Rainn. Ronnie. Veronica.
This is an essay about wanting to change my name and unexpected sweetness.
This morning, the rain clouds blacked out the sky. It started lightly at first and then quickly picked up. I burrowed deeper into the covers and reached for the human sunshine next to me.
I wanted to imprint myself at the moment, to be able to close my eyes and easily return to that bed.
I am grateful for moments, for the “just for nows.” For feelings that can envelop me along with legs, hands, hair.
With her, it’s as if I am being gently and lovingly burned alive. This person is a comet. This person is the moon. I kiss her fingers in a salute. I am undone each time and I don’t want anything else to feel this way. One day I’ll freeze time, but until then I’ll just inhale deeply and burrow my nose into her neck, grateful and so so still.
Being queer has been one of the best things in my life. Although I knew I was queer from a young age, I am more myself than I have ever been. I owe that to finally coming out, to finally living as I have always imagined myself to be.
And lately, that person isn’t named, “Sarah”.
I know so many Sarahs, and I am one of many in other people’s lives. My mother quite literally picked up a bible and chose names for my siblings and I.
Sarah: Mother of Nations. Sarah: Princess. Sarah: a comfort.
Reader, there is nothing royal or motherly about me.
I am a fire. I am a jester. I am disquieted and angry and loud and sulfur.
I am from hell.
Sarah is a name for someone who died a long time ago. Veronica is who I am when I am fiery, Ronnie is who I am when I am feeling masculine. And then there’s Rainn.
Rainn is who I am in an everyday sense. Just sweet enough, just slow enough. Just strange enough. With enough rain, things can get destroyed, washed over, new. Rainn is also androgynous. While I identify the most as a cis woman, Rainn leaves me the wiggle room for when I don’t feel like either.
I am afraid of change. I am afraid of what people will think. Maybe I need just a pen name or a last name change. I imagine my friends calling me “Rainn”, and them tripping up when they forget and say, “Sarah” and I feel embarrassed. Growth, in general, is embarrassing.
But Rainn feels like home. Like she has been waiting for me.
I don’t know when I’ll make the change, but I feel that time is coming sooner than later. I am excited and terrified and worried.
And that is how I know I am alive.
And Moon girl, there is no one else like you.