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name day

March 2018

I didn't even specifically intend to name myself on Pi Day. It was just clearly time. And that's fitting enough even if it wasn't intentional, because I am in fact a big nerd.

A year ago, I put on some non-committal clothes and went to play Pandemic Legacy (a cooperative, multi-session board game) with some friends. It was time to let them know about my gender at all.

The group with me and some close friends, including a couple of kibitzers who had already played it. One of them, who I'll call A, is agender.

It was hard to figure out the right time to bring it up, even when we took a break from the game to have some apple pie. So I just kind of blurted out toward the end that I was non-binary and genderfluid and trying out they/them pronouns.

There would be awkward follow-up questions from others later, but the most immediate reaction was from A: "Oh my god, do you want to join Quorum right now? We need more baritone voices."

Quorum Boston is an LGBTQ+ choir. Should I say "was"? I'm writing this during the actual pandemic and choirs don't exist anymore. I hope it returns one day.

For some reason, I didn't even commit to joining the choir. It was an incredibly good idea, but I thought I would be joining too late in the season.

I didn't bring up my name in person, because I hadn't 100% committed to it. I felt I needed to talk one-on-one with A to be sure, and it was late.

There are two reasons I know I had picked my name on this day. One is that I immediately signed up for OkCupid with it when I got home. I didn't really know the right words, but I took an okay selfie and wrote a profile that finally described me, not some fake dude.

More relevant is the e-mail I sent to A late that night:

Subject: So I have questions

I mean the subject line in a general and a specific sence. I am questioning my gender identity. I brought this up awkwardly at Pandemic after having brought it up awkwardly in a few other places. It's pretty exciting and confusing and I want to know who I should really be talking to.

Here's where I am right now: I've been crossdressing a lot for the last several weeks, basically every opportunity I've had since the moment I realized I could just do it and nobody would stop me. Mostly on my own but in a few cases at small social gatherings of people I'm already out to. The next episode of Pandemic will probably be such a time too.

It's exciting but also terrifying, and sometimes I feel like an impostor because I don't have the whole story of having known something was wrong all my life or whatever, but I think I'm learning that you don't have to have that story. Things weren't awful before, I just feel better now. Anyway, I should stop info-dumping and get to a couple of more specific questions.

I may have dismissed the idea of singing in the choir you're in too hastily. Do you really want someone to join on short notice? Something I have never thought is "hey I need an opportunity to sing aleatoric nonsense in my life, I'll start wearing skirts and asking friends to call me they", but it seems like a good group so I guess I'm kind of interested in showing up when the time is right?

Names! Aaaaaaa! It's pretty clear that I can't be

I took the name Robyn on March 14, 2018. Elia came later.