I got a name change. Somehow more painful than a gender identity crisis.

I got an account name change on Guild Wars 2. It comes as a bit of a surprise. I mean, I’ve been playing the game since launch and I’ve managed to not offend the hyper-sensitive global entity that is the potential player. Naturally, I get reported shortly after posting something humorous and without malice. I think the trigger was when I decided to mingle with the official forums. Yeah, that must be it.

Either way, the equity of account name changes is terribly strange in the context of Guild Wars 2. It is a name that is not readily visible, only appears with small consent on the part of the viewer (via mouse-over) and is never visible in a context that breaks immersion. It is the sort of self expression that does practically zero damage to the surrounding game and even if you had something violently anti-everything, the chances of anybody seeing it for a prolonged period of time is extremely minimal.

I’m positive the grief experienced by someone losing their personal identity due to the sensitivities of someone you never engage with is much greater than the trauma experienced by someone who reports it. I mean, they will never know that my name was a trans-outlet.

My name evokes a myriad of things. Most of them were chuckles and sometimes perky molestation (That’s the general greeting of people who find out you like subdivisions of anything remotely erotic.) At worst, your mind blinks open to a female with male genitals, chromed up to be a robot, which pushes the image into a sort of weird absurdity. For me, it is an identity. Futa, in the context of roleplay, is deeply loved and reviled. It’s either your absolute favorite sub-theme or a sign of a community apocalypse where cheap thrills are valued over deep storytelling. It’s divisive and wonderfully potent. The only people who understand its core meaning are allegedly mature adults. It has zero meaning outside of that context.

Bot makes it fun. Bot is automation, repetition and ingenuity crammed into a single entity. It’s cute but disruptive little three letter construct that crams a typically organic concept into an artificial shell. Almost everyone I met was perplexed by Bot. It didn’t make sense to them, but it was fun to BS about because I really had no idea what it really meant either.

This sort of weirdness is me in its fullness. It’s my trans-outlet. It’s how I balance the reality that I have a very real physical gender with my aspirations to have a much more neutral personality. It was how I could simply be a little zany, a little controversial but altogether innocuous. The sort of balance of levity that I wish other people could understand.

Of course, that’s now how people function, or at least how systems function when the whims of the alleged offended are listened to on a regular basis. My name is a casualty of the reality that law cannot exist without a broad, uncompromising threat that empowers it. I guess I can be thankful that my title is far less offensive than the actually objectively mean-spirited titles that exist out there and that there will be unwavering punishment for those who make themselves known.

Nah, I don’t feel satisfied by that at all. I want my name back.

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