Importance of a Name

Outloud | Executive Director

As a dad of a Pansexual kid and an advocate for 6 years I sometimes think I know stuff. We had our anonymous questions from the App again this group and I was hit by something as a new revaluation. The group asks questions on their devices and the questions show up on the screen. No one signs in so no one knows who is asking what question but we know its relevant because it is someone from in this room.

The youth usually ask questions like “I like someone but how do I ask them out?” or ” I need help coming out to my parents or friends or whoever”. This time one of the youth said their parent was using their dead name on purpose and it made them so frustrated, angry, and unheard that they felt suicidal as a result. As a parent I can see how you love the name you chose for your kid. It took time, consideration, planning and you thought it was perfect. When the child says they want to change the name you gave them, you were hurt and confused as to why they hate the name that is so precious to you. Many parents feel the same way and ask themselves what they did wrong. Why is my child doing this to me? What did I do to make them hate this name?

The answers to those questions all have nothing have nothing to do with the parent. We need to understand that this beautiful, amazing child that you raised has come to a crossroads where the name they grew up with does not fit what they see in the mirror. Your child was born biologically as someone that they no longer see themselves as. Your child is not choosing this new name to piss you off or to create problems or just rebel. Imagine if you saw something that you hated in the mirror and your only recourse was to rename it in the hope that you could live on. If we don’t let our kids find their own identity they either have to retreat and try to find another way to live or in many cases they cannot go on living.

We all need help to understand this completely abstract and foreign concept. Get some help for you. Get some help for them. If you don’t know, just start asking. Outloud has a Resources page right here.


 

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