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LaTorre Mays

August 1999

What's In A Name?

THE DIEGO PHASE

Since 11th grade, I've been Diego. Everyone accepted it and at least one of my friends questioned it. Why would I change it?

As anyone who read my column "Definings" (Oasis, February 1999) might guess, I was still dealing with emotional fallout from my experience with MG. I felt dirty and I definitely didn't feel the same. During my high school years I went through a major identity crisis. I settled on being Diego and rotate being a wild crazy jokester and moody loner guy.

When I came to college, I was still going by Diego. Diego was still a wild, crazy guy. I got a new tag: The Guy with the Walkman.

Like I've said before, to all good things an ending must come. Last fall, I had a class with MG. While MG and I did not talk to each other, being in the same class allowed us to see how the other person was doing without having to talk to each other. There were fun times like when my friend Carl and I got into this umbrella fight without noticing that other people were around. I realized that we could exist in the same town and not feud as we had in high school.

The only time there was any tension was 1) when one day out of the blue I looked up from taking notes to see him watching me, and 2) when we bumped into each other during a test (he was a little too in my personal space). During class, I had time to think and I started to let go of my past with MG a little bit more.

THE FIGHT FOR NAME

Months past by, and I became more comfortable with myself. Then I finally put the last of my MG past aside when I wrote my column back in February. All of a sudden, I felt like a new person. So...why was I still going by Diego?

Part of it was the fact that my friends and associates already knew me as Diego for almost two years. It would seem jarring to pull a name switch on them. Part of the reason was that I was afraid that going back to my real name would result in me being a bad luck magnet again. What I didn't need was another experience with some MG wannabe. Finally, there was one other thing...by going by my real name now and onward, I would be outing myself to people who haven't figure me out yet. Was I secure with myself and my identity now that I could risk that?

In the end, it came down to what was right and good for me. I had to think about myself and not what other people thought. I also would have to accept that dating is just a bunch of hits-and-misses...no matter what name I go by. Finally, people who don't know about me either are going to like me or hate me when they find out. If they are my real friends, associating my real name with liking guys shouldn't be a problem. If they hate me, they hate me. To paraphrase the Buffster, I'll deal, and I'll move on.

So what's in a name? Personality. Purpose. Most important of all...identity.

LaTorre (formerly Diego)

Have any thoughts, comments, or ramblings about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness? Email me at aob999@goplay.com.


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