Very much still a work in progress, I am currently going by Bez. I like Bez as it combines Beck and Daz (short for Darren). And it’s ambiguous so people can’t make assumptions about my gender. This is helpful as I feel male and agender at the same time. Bloody gender anarchist.
Last year on 17 March 2018, I wrote the following on Facebook. The names have changed, but the feeling is still there.
“As you may have seen, in an attempt to be the most authentic and happiest version of myself, I have changed my name to Nimisha-Darren Mirchly. My preferred pronouns are he / him (but also happy with she / her). I am genderfluid. My preferred name is Darren (but also happy with Nimisha).
I have identified more with the male gender for years but have only now been able to find the right form of expression for this.
When you look at someone, you have no idea of their biological sex, biological sex at birth or indeed their race. Yet we constantly make assumptions about people based on what they look like, myself included.
This can cause much upset, when, for example, masculine looking women are taken for men, trans men / women are taken for women / men or mixed race people are taken for white / black – 8 times out of 10, I am taken for white, despite being half Indian.
I want to work towards a society where no assumptions are made about people just because of their physical appearance. In the meantime, however, we live in a society where people do make assumptions about gender (and race), whether in real life, in the media or in literature. I am pleased that some recent theatre and TV shows are challenging this, but I feel I cannot truly be myself in this society unless I identify as genderfluid, and predominantly male.
I have found it immensely frustrating having people make assumptions about me because they read me as female, in all spheres of life. I keep feeling that I am pushing at a brick wall, which only occasionally moves, and it is very tiring.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has congratulated me on taking this step. Your support, love and enthusiasm has been overwhelming. I was terrified about the idea of coming out but felt I had to. Thank you!
In case of interest, I have loved the name Darren for years. Nimisha was actually my name from ages 0 to 5, so I thought I would start using it again. And Mirchly is a portmanteau of my mum’s surname Mirchandani and my Dad’s surname Ely.”