My name is David and I am a hyphenate.
I've only recently heard the word used as a noun, but I am definitely one. (A person who is active in more than one occupation or sphere.)
I envy people who are not hyphenates.
However, I'm always looking around for fellow hyphenates (especially successful ones) for confirmation that it's ok for me to be one.
I'm mostly surprised that we haven't come up with a better term, which is probably why it's so seldomly used.
I hear "renaissance man" often which sounds like someone who spends their days in costume at medieval fairs playing a mandolin and selling paintings.
Actually that's not bad idea. Note to self...
"Slasher" is being used in some circles now. Painter SLASH writer SLASH whatever. But slasher sounds like...slasher.
Most of my life I've felt at a disadvantage for being a hyphenate. In fact I was told several times that I needed to focus on one thing if I wanted to be successful.
When I'm at a party and someone asks what I do, after I reel off the third occupation I get a look back that I call "the chicken stare."
It's the look that chickens give when you approach them and they're not quite sure what your intentions are.
That moment before they flee.
It's interesting to me that most of us are hyphenates in our personal life: parent/ cook/ housekeeper/ gardener etc.
We are taught as hyphenates growing up and expected to do well in reading, writing, and math, etc. But in our professional life it's confusing if you pursue more than one occupation.
I think we like to define each other. We want to know who you are and what you do and we don't want it to be confusing.
Coming up with a better word than hyphenate would be a good start.