Avatars: How did you name your Avatar?

Hey Hey Posse! I’m sure this has been asked before by so many bloggers but I’ve been genuinely interested and a couple lately have really made me wonder. Avatars: How did you get your Avatar name? It’s a defining part of our online presence, maybe only our perfume presence or does it creep into or come from your real life? Is it affiliated with your life, aspirational, come from a dream/book/movie/history/sign/store name/perfume note or what? Where? How? Was it bestowed upon you? Is it meaningful? Is it tied in with your Avatars image? So many questions.

How did you name your Avatar?

Avatars: How did you name your Avatar?

My Answer

My Avatar name is intrinsically linked with my life and work. Portia Turbo has been my professional Drag Queen name since the late 1980s. Mercedes Sports was my first choice but when I started throwing it around there was already a queen in Sydney called Mercedes. In deference to her seniority and because she is nice it was a no go. The hunt was on.

It was the 1980s and car references were everywhere. Both Michael Schoeffling’s Jake in Sixteen Candles (1984) and Rob Lowe’s Skip in Class (1983) had a Porsche. There are more but those two are indelible. When Mercedes was a bust, Porsche was the next stop.

Coming from a theatre background the name Portia had some seriously cool credibility. Shakespeare uses the name in two separate plays: in Julius Caesar Portia is Brutus’ wife. The Merchant of Venice though is the kicker. In it Portia dresses up as a man, plays a lawyer and saves her beloved. Very, freaking, cool.

Avatar https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/find-person-job-opportunity_8063764.htm#query=avatar&position=0&from_view=keyword&track=sph&uuid=78deb3b4-dc5f-49bf-919d-a69b62bf7666
Image from FreePic

Once the name Portia was established I was going to be all superstar about it and just have one name: Cher, Madonna, Prince et al. My boss Miss 3D was having none of it. A single name didn’t have the right ring for introductions, wasn’t interesting or clever enough. A Drag Name had to be entertaining, memorable and sound like a star. If it was a clever twist on something already available or a widely used term, better. So she added Turbo. Portia Turbo, there it was. For many years people have told me it should be Turbeaux, and while I agree in theory people have such a hard time getting Portia together. I think it’s a stretch too far.


That’s how I got my Avatars name, you?
Portia xx

  • AnnnieA says:

    My avatar name is on the sedate side: Annie was a nickname from high school and I revived it for the virtual world.

  • Kathleen says:

    I love all of your Avatar stories! I wish I were more creative.

  • March says:

    I love your Portia story! I remember when I started this … nonsense trying to decide if I wanted another name and then deciding it was such an innocuous hobby it was fine (I did give my kids nicknames though — Diva, Enigma, Hecate and Buckethead hehe). I do appear, unshockingly, as Mitsouko (photo of the bottle, natch) in a few places.

    • Portia says:

      Using your name is sensible and easy March, I particularly like it when parents preserve their kids identities behind faux names.
      In that vein, I have a gf here who got pretty famous, her older sibling and wife wanted NOTHING to do with it but she continued mentioning them by name and mocking their desire to remain anonymous publicly. It has caused them a lot of pain and embarrassment.
      Portia xx

  • Maggiecat says:

    Well, I had a cat named Maggie (aka Maggie other cat and yes I’m a Tennessee Williams fan). She also liked perfume and would delicately sniff, purr, or sometimes sneeze, to indicate her opinion. She had no objection to my borrowing her name, and since I had a Serious Professional Career, I found it useful to have a secret identity.
    Though I’m thankfully retired now and have no more need to Be Serious, I like being Maggiecat so I think I’ll just keep it!

    • Portia says:

      AHHHHH! A pseudonym to protect the innocent and otherwise. Serious jobs are weird, aren’t they? All those expectations of being online invisible, or at least neutral.
      Hope you’re enjoying large amounts of Tennessee Williams in your retirement Maggiecat.
      Portia xx

  • alityke says:

    My avatar name or handle comes from a combination of my first name & the nickname of my football (soccer) team, the Tykes. Tyke is also a reference to people from Yorkshire as well as mischievous children.
    Alityke I have remained for 23 years. My little Tykes are now men & I follow my team from afar now. A season ticket wouldn’t buy much perfume now

  • Dina C. says:

    Many years ago I participated in a Jane Austen forum that insisted that folks use some portion of their real name as their avatar, their reasoning being that people were kinder, more polite when they weren’t hiding behind a fake name. So that’s when I adopted “Dina C.” How dull. But now you know that I’m into JA as well as perfume!

  • cinnamon says:

    I’m always late to online things. Don’t have an avatar — just variation on the screen name cinnamon (eg, cinnamon toast at one time). I love your story about how you ended up as Portia Turbo though.

  • Tom says:

    Well I guess if I have an avatar it’s the old Pansy one. How I got it is a story unto itself that I wrote down years ago, here.


    • Portia says:

      How did I not know this Tom?
      So good and SO AWFUL, you poor bugger. How long did you last at Thong World?
      Portia xx

    • Dina C. says:

      Tom I loved the story about Thong World and Pansy. It sounds like the Upside Down’s version of The Office — definitely deserving of its own sitcom with you as the smirking “Jim” who looks at the audience knowingly.

    • alityke says:

      Did Pansy Tham become Pansy Tom?
      Sorry couldn’t resist!
      It sound like the US version of Underworld, the posh knicker factory on the UK soap Coronation Street. The site of much underhand skullduggery