Monday, August 11, 2008

Real Names

Over at Possummomma there is a post about ‘Coming Out’ in an atheist context. It got me to thinking, always dangerous I know.

I don‘t blog under my ‘real’ name but quite a few people know me IRL as Natasha, some only know me as Natasha. I would like to change my name legally but for personal reasons that’s not going to happen any time soon. I’m walking a line between coming out and saying ‘yes I’m a trans-women, deal with it’ and not hiding it but not announcing it. Again this is all for personal reasons.

As for my atheism I don’t announce it either but will be happy to proclaim it should any one ask. Not that anyone has thanks to the assumption by most people that if you’re white you’re either Christian or Jewish. Of course if this nation weren’t so obsessed with religion it wouldn’t matter any way.

AS for when, where or how to come out that is an intensely personal decision to be weighed carefully before going ahead. While it would be nice for various civil rights struggles if everyone could be out not everyone can and it’s their decision and theirs alone to make.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. If someone asks me about my beliefs, then I'll gladly share them. But, I'm not going to invite trouble.

I wish this world was more tolerant of people who are different. It angers me that people wouldn't accept you for what you are based on the person you are. It bothers me that there are people who would pass up on the positive that you have to offer because they fear change. I will never know exactly what you're going through, but I can imagine and hope that by raising open-minded children, I'm making it easier for people in the future.

Christopher said...

A guy I work with once asked me what church I went to and all I said was, “I don’t.” For him the question was as innocuous as asking, “What’s your favorite TV show?” but it made me uncomfortable to be asked. He took my answer in stride, though, and we’ve stayed on good terms. The funny thing is my honesty has allowed him to be comfortable expressing doubts about his religion—or just coming out and criticizing it.
When it comes to coming out, though, I think it should almost always be a personal decision. In cases where it’s someone prominent who’s vociferously anti-gay (I’m thinking Ted Haggard or Larry Craig) I think the bastards deserve what they get. But I’ve known people who weren’t hypocrites, who just weren’t ready to come out publicly and who got outed in a really humiliating way. Even though I think they needed to be honest with themselves and the people around them, I think it also made things harder for them.
Anyway that’s tangential to the topic at hand. A tolerant world—a world where people can feel free to accept who they are because they don’t have to worry about others accepting them would be a wonderful thing.