Thursday, March 25, 2010

Naming Names

It's Called a Scene Name for a Reason-

Because its the name they want used in the scene.

By Lee Harrington (c)

Hey dude or chica I just met at a con. I know you're trying to get to know me better, but when you drop my friends legal names into conversation that can be overheard by other kinksters, instead of using their scene name, it does not impress me. It does not make me think that you know them better. It, by proxy, does not make me go "wow, this person knows so and so's real name, they must be good friends... and that person they mentioned is my friend, so thus I should be this new persons friend too."

No. It makes me think that you, so up in your stuff human, are one of a few choices:

1) Someone forgetful who slipped and used the wrong name. OK, cool, I can totally forgive that, we fuck up sometimes.

2) That you are trying to use this person's legal name, job outside the scene, or some such thing to create a false connection to me. Not so cool, but understandable- we are monkeys who want to connect to other monkeys and thus will use the tools we have at hand if, say, we have no skills at having a conversation or finding out what we in fact have in common.

but often, it makes me think:

3) That you don't actually care about that friend of mine because if you did, you wouldn't be sharing their business with the world.

Folks have scene names for many many reasons. Some folks want to try on a new name, one they feel sexy with instead of the birth name their parents or whomever gave them. Some want to express a different gender identity then how they often walk in the world. But MANY folks choose a scene name because they don't want folks spreading their business from one part of their life into another part of their life, or back. Scene names are like having different cutting boards for raw chicken and for the vegi tray- it stops cross-contamination and the spread of (social) diseases.

Maybe they work for the government. Maybe their spouse doesn't want to know details from their other life. Maybe they have kids that if the ex-spouse finds out what they have been up to, would use that as fodder in the legal proceedings even if what they like up their butt has no relevance to how well they raise their kids. Maybe they just like the privacy.

But either way, if someone goes by one name in the scene, I try my damnedest to respect that name usage. I don't care if I know Grand Mistress So and So's legal name and occupation, the color of their cat and their home address- unless that is general knowledge, it sucks to use that info in discussion. I might mention that they have a cat, if they mentioned other places in public scene events that they have a cat. I may even say my opinions on their cat, given that I know they know I have those opinions. But I am for darn sure not telling new human their legal name, address, etc... just to get to know them better.

This applies for the pagan community too. OK, so at home they go by Molly, but here they are StarLoveMoonBeam. I may have gone gaming with Molly, had sex with Molly, hung out with Molly's kids... but at the pagan event I have either (a) done all of the above with StarLoveMoonBeam or (b) I have known StarLoveMoonBeam for quite some time. That's it. No one needs to know at the pagan gathering that StarLoveMoonBeam likes to be tied up while I wear a rubber chicken suit. Really. It does not help me think that you, person who just told me, have a deeper magical connection with them as a co-creator of spells. It makes me think you are an ass.

All of the above also applies to pen names, porn names, musical/art names, etc.

I have been these people. All sides. I have been the human who has fucked up and shared the details of former lover's storage collection systems or neighborhood they lived in. I have been the person whose phone number was posted on public websites that led to creepy people calling me at 2am. I've been bragged to. I've done the bragging. Thus, I don't feel bad saying:

Stop it already.

It's called a scene name for a reason.
Because its the name they want used in the scene.

Copyright by Lee Harrington @
*ALL rights reserved* used with permission of the author.


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