One night some time ago when my name was Ida and many people saw me as a girl, I had a dream. In my dream I walked around among my friends and new acquaintances, wearing men’s clothing and telling everyone that I’d like them to address me as Emil and he/him from now on.
When I woke up, I laughed at the absurdity of my dream. A male name and identity? A press conference?! I told my closest friends about it, but in the end of my recapitulating of the story I choked on my own words, realising how important this dream and its message really was. I don’t normally take my dreams so seriously, but this was different. The impact of my insight was enormous and life changing.
This dream brought up something to the surface that has been simmering below for a very, very long time. I had to make a change. I realised that I had to adjust my name to something matching how I feel about myself, in order to communicate a more true picture of myself to others. I’ve been saying for years and years that “I’m not a real girl”, but from now on I have to admit to myself and stand up for the fact that I’m not a girl at all.
Also, it is funny how my name just showed up all by itself. My female name Ida means “industrious” and “keen”, and that suits me perfectly, except for the fact that it is a female name. As it happens, Emil also means just exactly that, keen and industrious! Emil and Ida are also the blond siblings in a famous children’s book, Emil i Lönneberga, by Astrid Lindgren. And I think that I look a bit like an Emil, if I’m anything like one of the Lönneberga siblings, it would definitely be Emil. 😉