Editor’s Note: The following submission is from Bob D. Ottaway. Have an LGBTQ+ related experience or story to share? Having your article published on this site will automatically enrol you into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Submit an article today via queerdeermedia.com.
It was the sweaty ass-crack of late summer when I huff-puff-gasped! my way into the blissfully air conditioned halls of my university on my way to some meeting of personal academic importance, and like many freshmen and veterans alike, I became promptly lost in the Labyrinth-like campus, and not looking to incur the wrathful Minotaur of tardiness, I found myself sidling up to a Student Services Desk to ask for directions.
While I awaited the helpful desk clerk to be done with the paper chains she was precariously sticking upon a nearby wall, my eyes happened to glance towards a flock of uniform rubber ducks.
Generic rubber fowl that in any other place would have gone without comment, but finding a large desk full of them in a university was a mild eyebrow raise.
A little school spirit gimmick for whatever reason that is lost to me, i shrugged and. out of boredom and curiosity, I picked one up and peeked at its neither regions, where one of those random “What if?” questions was tapped.
I don’t remember the exact wording, but it went along the lines of “if you could change your name from the moment you were born what would it be?” It was a silly little thing really I thought to myself: If I could go back in time I wanted to be “Bob,” that’s what I would name myself.
“Bob” instead of “Kathy” or “Katherine.”
I found it appealing, always have really. I even had a job once where you could choose an alias to work the phones, and I eventually ended up choosing Bob, feeling a thrill of happiness every time I greeted some hapless surveyed individual.
I’d always felt…not right in my own skin growing up, not the gender that comes tied to Kathy, childhood dreams of a long flowing Dumbledore beard, hairy flat chest, and the smooth dulcet funk of Shack or Barry White.
There were no word for what I was, so I tried not to think about it. Then when i entered University, i eventually learned words like “Queer Theory” and “Trans,” but i didn’t immediately make the connections on a personal level until tat moment when I held that genderless toy and for some reason, finally took that next logical step and asked myself“Why? What is it about you being Bob that is so alluring?”
I remebered childhood experiences of identifying more with the boys in my social sphere then with most of the girls. I remember always eager to play the lead male role so I could dress up and pretend for a little while. I considered why my online avatars were either male or gender-bending personas, I even remembered how as a kid, I’d been happy at the idea that girls could be iconic boys on TV when I realized that Nancy Cartwright voiced Bart Simpson, and so on.
So many things began clicking into place, a latent realization that had been prodding me for quite awhile, well, it now suddenly had the opening it needed thanks to that question, and my epiphany came out of the gates roaring:
“Because your a guy you dumbass.”
That same day I told my roommates my epiphany, to which one of them was not overly surprised, and later when I phoned my grandmother to come out to my family, she asked what it was of course, and after wards she wasn’t surprised either and was very supportive, and took it easier then my coming out as Aromantic Asexual to her a few years earlier.
Someday, when I am ready, I am going to get my name changed legally to Bob, and my middle name, Duck.