Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On names

At work we have a couple of dry erase boards that we use for keeping track of when the current dough was pulled out and when it expires. Yesterday I noticed that someone had written the names of everyone who works full time on the pretzel side along with the statement, "We the best." I was amused by it but also bothered a little. See whoever wrote the names used my full first name, Gilbert.

I have mostly stopped going by Gilbert using the shorter Gil or Gilly. There are a few of my employees who call me by my full name but it's a rare occorance and it doesn't bother me much. But seeing it written down like that felt wrong. I took a piece of paper towel and wiped off 'bert' leaving just Gil which made me feel better.

Interesting note: Gilly, the nickname my manager gave me and those closest to me at work call me, is a variant of Gilberte, the feminine form of Gilbert.


  1. I chose "Gillian" because:
    1. It was the name of a very intelligent woman I knew in college and for whom I had a great amount of respect.
    2. All I had to do was change the first and last letters of my "other" name - William.

    However, I pronounce it with a soft "G," and folks often spell it "Jillian." But that explains why I use "Jill" as a nickname.

    For yourself, be yourself, but don't be ashamed or bothered by who you "were."

  2. I like going by Gil or Gilly but do plan on changing my first name to Gillian and keeping Gilbert as a middle name. I chose Gillian for the simple reason of it being close to birth name but also distinctly feminine.

    I was bothered not because it was a reminder of who I am at the moment(I've not yet asked the people I work with to recognize me as a woman) but because it doesn't feel like my name anymore. Or rather it's not the name I want to be known by. It's difficult to sort out right now while I balance on the edge between of privately and publicly transitioning. I know of course that that is one balancing act I can't keep up forever.

  3. Some of us keep it up.
    But the secrecy part is a pain. I'd rather everyone know that I'm dual, but it just doesn't work in my profession - or let's say trying to make it work is asking for a passle of trouble. If I were working in an art gallery in West LA, it might be an asset. (Of course, I don't know how well art galleries are doing right now.)