Closure or What’s in a Name

My name is fucking Rachel!
So I said to my last remaining childhood friend
It is not Richard, it is not RC, it’s not hey there, hey you, or yo dude!
It is fucking Rachel.

Seems simple enough, not really so hard is it?
In case any of you didn’t know, I have changed my name
My name used to be Richard,
But as with everything in life, shit happens, things change
I am a transgender woman and instead of suicide
I have found the courage to transition.
As my hair grew longer, as my breasts grew larger,
Somehow Richard no longer seemed to fit.

A simple solution presented itself,
Just change it, which is exactly what I did,
I love my name now, Rachel Lee Campbell
My hand flowing smoothly as I sign….
I would swear I can hear it whisper, thank you
Rachel Lee Campbell
I never hesitated, unsure of who I am
Not for an instant have I been tempted
To be Richard again by failing memory or distraction
I am Rachel, and I smile each time I say it

I’m Rachel, I’m pleased to make your acquaintance
It should be that simple, you approach those that know you
You say, this is who I am now, and in fact it is who I have always been.
They say, it’s going to be difficult getting used to that
I’ve known you for so long,
I respond yes, I know, please just try, I won’t hold mistakes against you.
We can get through this together.

As with all things there are exceptions and set backs
There are those that resist change to the bitter end.
Preferring to break a bond, rather than accept the truth
Or they expend their energy, trying to convince me
That their truth is the authentic one
That I must return them to the comfort of a reality that never was.

I implore, I complain, I plead, I explain
Please call me Rachel, it hurts so much that you won’t
But they loved their friend Richard and won’t give him up
They say that I’m being selfish in my insistence
It is humiliating to beg to be accepted, to be recognized.
I say Richard is dead, he is gone
He is not coming back
And still… and still… it doesn’t change

They say I must celebrate all the things that were Richard
I cannot, I will not inhabit that world again.
Lying and hiding for 60 years, to make others happy.
Some say they’ll come around, just give them more time
Asking how long, another year or 2, or 10? Maybe never?
To those I say, I’ve given all that I can, what remains is mine.

They say Rachel didn’t lose her friends, she drove them away
Her need to bury the past and the great person Richard was.
I say live there in that memory if you must
Pretend that Richard might still walk through the door.
I will not play along, I can’t live as two anymore,
It is clear to me what must happen,
Holding on only makes the inevitable more painful.
I will mourn the passing of these lifelong friendships
But I am fucking Rachel
And I will not look back any longer.




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