Good Omens

Living a genderqueer life

Month: December, 2012

Calling names

My name-changing process has taken another step, as the new name has been approved of by the Ministry of Justice’s Names Board. This means that in a few weeks, the local Register Office will be marking the name change down as official, and I’ll be able to get on with my life. What this means is that I’ll be getting cards, ID’s and other stuff marked with the name I’ve chosen, not one chosen for me.

(I talked about this with my mother, and we seem to agree that while it’s important for people to have names they like living with, there must also be some starting point, a name a person can be called with until they know if it’s the right name for them or not. I’m OK with having had a name that identified me with a specific binary gender. That’s just not something I want to go on having.)

What I really would love is for people to know me well enough to invent their own names for me, names that mean something to them and to me, making each naming an acknowledgment of the other person and the relationship between us. Like between my love and me: we can call each other any name at all, because the name always means: I love you as yourself.

But realizing this is maybe a bit much to ask (it will happen spontaneously with some people), I have chosen for myself the name I now (most often) use. And it’s a name I like a lot. Just, please, don’t think Enne equals me equals Enne. I am me, not a name, even a great one. A name is only a symbol, a finger pointing to the sky, not the sky itself.

Some do and some are done to

Yesterday’s “aha! experience”:

A band is playing on a stage. The musicians are technically brilliant, the music is deep and thoughtful – and still, I’m not touched by the performance at all. I even feel that I’d rather be elsewhere.

Half an hour before:

A different band is playing on the stage. The musicians play with a fierce joy visible on their faces. The tune is a little naive, it’s easy to learn by ear, and before long, everybody’s singing with the people on the stage. I feel safe and comfortable with myself and my voice, I feel deeply privileged to be here, to be invited by the musicians’ smiles to share the moment. One of the people on the stage makes “a mistake”, plays a discordant ┬ánote, looks at us, and smiles even more deeply – taking┬ápride in what they do.

I hadn’t realized how the power relations of subjects and objects are at work even in the world of performing arts. In the first example, the performer is the subject of the concert, an active shaper of the moment, while the audience is passive, acted upon, an object of the performer’s art. But in the second example, the power of subjectivity is shared by everybody. It’s not Me anymore, doing something to Them, but Me meeting You to become Us. In the act of opening ourselves, We become the subject and Reality the object, that we can shape with the power of sharing, the power of Love.

Hi there,

I’m OK.

There were a lot of things on my mind on Saturday evening, when I wrote the last post. Basically, it was the tension from preparing for a big concert relieving in a sudden flush of exhaustion and despair. On Sunday morning I was already “back to normal”, but I still took Sunday and Monday off from playing bass. What a good decision! Tomorrow I’ll pick up the instrument again, with a completely renewed fresh feeling.

Too much

I’ve been leaving too little time for just taking it easy. It always gets back at you.