As Johnny Cash once sang, “Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.” Anyone who has a name that is more traditionally linked with the opposite sex knows this to be the case. I talked with Rory Freedman about this. Rory is a name more traditionally given to boys and we talked about how she dealt with reactions from people about her name.
The same is true for my next guest, Evan. Although the name Evan has traditionally been given to boys, this particular Evan is all girl. She describes below the surprising reactions she’s received from teachers to strangers.
That can be a problem with a name sometimes. People prejudge you based on what their perception of the name is all about. Evan has tiptoed (and maybe even danced) around the reactions to her name with ease and panache. Please join me for a brief but enlightening interview with Evan about her name.
Namely Marly’s Interview with Evan Baltazar:
What name did your parents give you when you were born?
I was born Evan Elizabeth Baltazar.
Did they tell you why the selected this name?
As my mother tells it, originally she wanted to name me Erin, but while watching television one night she came across a girl named Evan and immediately changed her mind. I’ve never asked her about the Elizabeth, but it’s come in handy having a traditionally male name when sending emails/resumes/letters to unknowing people.
What did you think of your name as a child?
I can remember as a kid wanting to go by my middle name Elizabeth, because I thought it had cooler nicknames like Lizzy and no one would ever mistake me for a boy before meeting me.
I can still remember one time specifically when we had a substitute teacher. I was probably ten or eleven at the time and the class was being rowdy. The sub started taking roll and when I raised my hand when he called the name “Evan”, he lost his cool. He yelled, “If one more person acts out or gives me a fake name, I’m sending you all to the principal!” He didn’t believe my name was Evan and after trying to defend myself, the rest of the class had to speak up for me to let him know Evan really my name. I was mortified.
Have you ever used a nickname?
Oh yeah. Almost all of my good friends call me Ev. My dad (and only my dad) calls me Evsta and depending on the circle of friends I’ve been known to answer to Evie, Evpie, E.Balt, E, and Evie baby- These are just the ones that have stuck!
What do you think of your first name now as an adult?
I’ve definitely learned to love my name. It’s unique and leaves an impression on people. It’s interesting though, boys tend to have a difficult time with my name. It’s like they have a hard time comprehending it and normally think they’ve misunderstood me. Girls on the other hand tend to love it. They think it’s cool that I have a “boy’s” name.
If you could have any name you want, what would it be?
Another name my Mom had wanted to name me was Claire. I’ve always liked that name and I think it would be pretty good fit for a clone.
Do you think overall that your name has made a difference in your life?
Like I mentioned before, people have a hard time grasping the concept sometimes. So introductions are always interesting. And the first day of school was always fun. Teachers always assumed I was a boy. As you can imagine, elementary school was the best! Just this past month I was at a training for work and my name plate read Mr. Evan Baltazar. I’ve had to learn to be patient and understanding. You’d be amazed how rude people can be even about a name. They’ll say things like, “Evan? That’s weird. Didn’t your parent’s know that was a boys name?”
My name has definitely helped me stand out though, especially in interviews and first impressions. It’s hard to forget an extremely energetic, in-your-face girl named Evan. People are intrigued by uncommon names and my name is normally a good conversation starter.
Do you find the topic of names interesting?
I do! I’ve always been interested in what causes a parent to choose a child’s name and how much experiences, people you’ve met, and books you’ve read, etc., influence that choice. It’s funny how a name can “fit” someone, or not for that matter. Or how a name makes you assume things about a person based on the prior experiences you’ve had with someone else who has that name.
What inspires you?
Life inspires me. I am constantly inspired by the people I meet, the places I go and the things I eat. My family and friends are also a huge inspiration to me. The things that they do in their lives on a daily basis inspire me to do great things with mine as well.
Evan is a unique name for a truly unique person. You can learn more about Evan and her cake making adventures on her site Sweetbakes.
This name interview is part of a series called, “Real People, Real Names,” a compendium of stories and pictures about people and their names.
If you’d like to be considered as a guest for this series, please use the Namely Marly contact form.