I’m still me. Only this time, I’m stronger.

Now, I’m going to keep this short, simple and to the point.

I have lived last nineteen years, six months, two weeks and three days as Grace Maureen Horgan, a name that I never really thought mine. I was told that my name was Grace and that it always would be. I was given this name by my parents whom I love dearly. I didn’t want to let them down when I would tell them that I was changing my name.

After the last four years of feeling like I was an absolute piece of shit and that my existence was nothing more than a burden on everyone around me, I have realized that Grace is the reason I’m alive today. I grew up in a town where I learned to hate myself. In a school system where kids felt they had the right to praise cruelty above all else. I grew up being scared to go to school, scared to leave my house and I feared for what shitty situation was next to approach. I never felt as though I belonged. And I never felt safe.

I have always seen my name as more of a target than identity. Although, after so much time I guess I accepted that my identity was nothing more than just a target for others who felt superior. It is not easy, living in this town and having to drive past these people day after day and risk running into them when simply, I just need to run an errand at CVS or Stop & Shop. It’s not easy knowing that they will keep doing the things they’ve always done, not just to me, but will go on with their lives as “happy” and “proud” as can be while simultaneously ruining someone else’s.

Ellie also represents a fresh start to my new life. Where things are by no means “easy” but are getting easier. I have spent the last nineteen years doing things to try to “fit in” without ever being myself. Ellie is me. Ellie is my name. And I look forward to what my future has in store for me.


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