Instructions and explanations about my new name and new handle
I have a new name, and it's Vagrant! I also have a new handle everywhere, and it's DippedRusk.
Caveat: Any personal communication with you will override these generic instructions for everyone.
- Please refer to me as Vagrant
- If you come across other people using my old name, please correct them
- I am not keeping my old name a secret, but I would be uncomfortable if people went around digging for that information or giving it to other people, so please don't
- If you have easily updateable (by your judgement) materials that use my old name, please update them
I tried out the name for nearly a year with some groups of friends (on Twitter, on Discord, as a D&D character), and it felt perfect and mine so it's now public. I have three main reasons for picking Vagrant, and unsurprisingly, birds are involved:
- A vagrant bird is an individual that is found well outside the typical range for its species. Sometimes it's because it was blown off course by storms, sometimes because it's an intrepid adventurer. Whatever the reason, they're unusual and rare and therefore very exciting to come across, as a birder.
- The word is also used to describe a person who wanders from place to place without a permanent home. As of this writing, I've lived in India, Singapore, Canada, and Germany. People close to me live all over the planet, and home to me is wherever I am or they are.
- It leaves my initials unchanged, which means I don't have to go chasing down the tiny handful of people who've cited me so far to update their citations.
I've also changed my handle everywhere to something that isn't linked to my name, just in case any part of it is to change in future. Rusk was also a name I tried out briefly but it didn't work quite as well for me as Vagrant.
The phrase "dipped rusk" evokes a lovely childhood memory of afternoon tea at my grandparents' house when I was a kid. I wasn't allowed tea, of course - no caffeine for kids - so I would drink milk while Mooch drank tea that Ammamma had made. We'd usually have a snack with it, which was sometimes rusk, a hard, dry biscuit. He'd dip it in his chaya to soften it and he'd give me some as a sneaky exception to the no-caffeine rule. There's an art to getting the dipping right - you have to time it perfectly so that the biscuit gets soggy enough to be pleasant to eat, but not so long that it loses its integrity and sinks to the bottom of the cup.
I prefer being addressed as just Vagrant. If you insist on formality, I prefer no title or the title Mx (pronounced like 'mix'). If you build or have control over systems that do not allow for these possibilities, change them.
Instead of words like guy, woman, man, etc., please refer to me as a person in all languages. In German, I tend to use masculine noun forms because they are unmarked, e.g., ich bin Student.
My English pronouns are xe/xem/xyr(self) and they/them/their(self). In German, my pronouns are xier/xiem/xien/xies(...), but I'll accept any neopronouns or no pronouns too. In other languages, if there are gender-neutral versions of words (pronouns, adjectives, nouns, etc.), please make an effort to use those. When in doubt, you can always ask me.