“The things one takes seriously are one’s weaknesses”, Charles Ludlam, Manifesto.

Becoming Angela

For over 70 years I have mostly been called Jim (or Jimmy originally); at least when people were being polite.

Jim is a fairly common name.

One year I worked in an open plan office with seven other engineers; when someone came in and asked for “”Jim””, five of us looked up.

I have been in many small groups where there were at least two “”Jims””; currently there are two Jims in my regular ballet class.

So, I imagined being called Angela would supply some relief from these coincidences, but, no, now that I am looking more closely, I see lots of Angelas too. It is one more idea that I have to get over.

There are many other things I need to get over.

A full stealth transition to Angela is out of the question, and a bad idea; I do not want to abandon that 70+ years of history and the precious support of friends and family.

This change is better described as helping people see the same me in a more truthful light.

I have to accept that I will be called “”Jim”” from time to time.

Using emotional words, like “”deadname””, for it is not going to help.

However, being called Angela does help others to understand me.

And there are other things I am doing to reduce the uncomfortable discrepancy some people feel when they see me.

I have worried, a lot, and for a long time, about shocking people and, more importantly, receiving hostile reactions.

So far, this has not happened. Just the opposite; for which I am profoundly grateful.

In truth, I have been changing for years, and anyone taking an objective look at me, such as my physician, could see that.

I am blessed to be in a more tolerant world, very different than even 50 years ago.

A world, at least locally, that is going out of its way to accommodate such changes.

So, should you call me Angela?

Why not?