Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reflections on ten years of being 'Epiphanie Bloom'

a) For better or worse, I am conspicuously named. This can lead to warm responses from the favourably inclined, distrust from those more enmeshed in the Tall Poppy societal pattern, or bemusement from those whose education didn't include the word epiphany. Either way, I rarely inspire indifference when asked to introduce myself.

b) One change demands another - at least, in theory. I would like the freedom to change my name again, and many times more - however the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has set a limit on this deed, and so I am forced to think very carefully about how to proceed. Earlier this year I fancied calling myself Leyla Summers, and even changed my Facebook URL accordingly. But after asking several friends to call me Leyla, I realised that I had become very attached to having an extraordinary name, and decided to leave things as they are for the time being. There is something attractively gender-neutral about Epiphanie Bloom. It's a bit camp, a bit hippy. I like it.

c) There do come days when I would give anything to not have to explain my name. I wish, at those times, I could just rattle off a common name (much like Maria was) and move on to another topic. Because introducing myself is an Event. It reveals something about me, and fills up my first impressions. Thankfully, I don't usually feel like this. Usually I'm up for demonstrating my self-determination, nonconformism and free-spirited personality. But no-one's perfect.

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