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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 13:37 GMT
Leslie, Kerry, Kim, Vivian, Tracy write
Lindsay Butcher's Magazine article about the pains of growing up a boy with a girl's name - something Cruz Beckham might well be in for - inspired hundreds of you to share your own trials.


Lindsay, Kerry, Kelly, Leslie, Hilary, Sidney, Ashley, Kim, Jocelyn, Evelyn, Vivian, Tracy... all occupants of the twilight zone between boy's names and girl's names, of which David and Victoria Beckham's third son Cruz is just one of the latest members.

Lindsay Butcher wrote here on Tuesday about how playground comparisons with Lynsey de Paul drove him to the edge - of wanting to be renamed Curtis. Only by going to art college and encountering someone called Aries was he truly cured.

But as your responses have indicated, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What's in a name, wrote Shakespeare... more than you'd think is your answer.

Infamy, they've all got it in for me

"Growing up with a name like Kim when you're a bloke was tough," wrote Kim from Bucks. "It does tend to get easier after school, but having said that, I did work with someone soon after leaving school who refused point-blank to call me Kim. He just called me George instead."

Ciaran from Northern Ireland had to take it on the chin when he moved to England and people thought he was female. Shortly after registering with a GP, he received a letter inviting him to go to the surgery for a smear test. He was sorely tempted to turn up.

Sacha from Blackpool struggled with being thought a girl through school. Now married to Astrid, they still encounter confusion as a couple.

Sarah Allen (it's OK, she really is a woman) writes about her boyfriend Kelly. "He often gets junk mail addressed to Miss or Mrs, and when he gets calls at work, people are often surprised as they are expecting a girl to answer," she writes. "Sometimes people assume they've heard wrong and call him Kenny."

Catrin from Wales adds that Ceri, originally a boy's name, adds another variation on confusion, as does the English spelling Kerry.

Jan (gender not specified) wrote that her friend's husband is called Tracy Parker - and he had a Tracey Parker in his class at school. "We all know Tracy, it seems to suit him," Jan writes. "However, he's a mechanic and his macho workmates call him John."

Another Lindsay writes that when he went to Oxford, it happened to be the year that his college started admitting women students. "The women's rooms were confined to just one or two areas, and when they were allocating rooms, they reckoned that I should be on one of the women's staircases. It meant a longer walk to the toilets, but there were compensations," he writes.

Hilary, Evelyn and Leslie
Hilary, Evelyn and Leslie
"A friend of mine had a girl's name," says Lewis of Bristol, "and the story was that his father had called him it so that it would toughen him up enough to play rugby. It worked."

Blame the parents?

The question people kept coming back to is "What were the parents thinking?" Luce, from Exeter, gives a clue, being the mother of little Jocelyn.

"We shorten it to Jos, so as not to confuse people," she writes. "At the age of six, he stood up in class and announced that he wanted to be known as Jocelyn, and not Jos, I think because there were two boys in his class called Josh, two called Joe, and a girl called Jojo. The only problem he has is people spelling it wrongly - and the French definitely have a problem because for them it is very definitely a girl's name. But I like slightly different names - our other son is called Pirate."

And it goes both ways. Vivienne, from London, is a woman. Her middle name (a family name) is Stanley. "Neither of my parents admits to registering me," she writes, "but the registrar apparently got as far as writing 'bo' for boy and had to cross it out."

"People assume I'm a man when they hear my name before meeting me," writes Peta Chow, from Carmarthen. "Once they've seen it written down, they start pronouncing it 'Petta', and I've given up correcting people. "

"I remember making a hair appointment over the phone," writes Toni. "They gave me a 15-minute slot rather than the hour that ladies usually get."

But the last word goes to someone whose name stretches belief to the limit - Hermione Edward. He writes: "Being a boy called Hermione was difficult at first, too, especially as I had my hair long. But soon enough the bullies just backed off - I guess there's only so much phlegm kids can hack up."




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