So, by now I hope people have started to notice a change. What once said “Daniel” now proudly proclaims “Siren.”
Is this some form of teenage rebellion? Maybe a little. A quarter-life crisis? I hope not. Instead, this personally is a first part of a bigger life shift for me. I feel that people change over time, we are always evolving for our environment, work, family and frankly, the world. If we start out as A and end as B, we’re clearly not the same person anymore. So why should A always be referred to as A, when A is now B?
Growing up, everybody called me “Garrett.” It was fine, it was all I knew. I was isolated from the realities of our brutal society and all was good. I never felt that who I was was shifting quickly enough to merit becoming a different person. That lasted for a while, sixteen years to be exact. When I was sixteen I wanted to fit in and go under the radar more than ever. Not only was I questioning my sexuality, I was an awkward teenager. Definitely not one of the cool kids, in my opinion. “Daniel” offered me the silence I craved for so long. “Daniel” was easy, not just because it was my first name, but because “Garrett” was hard.
So I made the switch, in the middle of my life, job and friends I became “Daniel.” Noticed the “quotes” yet? They’re important.
Most of the people around me made an effort to call me “Daniel.” The only people who didn’t weee those closest to me. My family calls me “Garrett” to this day, because it’s too hard to respect someone’s wishes and refer to them by the name they ask to be called. After a month of nudging them I gave up. Clearly they didn’t care, but I did. I felt that the decisions I make don’t mean much for them. with that in the back of my head I pin-balled through my life.
While out on a walk, on the side of Honeymoon Bay Rd, I heard the name Siren for the first time, and I couldn’t let it go. It felt right. It was Scandinavian in origins, embracing my family heritage and unique in society. What began to convince me was that Siren was in its early days, nonbinary. It could refer to either a male or female mythical creature that lured sailors to their deaths with sweet song.
Having a nonbinary name was important to me. I feel that in 2018, someone’s gender matters less and less. A woman can stronger than a man, and a man can be more nurturing. Traditional gender-based stereotypes are being bashed day in and day out. While I identify as male, have a traditionally masculine name means little to me. I want a name that makes me happy, that makes people stop and question.
We all started somewhere, as did I. We all become new people, but we tie ourselves to our past rather than embracing all of our future. Over the next few months, you’ll witness me become Siren. Unbound by tradition, inspired by the future.
So, hi. My name’s Siren. Nice to meet you.