Why I decided to use my real name

Why I decided to use my real name

6 years

In the introduction to Moonstone, I briefly mentioned why I decided to use my real name, instead of the alias, Kya. I wanted to explain in more detail the motivations behind the change. 🙃

There is a freedom in using your real name. You are openly sharing yourself, declaring your identity and saying ‘this is me’. *

🍩 Kya

The name Kya was chosen around 2004(ish) and used on my blog wishless.org in 2005. I made the decision that I wanted to use an alias because I didn’t feel very confident about myself and many other people were using a pseudonym. There was a time before the rise of social media where it was common to be cautious of the information that you shared online (oh how the times have changed 😂!).

When I chose the name Kya all the way back in 2004/2005, I felt very insecure about myself. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my thoughts, words and images with other people. Kya was a way for me to grow, connect and begin an exciting journey into blogging, writing, website design and digital art.

The way that I discovered the name Kya, began as a simple search for a name. I wanted to keep the K from Kassy and started searching on a lot of baby name and name meaning websites. It took some time, but I eventually had a short list, asked a few friends what they thought and decided to use Kya.

If I had not used the alias, I am not sure if I would have been so open to creativity and may not have refined my skills in vector art, website design and photography (still have to work on the writing 😅).

👩🏻 My Real Name

The decision to use my real name was one that took time to make. Over the past year, I had been considering the change, and I guess, was waiting for the right moment.

One of the significant influences in using my real name has been a slow change of attitude. I am tip-toeing my way to learning how to like myself, and part of that process is being me, without any other name. Maybe I am finally starting to ‘grow up’? 😂

I believe that university has also been a tremendous part of this. The knowledge I have gathered has given me so much more confidence in my abilities. I feel much less insecure about sharing my work because I see it as evidence of a continued commitment to growth and understanding.

Lastly, would be my books. The previous two books I have written used my real name, and I felt that there was an apparent disconnect between them and my blog. Now I can easily share them, and there won’t be any confusion!

✨ The Future

When you have formed an attachment with a name for over 14/15 years, it does feel a part of your identity. Saying goodbye to Kya may take some time, not only for myself but also for my friends that have known me as such.

I am hopeful in the future that using my real name won’t limit the amount of creative work that I share, and might be a motivator instead! I would like to one day share a picture of myself. It could take a little more time, as I am not 100% comfortable just yet. 💖

💬 What about you?

If you have gone through the transition of using an alias to your real name (or vice-versa), I would love to hear your story in the comments. 😍

* This was a personal choice to use my real name and I can understand why other people may feel comfortable using another name. It is a unique and individual experience. If you identify with another name more than your own, it’s great that you have been able to forge that connection!

21 Responses

  1. I have gone from using an alias to my real name in the past. Although I still use Kalliste quite a lot now. I had used it so long previously that when I started All The Me and went by Sarah many people didn’t realise that Kalliste wasn’t my real name.

    I still don’t use my full name in most places other than Facebook (which I’m not overly happy about) and am still a bit resistant to do so. Although it would make things a lot easier if I just didn’t care. It’d be nice not to have to consider how much information I’m giving away and what do people in this particular community know me as.

    Having an alias can be exhausting 😀

  2. I never really had a totally different alias. I *have* changed the spelling of my nickname from Cassie to Cassi to Casi for separate reasons. I find it interesting that I can categorize people by what point they met me in my life by how they spell my name. Though, some new people that I meet refuse to spell it as Casi because Casi is “too weird for them”. I don’t actually mind because it’s just the spelling, but it’s an interesting reflection when a stranger refuses to acknowledge that little bit of me and instead chooses their own interpretation of how they would rather have things (of me) be, haha. Anyways, it’s just a little thing to me at the moment.

    I agree that a name is an individual experience. I think some cultures use milk names for newborns, then decide their actual names later — possibly a more fitting name for their character. And having privacy is nice… I’m totally going to start signing as Casi instead of Cassandra Jane now to save the latter for professional things.

  3. Oh my! I’m not sure if you still remember me, I won’t be offended if you don’t, though! Haha. I used to be your hostee back then last 2009-2010. I’ve been a silent reader on your blog, kya.nu and just visited this site since Megan has mentioned you about using your real name. When I visited this though, it automatically reminded me of Kya’s work, which totally made sense when I read further on your post. It was an ah-ha! moment for me.

    Your real name sounds beautiful, Kassy! I understand what you said about being more comfortable with using an alias at the beginning, though. But that route definitely helped you open up and let go of your shell. Take your time, though, you don’t have to rush everything and hurriedly post a picture. 😉

    As for me, I have been using my real name ever since, which sometimes makes me feel awkward about when I think that some friends, employers or co-workers may google my name. 😅 But it’s not enough of a reason for me to hinder myself as to what I would love to share in my blog.

    Hope everything works fine for you!

  4. You actually inspired me to try using my actual name myself. I decided “hey, let’s try that!”

    I do enjoy going by my real name. Though it is taking getting used to, being that I had used Maroon since high school and am so used to typing that, that I have to stop myself. XD And it still feels weird, but I do like it. It feels…more personal, I guess.

    Also you do have a lovely name!

  5. My real name is very Polish sounding as I’m from Poland and I really left it behind already in high school, mainly cause everyone in my life were from other countries. It’s the same now, all my viewers/readers are mainly from abroad. That’s why I really liked my aliases, and my poetry book will be published under one too. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  6. Ah, the good ol’ days of using pseudonyms. Mine was Tara-Chan — yeah, not much of a pseudonym, haha! But yes, I remember those days where they were definitely common.

    I’m glad you feel confident enough to use your real name. And like you said, you published books under your real name, so it makes sense to make that transition! I think using your real name will help with your creativity rather than limiting it!

    Kudos to you for taking this step!

  7. My experience with pseudonyms is complicated, because I have dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder). There are distinct personas, like Effy, but then the legal alter vs. the actual “host” gets complicated, because this body’s legal first name does not match the identity of the “legal alter”. So I went by Liz, and it was a compromise, but it kinda drove me mad, because my name! I felt like I was hiding behind a name I’d already been forced to hide behind, and I disliked it. So…it’s confusing, but Liz and I are not so cut and dry.

    I do think not going by Jane online hindered me creatively and developmentally, so I wholeheartedly understand how you felt uncomfortable not going by a name with which you could better identify. Until I changed to going by Jane, I felt like I had to hold back from being all that I am. Essentially, I am Liz and Liz is me, but until I am regarded as the legal alter (re: Jane Elizabeth Lawson), I’m going to keep being on the back burner.

    Ugh—I feel like I just explained a paradox. I hope I’m making sense?? If not, I can try to explain it better; just let me know! Basically, I’m trying to say that I understand the complexity of identity and names. Names are just names, but they can really shape a person—just as much as they can carry baggage. When I had to identify with my current legal first name (Sarah), I felt so uncomfortable I couldn’t even use a selfie of this body’s face without feeling like I was committing fraud.

    I’m glad you have found peace with your name (and with yourself). <3

  8. I remember those days where everyone used pseudonyms because we were afraid of being identified back to our offline lives! It’s funny how things are so different now, where people even use their full names on public social media. I think that’s great that you feel more confident in your abilities and works now! That must have been a big decision since you used Kya for so long. It’s easy to get attached. I think it makes sense to switch since you already put out books with your real name on them!

    When I created my first site, I went by Cat online, and I actually wasn’t using that as a nickname in my offline life yet. When I went to college, I felt it was a good time to start anew and started introducing myself as that. In a way, I went the opposite direction!

  9. I totally understand you about using an alias. I’ve used it years ago until it went to the point where people in real life were confused about why I used an alias. I am happy that you felt comfortable enough to step out with your real name. It’s great that your university gave you the boost you needed to make this decision! Hope you’ll gain that 100% comfortness within time :).

    I’m always supportive of people using an alias if it means they’re more comfortable :). I mean I still have an alias when I play my multiplayer games because I don’t really see a value in giving my real name (even though it’s sooooo common) XD.

  10. It’s pretty amusing looking back on how we used to be very wary of “creepers” on the internet. But now, especially in creative and digital fields, people want to share their work and be known for who they are, even meet likeminded people in real life! (Even though there is still a risk of people intending to cause harm.) I think that because people have used more social media over the years and just become open to putting themselves online, that era of “I know your IP address! I know where you live!” being a threat has just been wiped out completely.

    I’d used my real name on the internet for a very long time. It started to scare me a bit that I was “Googleable” but it was through my creative work, and the full-time work I did, that I wanted to be attributed properly as the author and wanted people to know exactly who I was. I had a lot of nicknames, too, at the time, but because I was using several of them at once (Gina, Gii, Georgie, Georgina, Jazzmo), I realised that some people got confused and it just made me look like an idiot who couldn’t decide on a name. 😆 I was going through a bit of a crisis not being able to identify with any of them until I decided on Georgie (which I incidentally hated when I was younger because people teased me that it was a boy’s name 😠), and that’s just a nickname of my legal name haha.

    In a way I still think that Kya is a nickname rather than an alias, maybe because it starts with K and is really short too. 😎 It might still feel like a part of you, but I think that over time it will feel less and less like an attachment the more you start using Kassy 😊

  11. I’m very glad to know that your decision of a name change originated in your drive for self improvement. It’s a very encouraging for me who is very low on self esteem to know that there’s someone who’s stepping out for herself like you do. I’m looking forward to read more from you!

  12. It’s so great that you changed your name from your alias Kya, as whilst it is a beautiful name it just goes to show how much more secure and comfortable you’ve grown as a person. I plan on doing the opposite at the end of January when I renovate my blog, as I will change my last name to Aed, to make it more memorable. We are always progressing as people, and its so important to keep developing like this!

    Little Moon Elephant

  13. Way back in the day, my parents were yelling at me to never use my real name online or someone would use that information against me. (Seriously… my dad told me to use a fake name and birthdate for Facebook, and I was like, “but dad… the whole point of Facebook is to use your real name…”)

    I still have people who call me Mei from way back in the day. I still go by Mei sometimes if it’s more fandom-related stuff, because part of me I guess wants to separate that from real life stuff? (So I guess people don’t find my weird fan fictions or something if they google me… heh) I mostly switched over to my real name for job reasons. I wanted to connect the stuff I was doing online to a face, and since I was writing and doing a lot of stuff related to what I wanted to get a job in (web development and programming) then I needed to also put my name on it. It still feels a little intimidating sometimes though, because it’s like, people could google me and find EVERYTHING I’ve EVER done. (it probably helps that my name isn’t that unique, so I probably get roped in with a hundred other girls named the same or similar haha)

  14. It is really interesting how the times have changed. I still remember when the internet was new and convincing mom and dad that I could handle an email account for just myself. Back then, it was all about being careful with your identity and protecting yourself from those that would take advantage of you.

    I still have friends that I made in the online world, who still call me by my other alias even though they know my real name. I’ve actually had to explain that to a few people who see them comment on my posts on facebook. (eg.. “Why are they calling you Lore? That’s weird.”)

    I will admit though, that when I started using my real name, I suddenly pulled back from it because of an incident where I wanted to still be publicly writing, but I had a stalker situation that I needed to protect myself in order to get him to leave me alone. I’m slowly coming back out of that, so I’ll use shortened variations of my name. I think it might always be a struggle for me between that how public do I want to be and how private do I want to be?

    It makes sense to me that you would want to use your real name, especially with published books. You’d want your fans to find you! 🙂

  15. I must admit that I keep wanting to call you “Kya” because I have been a fan of yours for so long that I am so used to saying “omfg, Kya just commented on my site *pees self*” so now I have to adjust my line of thinking. I will get used to it because.. well, what other choice have I got?? I’m excited for this transition for you. There is something liberating in going by your real name.

    Admittedly, I was never clever enough to think I could go by a pseudonym. I used to go by “Angi” which is my nickname. I just was never creative like that. I have an eye for design, but I really have to work for creativity lol.

    I love this. I love that I get to be along for the ride in your journey!

  16. I applaud you for your bravery! I can only imagine how it must have felt to start using your real name after so many years of being Kya. Sending you lots of love and positive vibes!

    I’ve never used a different name myself but I’ve always gone by Chynna Ashley, that people thought Ashley was my surname. I only started using my last name on social media, a few years back.

    Also, I love your name <3

  17. I think we all went through online aliases. I certainly did based on celebrities I liked at that time. But as I grew older, I think I realised I’d be embarrassed if I told people my blog was named after someone else and not me. I try not to use my real name in life too (although it can’t get pass by on Facebook), but I do still try to keep a bit of anonymity online…
    I wish I could shorten up my real name but it’s already too short to make something cool out of it. XD

  18. I started with using my real name but it is not easy for people to remember so there are always typos for my name. It gets kind of irritating and I thought of making things easier for my blogger friends and just stick to using my online name instead. I will probably just stick to it for a really long time. Even my real life friends call me by Sakura sometimes too. 😀

  19. Ironically, despite the fact that I am still not 100% comfortable with myself or with whoever I may be, I have never technically used an alias online. This could be mainly due to the fact that I have a very common first and middle name, *sigh* if you think, you probably know one or two people with the first name of Jessica, and then my middle name being Marie…really doesn’t help any. I suppose that I could’ve used my creative writing skills to come up with an alias…a nom de plume, which may still happen especially if what I recently read about being a published author is in fact truthful. :/ But I believe I said this before, but I seriously cannot wait to get to know Kassy better.

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