Most people have no idea why I am called *Rasta*. It really has nothing to do with what *you* might think, and some folks shy away from it. Here’s the history:
Years ago, while in the Navy, a co-worker was commenting on my affiliation with *Black* culture and music. Music like Reggae, Soul, Blues, live Jazz.. some of my favorites (in order). My friend said emphatically “You know what you are, you are a black man born inside out” and he added “You actually think you are black!” No, I don’t.. although I do use the line that “I was 16 before I realized I was white”, and <hands on hips> “I have had to live with that all my life!”
So, we aren’t talking a just a nickname here, but one I have come to be familiar with, both Online and in person. This worked for more than 15 years before I joined Facebook. Then, someone trying to *identify* me, reported to FB that my name was not Rasta, and they locked down my account until I changed it. No one notices Santa Clause on there, Buddy whatshisname (without the other fella), just that Rasta guy..
My family & strangers call me Tom. Everyone else (used to) call me Rasta. Facebook changed that.. now some long-time friends have switched to Tom, which is both uncomfortable, and unusual for me. So, three of my friends named Tom are out with me. Someone yells “Tom”, and I am the only one that doesn’t turn around. Who calls me that? Mom does. My sister does. Some relatives have even countrified it into *Tommy* (gag), but friends? Those that know me best, still call me Rasta, but I get mixed reactions.
Think of a Union. Members might call each other “Brother” even if they aren’t related or what of Church *brethren*? In the Rastafari faith, the *brethren* are the ones they call “Rasta”. So, it is like that, a relationship, association, common interests. While I might have interest for the Rastafari faith, it is still not the reason for my nickname. It is more like a “GERALD” that uses *BUDDY* instead. I know people who were always called “Junior” like a first name. So, just accept it, feel free to use it, it should offend no one, it is just a name.
And my profiles are often simply RASTA but in a global world, that name is often taken in Blogs, Twitter, etc. And let’s face it, if you hear an unusual name, you are more likely to remember it. If you screamed that out in a room in Halifax, I bet I would be the only one there that would respond. Don’t use TOM!
(Halloween Winner several times)