Names, again!!! 🙂 Okay, so I did my post on Gloria, right? What I didn’t mention exactly was that I always hated my name, even before being transgendered was at the tip-top of my consciousness. There was not being able to live up to the glamorous image of Gloria Swanson, and there was being called “Glooey-Baby” by school mates.
So when I got a job at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as an accounts payable clerk back in 1979, I told my boss how I detested my name. By then, my partner, Dee, and all my friends were calling me by my middle name, Gayle. I felt like two people in two worlds. “Gayle” to my partner and friends, and “Gloria” to my family and in my professional life.
Being “Gayle” was much easier. After all, there was Gale Gordon from I Love Lucy.
You’d just know this clip would have an airplane skit… “Yeah, it’s a drag…” Hilarious!
What was I saying? Oh yeah, about my name… So anyway, when I complained about hating my name to my supervisor, a wonderful woman named Jan, what does she do? She orders me a new name plate with Gayle Carraro written on it, and instructs my co-workers that they must henceforth call me “Gayle,” which they did.
That fixed the “professional” part, but not the “family” part. I tried to get my mother to call me Gayle, and told her how important it was to me, but she refused. (One of the many ways she invalidated me….) And because my mother refused to honor my preference, the rest of my family was in a quandary. Sometimes talking to me directly, they would call me “Gayle,” but when they mentioned me to my mother, they had no choice but to call me “Gloria.” So I spent a couple of decades being 99% “Gayle” and 1% “Gloria.”
Of course, then as the first step from transitioning from female to male, I changed my name to Terry. Naturally, at first my mother balked, but eventually came around:
My relatives were quicker on the uptake than my mother — I didn’t look like a Gloria or Gayle any more, and they were smart enough to know they’d appear to be lunatics if they called me by my old names. 100% Terry.
However, my biggest gripe is when people use the feminized version — Terri. (I have a cisgendered female friend who has the same name — Terry — and even she has the same gripe!)
So, I posted the comic up there at the top to my Facebook page. You can read the comments. My friend, Terry, says “haha; my argument all my life,” and my cousin, Susie, says, “Those of us that have known you all your life we know how to spell “TERRI” Love You!“
Okay, I really have to stop and laugh. My wacky family, fundamentalists and all, for the most part they do accept me, as is obvious from Susie’s reply. But she still misses the intent of the cartoon — TerrY. (If it’s spelled with a “Y” it usually, but is not always a boy name. If it’s spelled with an “i” it’s always a girl name. Gotta laugh… Gotta love….
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