My full name is Cameron Jeanne Crews. I’ve had it my entire life. Not one for nicknames, all except those who insist on calling me Cams refer to me as Cameron. My sister and I like to think that my mom wanted boys and, out of spite for having daughters, gave us boy names to make raising girls easier. In my older brother’s wrestling About Me, published online as public record, the biographer wrote, “Ike Crews has two younger brothers named Carter and Cameron”. Ike didn’t bother to correct anyone and let all those at his university believe we were actually boys. Imagine the surprise of his fraternity brothers when two blonde girls showed up at his graduation.
Unlike my siblings, whose names all bear some kind of ancestral weight, my parents chose Cameron because they like the way it sounded. My mom thought that Cameron Crews sounded like a celebrity and still prides herself on her choice. My parents’ initial plan was to name me Annabelle, after a club in London, but quickly changed their minds when they learned there was already a girl named Annabel in my future kindergarten class. They had to be original, back to the drawing board. Claudia wouldn’t do because my Dad knew an absolutely awful girl named Claudia growing up. Naming me Claudia would have brought back horrible memories and mean that I would, without a doubt, be a bit of a bitch. Angus reminded my mother of a steak dinner. Jack was far too masculine. So, Cameron it was. And has been since 1996.
Cameron is a Scottish name. Traditionally for boys but, like I’ve already discussed, the androgyny of the name appealed to my parents. My family is Scottish by decent. Nowadays, we’re about as painfully American as any Brit can imagine (loud discussions, obnoxious pronunciations, and all). Through my Scottish name, I can remind people that my family was, in fact, from Scotland before my ancestors sailed over on the Mayflower. I’ve got an AncestryDNA app to prove it, too.
Jeanne, my middle name, is after my grandfather Gene Cook. My mother’s middle name is Gene as well but she decided that spelling my name “Jeanne” gave a feminine feel to my masculine name. She thinks Jeanne looks better than Gene when written in cursive. My mother didn’t realize that the spelling of the name changes the name’s pronunciation. Jeanne is actually a French name and is pronounced like “John” with a French emphasized, “J”. I often have to correct people that Jeanne is actually pronounced Gene. “Like the article of clothing, you know?”
Crews is my family name. Not like Tom Cruise. Not like Penelope Cruz. Like a boat crew but plural. I like my name. I won’t change it, even if hell freezes over and I actually get married. I’ll be Cameron Crews until I die. Then they’ll write that on my tombstone. Whenever people tell me they like my name, I like to reply “Thank you! I got it for my birthday”. If they laugh, I can guarantee we’ll get along.