New me

In the late 1980s I discovered my paternal grandfather had changed our surname prior to marrying, at the insistence of his future wife, she did not want the hypenated surname. It may also have been related to his being disinherited as he was marrying a catholic where he was I assume Church of England.

Upon learning of this I really wanted to restore our surname to its original, though it did eventually take me another four years before I did so legally. During those years I would use it unofficially and also considered whether I wanted to keep my first name, something I associated negatively with all the bullying I’d endured throughout school.

When in 1993 I formally changed my name I had wanted to change my name to Corin but I faced such opposition within the family just with changing the surname that I ended up retaining the first name but modifying middle names to feature what I wanted. The result never was what I wanted and having all those middle names I felt kind of embarrassed, I would avoid telling people about or how they came to be.

After my little brother took his life in April I couldn’t help but cast a lens over my life and examine what I too wasn’t happy with. For me it was obvious, for 24 years I had lived with those names as middle names that I had wanted to make my new name, it was time to seize the day, carpe diem. At the end of May I began using Corin as a preferred name, I had some interesting reactions:

  • Some friends expressed liking my original name but supported my change;
  • Many expressed liking the new name;
  • Some were curious to understand the name’s meaning – it is Celtic with Roman origins to their god Mars; it means Spear thrower;
  • I got asked by one person at work whether anything else was changing. This made me laugh so much, but I confirmed was solely a change of name, happy with gender and sexuality!

I submitted the paperwork to change name formally in August and a month later, or thereabouts, an email advised I had to send my old birth certificate and change of name certificate to them to be destroyed. I had a quiet chuckle here as mum had covered the birth certificate in contact film in the 80s, good luck shredder! I was forced to delay sending due to a holiday to Singapore in October, I knew I’d not get documentation and a passport quickly enough.

Finally, on my little brother’s birthday, the approved change of name came through and I am now officially Corin. I felt quite elated for about ten or so minutes, almost as though floating. I’ve since been arranging new identification and updating name with banks and government etc, this has been a lot quicker than I thought it might have been with 75% completed in 2 days.

I think I need a holiday!


Same Sex Marriage Survey: I vote YES

My survey form arrived today, it was a no brainer to vote YES and support equal rights for all to have the right to marry, should they wish to do so.

Without that piece of paper same sex couples lack so many rights that heterosexual couples seemingly enjoy, I only discovered this more recently.

A friend’s daughter was pregnant with her third child and in her final month of her pregnancy when she made the decision to end her relationship with her longtime girlfriend. I can’t imagine what that decision must have been like, scary to say the least, but she felt her partner was more committed to partying and clubbing than her and the kids. It was only after splitting and hoping to arrange an equitable split of assets and establish financial support for her and the kids that she discovered the law did not recognise the relationship and she could pretty much get nothing.

It is this example that makes me look at the inequity of our marriage laws that currently allow only for a man and woman. The survey proposes to support same sex marriage, we won’t find out until mid-November the results. I just hope that this expensive $122m survey, if it does come back with a majority in favour, results in our politicians respecting the people’s wishes and pushing through the change.

I feel for the LGBTIQ community who during this whole process are subjected to scrutiny over their right to do what heterosexual couples take for granted and are generally expected to do at some point, marry.

Just Seven

The dreadful events of a van mowing down people in Barcelona just brings home that no matter where you are in the world terrorism can strike at your door. Just a few weeks ago a good friend of mine, Suzanne, had walked the very streets where this had occurred and could herself have been caught up in the situation had she planned her holiday just weeks later, I am so grateful she did not.

It is always so saddening when these events occur and the mongrels succeed in taking even one life because then I feel they gain something, they add a notch to their post so to speak. Here in Australia it was reported a young British-born boy who now resides in Sydney had gone missing during the confusion, just seven years old. It rings home all to closely as my niece is just seven years old, I know how developed their personalities are at this age and how much they mean to their families.

Sadly it was reported today that as his father and other family members arrived in Barcelona to begin their search for him he had been discovered in a hospital, deceased. Having lost my brother just months ago I feel their pain at this time, how hard it must be to lose someone so young and so tragically.

RIP Julian

Wait. No longer!

I decided in late May I would swap from my first name Bryan to my last middle name Corin. It has been an interesting journey, I have been asked why I was doing so many a time, even asked oddly if I was changing gender as the person enquiring had worked with someone whose name changed and later so too did their gender. No, my gender will not be changing, sorry to disappoint.

Some have adapted to my new preferred name relatively easily whilst others several months on still find themselves slipping up and quickly correcting themselves. Generally though most have now adjusted to calling me Corin and have said they really quite like the name.

As someone who likes to hide in the background I find all the attention it has garnered oddly strange. I had planned to formalise my name change in late October or November as I had already booked a holiday to Singapore and thought it better to wait. I got a tad frustrated at work the other day when an IT worker refused to created a new staff ID card as preferred names are no longer accepted. I decided enough, I wanted to move on and change as soon as possible. I finally submitted my paperwork today, it will take around 6 weeks to return, then the process of changing my name everywhere else, especially my passport.

It will be good to be official.

Time for a fresh brew, and name

For the longest time I can recall not liking my name, Bryan. My own spelling is the less common, most spell it with an “i”, thus colour me surprised should anyone spell it correctly. I think another reason I have a negative association with my birth name was all the years of bullying, it’s hard for me to separate the two. 

Ever since the upper high school in the late 1980s I had been thinking about my name and perhaps changing it. It was at this time I had discovered my grandfather had changed our family name at request of his wife to be. In the early 1990s I reversed that family name change, for me it actually meant something. At the time I considered changing my name too but chickened out doing so, I wasn’t ready. 

The loss of my brother recently has made me step back and think about things, my name being one of these. For years I have used my preferred name on forums, or if I didn’t want to give my real name to someone, this my decision to change this past weekend seemed natural. 

My decision to change made I changed my name on Facebook and made a post with one of those new colourful backgrounds. Generally most were supportive, while some expressed support but said they liked the old. 

Changing things at work was interesting, at present of course it’s just a ‘preferred name’ rather than by deed poll, but thankfully our systems support this kind of change. Having been at my employer so long I qualify for archival, I am quite well known by many people, thus adopting a new name may lead people to thinking I’ve left when I don’t come up in their searches. Or, as one staff member queried yesterday, asking whether the name change was all that was changing. Indeed the name is as far as this journey goes, but his asking made me laugh.

Suddenly I find myself the subject of curiosity in the office, and people tripping over the old name worried about getting it wrong. Some don’t yet know, so my supervisor is to send a tongue-in-cheek email shortly that tells people I’ve undergone a rebranding, I loved the suggestion. 

My journey begins anew. Hi! I’m Corin 🙂

Time to talk

I’ve always been a loner, very much a case of growing up intensely bullied and either no choice or a coping mechanism. Despite the bullying ending once my high school days were over my being a loner did not, I am very much the introvert and do not enjoy social situations greatly. 

In my teen years, and again for a short period in my mid-20s I saw psychologists to help with problems and suicidal thoughts associated with what people had done to me, but never found them of great help. Ultimately I ended up walking away from their sitting in the chair writing and nodding and collecting their fee as I felt like I got nowhere fast. I moved past those thoughts and twenty years on I think I proved I am stronger for it, though I still suffer for my school years and fight against depressive thoughts. 

Sadly, depression runs through my mothers family like diarrhoea, and a bad case of it too. At the start of April I lost my little brother to it, ever since I have been riding a roller coaster of emotions trying to cope with losing him. I had thought I’d gotten to a place where I was ‘okay’ but then my father criticising me for not making a video for his wake (I had no content!), and discovering my brother had been suicidal for three years and no one told me hurt deeply. 

Yesterday, at my regular doctor’s appointment, I just broke down. She’s a great doctor, insisted on time off and using my workplace’s employee assistance program to get help. So back I go, in hopes that these psychologists will be different to those many years ago, engaged not passive, and help me find a way forward. 

Sometimes, arrgggh!

Having lost my brother to suicide, just over a month ago now, it has been a difficult month. I had been somewhat estranged from him for a few years, not by choice, thus had no idea he was even depressed, let alone suicidally so. 

At the family-only wake recently I was to hear for the past three years he’d been suicidal and researching methods for taking his life. He had made several failed attempts, none of which I had heard of, it’s hard not to resent the total exclusion as it prevented my making any attempts to help him. I don’t know of course had I have known and helped whether he might still have been here, but not being allowed to try makes me so angry. 

Another wake is to occur this week, for friends of the brother lost and the one he lived with; we have been invited with them conveniently informed we were estranged in the invite, so it feels daggered. My other brother had approached me to make a video for the day, which I’d agreed to do, however needed help as I didn’t know events; also I may have compatibility issues with windows media files given I’m a Mac user. I was not given the files in the end, they went to my sister. Tonight my father decided to try guilting me from the other side of the country for not making the video, I am so pissed off I’ve deleted Facebook Messenger so I don’t have to hear from him any longer. 

My world for a large lotto win that I could dump my life here and move overseas for good. Over it!