Posts Tagged ‘Toni Morrison’

Toni Perm boxFrom the time I was old enough to speak, I was a reluctant crusader against the relentless ignorance over the gender-bending name my parents assigned me at birth.  1960s Madison Avenue provided only one example to refer to when enlightening people on how to accurately write the girl-version diminutive of Anthony.  “It’s spelled with an “i” instead of a “y”, you know, like Toni, The Home Permanent.” I grew weary of the discourse and confusion about my androgynous moniker and envied girls appropriately named Mary, Cindy, or Barbara.

As I reached adulthood, the naming world evolved and it appeared the heat was finally off women with “men’s names”.  Thanks to Oprah’s Book Club, Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison became a household name and songbird Toni Braxton was a sexy girl-named-Toni babe. Things were looking up in the given name department…until I moved to Italy. 

“Mi Chiamo Toni.”  Oh, hell, here we go again.

by Toni DeBella


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