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Names, Labels and Lists

By Kellie Purcill

“Hi, my name’s Kellie/Kel/Sister George, and I – what?” What comes next? In the past month I’ve had to write a bio paragraph and introduce myself to three different groups. Each situation was far from simple or easy. Sure, some parts were fairly constant. Like my name. The fact that I have kids is usually mentioned. But mostly, what else is included is subject to change without notice.

Because really – what IS in a name? Not just the name that our parents decide to saddle, gift or burden us with, but all the other names we give ourselves, or accept, or can’t seem to shake off. Names, or labels, put us in certain categories and out of others, and frankly some distinctions I refuse to add to my list.

Case in point – when asked, or required, I state that I am a sole parent, and not a single Mum. Some may see it as splitting hairs, but I identify much more with being the sole parent of my sons than in being a Mum who is single. Which leads to the classification looming on my horizon – in 4 days, when my divorce becomes final, I am not adding “divorced” to my own personal list of labels.

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