I wasn’t born with the name Matto. Eventually though I adopted the nickname and now I am known more by that name than by my birth name. My partners use it, my friends use it, and some of my family uses it (I’ve asked them to all use it, but…). To me it’s not just a set of letters, it’s also me claiming an identity that I designed.
I’m not the same person that I was when I was a kid, a teenager, or when I was in my 20s. I’ve grown a lot through the years, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve figured some things out, and I feel like a different person. In a way, it’s me owning up to the new person I want to be, a person who is brave, fiercely loyal, unique, creative, and true to their loved ones.
When I meet people and they asked me if Matto Is my real name, I tell them no, and almost every time they respond positively, saying something like “Matto fits you much better.”
So while the old me exists in my own and in others memories, and whenever I have to fill out legal documents, the new me is known as Matto, and it feels good.