Thursday, September 22, 2005


The Pseudoscience of the Pseudonym

I came up with the pseudonym "Michael St. John" in my youth. I never believed that I could be in any way open about my sexuality. I've wanted to be a writer for almost as long as I can remember, and I, as I grew older, I knew that my personal experiences of being gay would be the richest field from which to harvest my creative ideas. I honestly believed that I would have to protect my personal identity, maybe using a post office box for my publishing correspondence and never letting anyone know my real name. Keep in mind that I was very young & naive and that I grew up in a time which was exponentially less tolerant of homosexuality than today.

The name is a combination of the archangel Michael and the Biblical evangelist St. John. "John" also had a special meaning to me because it always seemed to me that an inordinate amount of boys I was attracted to had this as their name. (Of course, it is one of the most common male names, but I've always had a predilection for superstitious thinking.)

I've kept this pseudonym as an adult mostly out of sentimental reasons. It seems rather affected and, if you'll pardon the expression, "gay" to me now. (Though it's not nearly as gay as "Anita Mann," which is infinitely more appropriate.) I don't feel the need to hide my identity now, but I would still use "Michael St. John" if I were to be published. I ran an internet search on the name to see if my blog would show up, and I was surprised at how many hits it returned. Apparently there is an artist with this name and even another author. Still I hope that one day I'll be able to carve out my share of the collective consciousness with my own use of this moniker.

Thank goodness I'm not the only one... mine is Erickson Harrington, which has a very wirterly air to it, don't you think?
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