What’s in a name?
Pretty much everything. Our identity. Alliances to people we are connected to. Notoriety. So much of this, comes back to our name, notably our surname/last name. By the time I was three years old, my mom had divorced my dad and remarried. She married a good man. He wasn’t my dad though and certainly wasn’t my biological father. I remember feeling confused and conflicted. Torn. Where do my alliances fall? To whom do my allegiances align? Those are heavy feelings for anyone, let alone a three year old child. Ever since that day, late in March, I felt this pressure to realign myself and change, to become someone else; to take on a new last name. I always felt like a fraud, an imposter. Among my friends and within the social circle I was part of, I was known by the last name of my step-father. Everyone assumed he was my biological father. I was a Broyles and no one was the wiser. But, when I would go to the doctor, they would call me back and they would say “Crystal Shivers”. Who was I really? Eventually, I changed my last name to Broyles. Strangely, even then I felt fake…still like a fraud. Fast forward to 2016. After twenty-five years my dad and I began rebuilding our relationship. Today, August 10, 2017, I am once again Crystal Shivers. And finally, Winnie and I could agree on a last name that encapsulates who we are as a couple. For obvious reasons she never wanted the Broyles last name and has decided to take on Shivers for us to have a singular family name identity, with people who love and accept us.
-Crystal & Winnie Shivers
Thanks Lizz Hoard for this amazing picture!!