At the age of 5, I had to kiss goodbye to red brick houses, the scent of eucalyptus leaves crushed in hand and the reddened hues of Australia. My mother took my brother and I to Auckland, where we would spend the rest of our childhood. In doing so, she put the entire Tasman Sea between me and my father. He was not consulted. Despite how I feel about my childhood, he has always felt forced into the role of the absent father.
One of the few threads that has linked us together since I was born was the fact that he gave me my name. My last name, Telford, linked our shared lineage back through England. My middle name, Stella, was in direct tribute to his mother. My first name was given to me at his insistence.
When I came out as trans and asked my father to use the name “Fury”, he grieved. He tiptoed towards the conversation, rather petulantly saying, “I gave you that name.”