After listening to Should Google+ require you to use your real name? one fine sunny bike ride, I was left wondered if maybe my justification for anonymity might be more common than the authors might think. My wondering stopped there, until this evening when I giggled at my one of GitHub messages.
There are many nefarious reasons to use a handle. Some people hide behind anonymity to post nasty comments on YouTube, troll in general, say abusive things or start mass riots in countries where freedom of speech isn't common. But not all reasons for anonymity are nefarious, some are just about having a level playing field. As "cesine" I've quietly listened on user groups while others suggest new barbie wall papers, and flirty penguins to bring in some of the female persuasion over to Linux, etc. I once made an eye fluttering Tux and put it on my website, wondering if they might catch on that there was something different about the operator of that server.
Anonymity for me meant having people treat me like any other programmer/geek. My real name isn't at all gender neutral like Tony, Alex or Jesse. But my handle, "cesine" which has been my web identity since 1996 is everything neutral. And apparently, it's working. I think this speaks for itself.
Now that I'm officially "out of the closet" in the blogosphere, its only a question of 10 minutes research to find I'm not your typical dude, but still that's 10 minutes most people won't take. As long as I don't have to use my real name, that's a 10 minute cushion of unbiased respect.