I keep getting more and more interesting things coming my way as Bug Girl…but the problem is, I like being Bug Girl, and not (fill in real name here).  Keeps life simpler, and boss happy.

What do you think? Should I give up and come out?

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. If you feel that you have nothing to lose by revealing your identity, or that you have something to gain by it, you might as well. But some of the things you write about (state budget, roast beavers) might not be as easy if your name appeared on the blog. I don’t think we lose anything as readers in not knowing your first and last name, so better to be safe, in my opinion.

  2. I agree with John – only come out if you think it would help you in some way, like if you want to use it for writing samples or broader impacts. We like you being Bug Girl, too!

  3. Eh, with what you do with your blog, there’s no real reason to abandon anonymity. Honestly, it would be strange to think of you as something other than Bug Girl.

  4. yeah–it’s just that the more bug girl gigs I do, the more my pseudonym becomes pretty darn redundant.

    But I’d prefer to stay Bug Girl too!!

  5. I think you should start using internet polls to make all your important life decisions.

  6. Oh, I’m using an internet poll to VALIDATE a decision I’ve already made, Jacob. That’s different :p

  7. My choice: “No, I already know who you are anyway.” It took me a bit to figure out, but I’m glad I did since I count you as one of the coolest “friends” I’ve never met.

  8. Well, regardless of whether you stay “anonymous” or not, you’ll always be Bug Girl to me.

    For that matter, I kind of suspect that none of the superheroes with “secret identities” have actually ever been fooling anybody – their friends/relatives had figured it out loooong ago and were just humoring them.

  9. Wait, your real name isn’t Bug Girl?! Blast!! Now I don’t know what to name my kid! ;)

  10. Perhaps it’s not a question of anonymity, but of “branding.” In the beginning of your online adventures, you may well have been after the anonymity—some separation of personal and professional lives. These days, it’s not as much of an issue; however, your pseudonym may well be entrenched with who you are online.

    The real thing to think about is not whether or not you want to use your real name—it’s if/how you want to continue using “Bug_Girl.”

  11. Funny but U once asked the same thing of my readers after about 3 yrs of blogging. Most, including my mother, said to keep the ‘nym. Many people even know me in person as Abel but don’t know my real name. So, I don’t hide my identity because I’m better known in these circles by my ‘nym, but I do link to real life events that make it easy to know who I am. But I say to just do what works for you.

  12. Wow, you guys are all very sweet!! *blush*
    Thank you!!

    I will probably stay BG and just turn down some of the more interesting offers. It’s SOOO much nicer to not have to worry about censoring myself.
    I do a little anyway, but that’s probably not a bad thing :)

    I think “separation of the personal and professional” is spot on, Goddess.

  13. Knowing you on here and on Skepchick as Bug_Girl for the past couple of years would really confuse me if you decided to suddenly adopt a different moniker, whether it was your “real” one or not – if nothing else.

    And it’s the Interweb, and anonymity is rarely if ever a bad thing here!

  14. I think ‘Bug Girl’ is a great name (well, maybe it wouldn’t suit me!) so I’d stick with it if I were you. If you use your real name from time to time that’s fine too, you don’t need to be either one or the other, you can be both.

  15. The Science Goddess (#10) has it right: this should be a branding issue.

    If, for example, you find yourself self-employed in the fallout from the economic crisis, writing books about bugs for a living (ahem- just a suggestion), would you do better as “Bug Girl” or as your given name?

    Not that I have any idea about how you’d go either way, but that’s how I’d be thinking of the issue.

  16. Myrmecos–I think the market for entomology books that make copious use of the F-bomb may be limited :D

  17. You like Orwell – he kept writing under that name after his real name became more or less known (and apparently generally ignored).

    Don’t hyphenate your name though – if I’d done that I would have ended up a synonym of a pesticide for chickens (‘natural’ though).

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