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Name changes, aliases, nom de plumes, stage names, and WTF, people?

I think that maybe I need to live in NYC or LA or someplace where altering your name isn’t exactly scandalous. Here’s some news: Lady Gaga and Ke$ha aren’t names listed on anyone’s birth certificates, either. :P

I’m quite annoyed at the moment. Someone, potentially someone I don’t even know or only know through another person, sent out an e-mail to a friend of mine informing him that the name I go by is not my legal name.

Not really breaking news. Anyone who is anything close to resembling a good friend knows this. What I don’t get is why this is such a big deal? Those in the entertainment industry change their names constantly. And since I’ve performed under my name since the age of 15, and now publish under my name, there’s a certain time period where the name you go by is your actual name. It should kind of work the way common law marriage works.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: why are my personal life choices any of your business? Even if I have secrets, and everyone does, why does it give you the right to pry into my personal affairs? Especially if you don’t even, or barely know me, or are just stalking me on the internet, or met me a few times on social occasions? What right do you have to interfere in my personal relationships with others?

If we’re close, and there are things I want to tell you about myself and my life, I will…when I’m comfortable doing so. My past bears absolutely no relation to your present. Knowing me does not come with the innate right to know everything about me. That privilege must be earned, as I assume you’re not going to tell me everything that’s every happened in your life until we’re fairly close.

So the fact that a third party feels entitled to reveal personal information about me to others, that angers me. It’s MY life. Shouldn’t it be MY choice, when I want to open up and share things with other people. Contrary to Mark Zuckerberg’s philosophy, we don’t live in a Big Brother kind of world where everyone is entitled to know everything about everyone and make judgments accordingly—before ever even meeting someone.

I don’t know how to make my outrage any clearer. I’ve done nothing wrong. The people who insist on dragging out aspects of my past and my personal life and either making them public knowledge, or using the information to sabotage friendships, personal relationships, and my reputation are in the wrong. The guy who sent this note to someone he doesn’t even know about my personal business is in the wrong. The former date who felt so slighted by me that he e-mailed naked photos I shared with him in private to other people is in the wrong. The person who feels the need to confront and embarrass me in public about private details of my life is in the wrong.

If you are not me, and not sleeping with me, and not my best friend, you don’t have an innate right to knowledge of everything I’ve ever done, said, or been. If you’re not even in my circle of friends, it’s certainly not your place to make sure everyone knows things *I* should be entitled to choose to tell others, or not. I am not a celebrity; I’m just some random person with enough balls to put herself out there in a world that REALLY takes advantage of that.

I don’t understand the way people act, and I can’t help but think if I were not in Atlanta, this would not continue to be an issue. We all have a past, we all come from somewhere, we’ve all made mistakes, pissed people off…and we’ve all decided to rebuild, start over, become something closer to the person we’d like to be.

I am not in the wrong here. Unless we have a personal relationship of some sort, the sordid details of my life are none of your fucking business.. Why not concentrate on making your own life a better and happier place rather than feeling a personal obligation to interfere with others?

But, I promise, when I go through the technicality of getting my name legally changed, I will make sure to post it on the Internet, for the five people who still care. I wouldn’t want to have a secret nobody knows about. Am I obligated to disclose what I had for breakfast today? The number of sexual partners I’ve had? The names of my great-great-great grandparents? Would you like to know what I just wrote about people you’ve never even met in my secret diary, or what brand of tampons are my personal favourite?

I am a person, even if I put myself out there by daring to keep a blog on the internet, or hosting a social group where I meet a lot of different people. If you want to know more about that person…get to know me, or don’t. Either way, I’m pretty at peace with myself, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. What I’m not at peace with is judgment. I don’t subject you to mine; I don’t e-mail your spouse because I’ve heard you’re having an affair, or speculate with my friends about your sexuality because you don’t seem to go on a lot of dates. I don’t care where you get your money, if you have a rap sheet and a mug shot, and even though that teardrop tattoo might make me think twice about getting too involved, I still don’t judge your choices. You don’t have to like me. But you do have to treat me with the respect afforded to every human being, including respecting my privacy.

If you just can’t stand me, don’t interact with me. Pretend I don’t exist. We’ll likely never see one another again, and if we do, we don’t even have to say hello. There are plenty of better things to do in life than dig up dirt on other people. This nonsense has been going on in various forms for a decade, and I don’t get it. I suppose I should be flattered that I’m just so immensely interesting…or live in such a boring city.

Maybe I’ll secretly have some plastic surgery. Or maybe I’ll just change my name again? I could be far more creative….

In summary, four words: None. Of. Your. Business.

Trust me, if you interest me enough that I want you to be part of my circle of friends and privy to my personal secrets, you’ll know about it. I choose my friends wisely. As I’ve learned the hard way, I have to.

For a pretty boring girl, it amuses me that I’m so consistently “scandalous”. If only I had the money to go along with it, the Real Housewives Of Atlanta would have my phone ringing off the hook. :P

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