The Story Behind My Name Change

by williamedwardh

All of my family and close friends know me as William, but everyone who knows me strictly through my music know me as Mirage. Recently I decided to drop the name and Mirage ‘Persona’ after nearly 10 years of using it.

 

I first started using the name Mirage when I was about 18 years old. At the time, I was still living at home and my family was very traditional and conservative which is pretty much how I was raised. The older members of my family didn’t really support me as a young gay man (and they DEFINITELY didn’t condone me wearing makeup or being flamboyant in any way). This resulted in  me sort of having a bit of an identity crisis. I did not feel like I was allowed to be who I really felt I was on the inside.

 

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So it was around this time that I started going out to gay clubs and hanging out with a different set of friends. Because of the fact that I WAS 18 and had my own car, my family didn’t really have a say in where I went or who I hung out with; Only what I did and how I behaved under their roof. So in the house I would be one way, but if I was going out with friends I would always take a huge bag with me filled with makeup and the kind of clothes that I wanted to wear.

 

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Who I was when I left the house was a totally different person, and so naturally I decided that this person needed a totally different name. I decided to call myself Mirage based on a few different factors. I first got the idea after hearing that it was the nickname of my favorite singer, Mariah Carey, given to her by classmates because she was never in school. Then one day I looked up the origin of the word which read:

 

“The word comes to English via the French mirage, from the Latin mirari, meaning “to look at, to wonder at”. This is the same root as for “mirror” and “to admire”

 

I thought that was so dope and from then on out I became ‘Mirage.’

 

Over the years, though, I think I began to hide behind the Mirage persona. Going out with friends, if I got a little too drunk and did something to embarrass myself I could just say “It wasn’t me, it was Mirage!” I think the fact that in the beginning I used the persona as a means to escape who I felt I had to be somehow translated to me feeling that William, who I really am, just wasn’t enough.

 

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However, as people mature and get older, I think we start to care less and less about the things that may make us feel imperfect through the eyes of another and, yes, even ourselves. Instead we see what a waste of time that is and begin to focus on more important attributes: do I think I’m a good person? Am I happy? Do I surround myself with people who I really care about and who care about me in return?

 

Well, once I started focusing on what was really important to me, I began to get to know myself really and it turns out I actually like the real me. I don’t feel the need to hide behind a persona. I’m not saying Mirage was a mistake…because it really did help when I was younger. It’s just that when I look back I see that I was just pretending. The real thing is so much better.

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-William.

 

 

Comments (9)

  • Jahra Cameron

    I love this and I love you William!! Keep up the amazing work! You are truly talented!!

  • Rudy Rubio

    Very inspiring William! This is truly an unveiling of yourself. It’s wonderful and I’m very proud of you!!!

  • Aiyana Parra

    Standing ovation!!
    Love you, William!!

  • DeltaDee

    William Edward you are an amazing artist in many many areas. I have gotten to know both of you lol! And I am proud of the both of you, Mirage and William Edward. True inspiration! Keep it up and keep it moving forward!! Xoxox

  • Cathie Stone

    I love all of yous!! And it was very well written.

  • Nina

    This quote is you.
    Your approval is neither desired nor required.
    Thanks for sharing a very personal part of you. You have found one of the most important things in life to help you to be happy, being your true self. I am very proud of you.
    LOVE YOU MUCH
    Auntie-Cousin Nina

  • Marcelina Ramos

    😢 My baby’s growing up 😭👏🏽 Beautiful 💛

  • Cynnamon

    I believe you’ve been one of the most genuine and vibrant persons I have had the pleasure of knowing. I apologize for the ignorance clothed in traditional values, religious overreach, and misplaced fear and concern. Your courage increases with every slight, and this hopeful built a strong foundation versus a gritty crust like those who chose not to “see you.” I’m proud of you, my baby brother, my most precious bunny.

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