Hello! My name is Gosha, I used to go by @gueorgui on here. I haven't been on Mastodon for a long while, but I feel like I should get involved again.

I've recently become a father, and this has triggered some serious rethinking about my identity, including changing my preferred given name. (More on that below!)

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I live in London with my wife and my daughter, and I'm interested in photography (both as an art form and as a diaristic practice), writing, psychology/psychotherapy, mindfulness, chess, computers, cycling, and all sorts of long term practices.

I am a Russian citizen, and I wholeheartedly oppose the current war the leadership of my country is waging against Ukraine.

I apologise if I've been following you before and haven't followed you again on this account, it might take some time for me to find my bearings.

It is nice to be back!

Name story 

Re: my name.

I've been calling myself "Gueorgui" for 22+ years, and have recently started referring to myself as "Gosha".

This is why 👇

Name story 

I was born in Russia, and was named Gueorgui (Георгий, the Russian variation of the name George) after a great-grandfather.

Russian given names have diminutives, same as some English names do: Robert becomes Bob, and Gueorgui becomes Gosha, which is what I've been called for my whole childhood — by family and friends, but also by teachers at school. My full name felt alien to me then.

Name story 

My family emigrated to France when I was 9 years old, and my parents, without giving it much thought, registered me in French school as "Gosha" as well, though in all official paperwork (passport, visa...) I was "Gueorgui".

For an immigrant kid, struggling to fit into a completely foreign society, this created a wealth of embarrassing situations — teachers asking to explain the difference between the names in front of the whole class, feelings of having to justify such weirdness, &c.

Name story 

I hated the experience so much, that I ended up projecting this frustration onto my name. Why couldn't I have at least been registered to school with my passport name, why did I need to struggle?

Needless to say, after I graduated from the school system and it was time to register for uni, I insisted to use my full, passport, "adult" name everywhere. I became Gueorgui.

Name story 

This created its own weirdness, where I was Gosha to family and friends I had made before graduating high school, and Gueorgui to everyone I've met after.

I, however, was very pleased that I had escaped from the embarrassment and ridicule, and was glad to be (mostly) rid of the source of this suffering — my childhood name.

Name story 

Beyond the petty embarrassment I suffered at school, there were other complicated feelings attached to my childhood name: it was a name that connected me to a home that I had lost by emigrating, and to a culture from which I became more and more distant.

Name story 

"Gueorgui", by the way, is a French-specific transliteration of "Георгий", the way my name was spelled in French paperwork. I became attached to the official "validation" and "inclusion" that this represented, a counterpoint to the alienation I felt towards my Russianness.

Name story 

It took me many years, culminating in many conversations with my brilliant wife, as well as therapy, to realise that craving this validation and trying so hard to escape from feelings of discomfort and exclusion is not a path that has served me well in life at all.

And so, as I step into a new phase of life with the birth of our daughter, I'm very happy to start calling myself Gosha again.

Name story 

By adopting this name again, I don't mean to reject all the parts that made me up as Gueorgui, but rather to re-integrate the parts of me that I had turned away from in order to be okay in an alien environment, something that I endeavour to work on elsewhere, too.

Name story 

There are many steps ahead, conversations to have with friends and colleagues, figuring out where I can use my preferred name and where my passport name is unavoidable, and above all else, learning to be gracious enough to be comfortable with my whole self.

End of thread ❤️

@gosha This is a good story, thank you for sharing. I've been thinking about some name stuff too and this adds some extra perspective.

@csepp I'm glad to hear that! What sort of name stuff have you been thinking about?

@gosha My given names are very rooted in Christianity and I don't really identify with any of them. I've been thinking about using Csepp in meatspace. There have been occasions where people I met online called me "Rain" when we met and I liked that. Csepp is a name I've put some actual thought into and I think it fits me.
I doubt I could use it legally, the naming system is very strict in Hungary. I'm also afraid of looking like I'm only using "Csepp" for attention.

@csepp Ah yes! That makes sense. I think names that we make up for ourselves are completely valid and deserving of existence, and I feel like this used to be a much more common practice than it is now, for example with artist names, writer pseudonyms, etc.

I find there's a bit of friction in telling people you already know about a new preferred name, but new people you meet? That'll be the only name they know you by. I think that's powerful!

@gosha My somewhat (very) conceited plan is to make enough art under this name that it becomes "official".
Which, uuuuh. *Looks at the complete dearth of art it has produced over the summer.*
Going great. :)))

@gosha (Well, okay, I drew a bit of art, but I don't think I made anything that I shared publicly.)

@csepp Seems like a good opportunity to share some art!

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Name story 

@gosha Thank you for sharing this, I hope this next chapter of your life is a pleasant one!

I have a similar relationship with my given name, and it's one reason I've used my moniker "Rezmason" online— it's the cupboard where I display the parts of myself I'm proud of, and by using it over and over, it becomes more like an actual name.

I tried a couple nicknames as a kid to separate myself from my discomfort with my given name, but what worked in the end was finding better peers 😃

Name story 

@rezmason Thank you! Finding better peers is often very much the correct thing to do, yes.

Gee, that's a lot of conflict for 1 name and 1 nickname. 😶

Congratulations on your breakthrough. 👍

I have 2 full #names* (1 of them pronounced in 2 different ways), plus 2 #nicknames and other things people called me in the past that I don't count as names. But I can't say that i can relate to your issue with names.

I think I'll do my own name storytelling in a separate post. 🤔

Anywayz, welcome back to Mastodon! 👋😃

@evelyn Thanks Evelyn! There's a russian saying that applies well I think: everyone has their own cockroaches in the head 😁

Name story 

@gosha What a lovely story, and I’m so glad to see you back here again. I’m happy that you’re sharing your journey with us, and again, congratulations!!!

Name story 

@knights Thank you very much for the kind words, I'm glad to be back :tealheart:

@neauoire Thank you Devine! :tealheart: I'm glad I found my way back here.

@gosha I'm glad you shared the name story, I meant to ask you about that.

@neauoire Thank you for your appreciation! I'm glad to finally let it out, this is something that's been subtly weighing on me for a long time.

I feel people have a right to decide for themselves what their name should be.

@gosha Hi, and welcome back!
Thank you for sharing your name story. I'm slowly figuring out my own feelings about my names, so it was very affirming to hear yours. :tealheart:

@gosha It's nice to see you on here again, Gosha! Congratulations on becoming a father, I hope you and your new family are doing well.

@amdt Thank you Al! I think I just saw you on the special projects discord as well? :)

@gosha You did! It's nice to know I'm in good company. Have you been following Mr. Mod's work for long?

@amdt I think the first time I heard of him was from his review of the Panasonic GF1 all those years ago. I've been really digging his work in the last two years or so, the writing and photography got really polished and complement each other really well!

@gosha I remember that review! I wasn't in a position to buy a camera at the time, but in 2013 or so, that review and a friend showing me his GX1 got me quite interested in Micro Four Thirds… and then you sold me your old Fujifilm X100!

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