For many years I have been using the name Frank for pick up orders and in coffeeshops. It was easier than spelling my name over and over. And sometimes they wouldn’t even get “Frank” and substituted “Fred”. Whatever, it was still more efficient, faster.
My partner suggested that I use my own name because people should get used to names that are not normative. And by normative I mean typical American names like Tom, Joe and such. (((you will notice I didn’t mention names like John, Robert and Stephen… 😊)))
Of course, there is nothing wrong with Anglo names but there should be room for different sounds, and for alternate spellings as well. How can a culture grow if it doesn’t allow for new or different input? And when you stop growing you begin to die, as Frank Howell said.
So I have been using my own name. It has been rocky and here is something I noticed. A POC will ask me to spell my name and write down the letters. It’s only six letters, and two of them are identical and in a row, and it goes really fast. The white person will look annoyed that I am not a Tim or Joe and sometimes even spelling will not help. I have to believe it’s because they don’t want to accept a different name. Sometimes I quickly reverted to Frank because I got sick of the dance.
I remember when I met with the two founders of Higher Octave Music, in the Fall of 1989. They asked me to change my name because they found it too strange and feared that it would be too hard to remember.
Perhaps my name was just different enough because it obviously did not stop people from finding Nouveau Flamenco. I wonder how many people went to a record store (ah, record stores!) and asked for “that guitarist with the strange name”?