of the day your name doesn’t matter, but your character and your choices are eternal. 

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