I started my life on the internet when I was thirteen. In quick succession, I made a Twitter account and then a blog. Since I was so young, my parents wanted me to use a pen name, so I did. At the time, I didn’t put much thought into it. It was like choosing a username for a forum I was interested in—I didn’t really expect it to go anywhere. As proof of this: I chose John Hansen, the name some of you used to know me by, just because that was the name of one of the characters in the book I was writing.
But then I became much more immersed in the online world than I ever expected. Within a couple of years, I had a number of awesome friends and followers. And, though I sometimes felt weird about it, I liked having the anonymity of a pseudonym.
My pen name helped so much over the years. Being able to explore my identity as a queer person in such a safe way was amazing. I was able to become comfortable in my own skin well before telling people in my real life that I’m gay.
But after coming out, turning eighteen, and embracing so many different facets of who I am, I decided that I don’t need a pen name anymore. So—yeah. This is Michael. 🙂