Issue #70 | Sep 10, 2020

What's in a Name?

In consideration of the many other ways in which language is wielded, this issue explores the multi-dimensional meanings of naming and being named.
In consideration of these and many other ways in which language is wielded, this issue explores the multi-dimensional meanings of naming and being named. There are limits and imaginations to language. There is subjugation and reclamation, clarity and obfuscation, power and possibility to reimagine. These stories name, rename, and unname such experiences.
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A Different Way Than Out
By Daniel Lam

In truth, my grievance with “coming out” is not with the metaphor itself. It is with language as a whole — the soullessness of its vehicle, its concreteness, its singular instinct to unravel a knot into a linear string of vowels and consonants. Language has disappointed me in its inability to capture my sexuality in every one of its stages, in all of its obscurity and uncertainty.

Fighting for a Name
By Kylie Foo

I learned then that having not just a name for my struggles but having the right person learn this name as well was what could finally act as my shield against these thousands of tenterhooks that were pulling me apart. But it was a difficult process, filled with a hundred hotspots of shame, to accept that my private suspicion about ADHD needed to be verbalized by a white coat and printed into a file in order to access the privilege of medical resources and institutional protection.

Rocks, Trees, and Femininity
A Reflection on Musculinity and Femininity
By Dawn Chow

I write this to the women who feel they do not belong to the believing community as a result of what has happened to them or who they have discovered themselves to be, and to the women who feel as though femininity is a foreign or oppressive word.

Naming as Way-Finding
By Jordan Aspiras

Whether we like to think of it or not, our names are marks of colonization that we carry with us. Filipinos recognize the relationship of the name to the location. In this case, the Filipino diaspora recognizes the distinction of Spanish influence on their names, while others assume its Spanish origin must mean my ancestry is directly from Spain.

Claiming and Reclaiming Our Names
By Jin R. Choi

But why Rebekah? I was asked by a professor when I entered my undergraduate years. Why not Jin? With a simple question, she opened up the possibility that Jin could be just as legitimate of a name as Rebekah; I had never considered it. It was remarkable and sad. I had never considered it, never considered introducing myself by the name I had first been given.

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