Oh frabjous day! Callooh callay! Today my legal name is officially changed from Valerie Aurora Henson to Valerie Anita Aurora. As you may have guessed, Anita is for Anita Borg.
What was wrong with Val Henson? I like “Val” – it’s been my nickname since I was little – but it wasn’t obviously feminine, which put a crimp in my attempts to be a role model for women. I didn’t like Henson because I don’t want to be associated with my biological father, Keith Henson. So I finally got up the gumption (and the cash – $500 total!) to change my name officially.
I’ve begun the migration of my online corpus but gave up on trying to get it all done before announcing my name change. http://valhenson.org now redirects to http://valerieaurora.org and is mostly de-Hensoned, and valerie dot aurora at gmail dot com works, but much remains. I can use advice on picking a new blog hosting service and migrating 919 MB of email from one Gmail account to another. (I started a POP3 migration and gave up 3 days later.)
You can still call me Val, and I won’t be upset if you use Henson accidentally – I’ll certainly be making that mistake a lot myself. In general, please don’t worry about it. Name changes are slow and gradual, as I’m learning myself.