My mother once signed me up at a new school in a new state across the country from where I had grown up with a last name that wasn't mine. She didn't tell me. It wasn't until roll was called the first day and I was told to go sit in front of a paper placard with a name they said was mine but wasn't really that I even knew. I was too shy and embarrassed to say anything, so for the first two weeks of sixth grade I didn't say much to anyone about anything, much less that they had a wrong name in my file. Later, a teacher noticed I wrote a different name on papers and asked me about it. I said it must have been a Mix-up, but I knew it had been my mother. This happened everywhere for the next three years. Finally, my mother grudgingly relented and signed me up for things under the first name she considered mine and my real last name. By that time, I had already started going by a different first name everywhere. I still can't tell her to call me that at home though. I pretend I'm ok with just half my true name on papers. I pretend it doesn't make me feel like half a being.


Also in sixth grade, I tried very very hard to let everyone know I was a girl. I had purple everything, because purple was a girl's colour and wasn't pink. I told people I just didn't like the stereotypes pink comes with. I wasn't a girl then, but I didn't want to be a freak.

I'm a freak of nature now, and I try very hard to be ok with that.