I really love people so much. It's odd to think about because I HATE social structure and am disgusted by most of the things the general population believes -- but as individuals I still love people. How I can manage to be so jaded and angry and yet hopeful and adoring at the same time is a little baffling to me. I get so angry about social things and yet people individually doing the same damn things makes me laugh and shake my head. I suppose on the individual level what stands out most to me is how trapped and confined people are (which inspires empathy), but when looking at society as a whole what stands out to me is how cruel and oppressive people are (which evokes anger).
I've had several very different reactions to my name since I started working -- all by males of the white-haired variety, interestingly enough. One person asked if it was my name, and when I said yes, told me that I should have a vowel on the end (in an angry tone, no less). I laughed out loud at the ASTOUNDING arrogance of this stranger and said with amusement, "I'm satisfied with it as it is." (ze seemed annoyed that I didn't consider zir command to be important, which just amused me more) Another person asked if it was my name or if someone was playing a prank (something to that effect) and I said that it was a self-chosen name (adding that my parents were not quite so creative). Ze laughed and said that ze knew many people who would choose their own name if they could, but that not many people are so brave. Ze was wearing a black pearl stud in zir left ear which I thought was a really fascinating way to self-decorate (I thought it was hematite and had to ask. I'm always drawn by simple gem cabochon earrings but it would bore me to actually wear them; I need more color and movement than that). There've been other people who just haven't known what to say when I said, "yes, it's a self-chosen name" and mumbled something about it being interesting or unique, hee.
I also managed to explain it accurately in a short number of words! A coworker asked why I go by James, and I said that I don't believe in gender, and since I tend to dress in a way people see as "feminine," wearing a "masculine" name is a clue that I don't follow all the gender norms. Ze asked what I mean by not believing in gender, and I said that I don't believe that men and women have [significantly] different brains, and that the stereotypes about the sexes harm people. I added that for instance, women aren't free to express strength and men aren't free to express sadness, so gender keeps people from being fully developed human beings. It was really a wonderful mini-conversation (lasting less than two minutes because we were on our way out the door for the night), because I could tell that the concept was rather new to zir but ze wasn't resistant to it. So lovely!