Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you come in.

Actual photo of me actually writing in my actual office swearing on actual Zinn to tell the actual truth.

Hi! My name is GeorgeEllen (not yet legally; gonna do that as soon as I have dollars laying around to pay for that and to replace my passport and all my IDs).

I was named Ellen after my dad’s mother, George Ellen. George Ellen was so named because her father already had a daughter and wanted a son, dammit (an aunt added the Ellen for a feminine touch). Georgie, as she was nicknamed, who-knows-how-influenced by her name and the knowledge of how badly her father wanted a son, went on to, in part, play on her high school football team (such a thing, at the time, was not forbidden). She also, I’m told, led the damn marching band (she must have been quite the quick change artist at halftime).

The reason I have to rely on second-and third-hand accounts of her life and am only beginning to learn much about my namesake at all in my late 30s is my grandmother died of a heart attack at the age of 52, not long after my parents began dating and well before I showed up.

I think of her a lot these days, especially in the wake of my father’s death by a heart attack last year. I am beginning to understand how being a housewife in Texas in mid-20th-century America killed her.

And so I’m doing my darnedest to break the chain of suppression in my family.

I live in a yurt in the woods near Belfair, Washington (can I apply to change the name of the state while I’m changing my own??) with husband Scott, little doggy Pid, and orange old man cat Crush. I’m happy out here, in a way I never dreamed possible.