6 Things That Happen When You're Always Called By Your Last Name

6 Things That Happen When You're Always Called By Your Last Name

Everyone from friends, to teachers, to random people that I’ve met only once address me as "Wong."

Cher, Madonna, Beyonce, Bono, Sia, Drake, Adele, Charo, Kesha, Ludacris, Moby, Twiggy, Usher, Pink, and Oprah. What do these 14 celebrities all have in common? They’re all known by one name. Although it might not be a birth given one, they are still addressed by everyone as this particular name and it somehow sticks. I myself have a similar issue where I am addressed by one name. Although it’s not made up, it’s my last name and it’s something that everyone from friends to teachers, to random people that I’ve met only once address me as. After years of being called “Wong,” here are some truths I’ve discovered.

1. People are convinced your last name is your first name

Sometimes it may take them months, even years later to realize your first name isn’t actually your last name. I have had several incidents where I have been addressed by my first name and someone asks, “Who’s Cheyenne?” And I could have known them since middle school. Or the best is when I get asked, “So what made your parents name you Wong?” Well, they didn’t really get to pick that name, did they?

2. Acquaintances will call you by your last name

I’m sorry, it is a privilege to call me what my close friends and family call me. It is a privilege that is earned, not given. But really. Sometimes someone will hear my last name being addressed and will just pick up and start calling me the same thing. Jokes on me when I thought I could come to college, starting fresh, meeting so many new people who didn’t know me. I introduced myself as Cheyenne. And before I know it “Wong” came back around like the psychotic ex-girlfriend you thought you got rid of.

3. You have introduced yourself with your last name

Jokes on you when you try to break the habit but then you do the same thing everyone else has done. I, on more than one occasion, have met someone new. Perhaps even someone I am trying to impress. A job interview, a cute boy at the bar, someone official. And just like word vomit, I say, “Hi, my name is Wong.” Majority of the time their reaction is very weirded out and then I have to say, “I’m so sorry my name is actually Cheyenne but my last name is Wong.” And as I fumble around trying to clean up my mess, it either becomes a great story to talk about down the road or an awkward encounter that you just want to get away from and never speak of again.

4. Your friends haven’t called you by your first name in years

Sometimes your friends may genuinely forget that you actually have another name, or that you have a first name for that matter. Sometimes you may have to ask yourself. “Do my friends really even know me?” Sometimes when they introduce you to other people, and they end up using your real first name, you feel a bit proud because you know they care about making you sound better than you are.

5. When people call you by your first name you think they’re upset with you

It’s as if sometimes your name, and what they call you is a term of endearment. So when they decide to call you by your proper name it’s similar to your parent’s scolding you and using your full name. First, middle, and last name in that tone. So you can’t help but find that being called by something proper is an indication that you are about to be lectured, scolded, or told something serious that results in something negative. But sometimes your friends just like to throw you the curveball.

6. If you have siblings it gets confusing

Chances are your siblings will also be referred to by the same name. When you’re all together it can get confusing as to who is being called on. For myself, I have a brother who shares mutual friends as me. In high school, it was common that we participated in the same activities and it was just one big mess figuring out who was talking to whom.

So there you have it, some of the norms that happen when you’re’ addressed by only your last name. But if we’re being honest here I, myself wouldn’t’ have it any other way. Your name is a symbolic piece of you and is part of who you are. So I’ll be damned if I get to share a similar characteristic with some of the greatest celebrities out there.

Cover Image Credit: Cheyenne Wong

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.

To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.



Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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If You're Against Abortion, Here's What You Should Do About It

There's more you can-- and should-- do than picket outside Planned Parenthood


Upon the recent passing of a law that permits late-term abortions, I have seen many of my friends cry out uproariously that our country is fallen and has forsaken God. While you could probably argue this point with other examples, I don't think that this particular one serves as proof of our current state. Let me first explain to you what this law really is about and then encourage you to take other actions to lower the abortion rate.

Now in case you're not familiar, New York recently passed a law allowing abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy. What I think a lot of people have still yet to realize is that this is only allowed in the case that the fetus is not likely to live once outside the womb or the birth will be of danger to the mother. So one more time for those who still might be confused, abortion doctors are not just taking babies out of the womb and killing them a day before birth because the mother decided she didn't want it anymore. This is to save lives and prevent pain and suffering.

I know many think that aborting a terminal fetus before birth still counts as murder, but let me equate it, instead, to ending life support for a loved one who is brain-dead. In many cases, these children are experiencing pain inside the womb only to be followed by more pain shortly before death once born. Parents that are choosing to abort their pregnancies in the third trimester for these reasons are devastated and only trying to end a child's suffering, often at the expense of their own.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that not all abortions are just being used as a form of contraception and that there are many painful stories about the necessity of abortion for a mother. What can you do to lower these rates though? Well, I might add that making abortion legal probably isn't going to do the trick. While you might want to close your ears to this information, women who want an abortion are probably going to get one whether it's legal or not. Many anti-abortion individuals happen to be the same individuals that are anti-gun control with the argument that illegal guns will be procured no matter the laws. Might I turn your eye than to the case of abortion and the fact that people will probably always do what they want to do. Anyhow, let me get off of my soapbox and actually provide some information.

If you're really in it to lower abortion rates, walking outside of Planned Parenthood with a sign, shaming the women who enter probably isn't going to do the trick. First of all, Planned Parenthood does more than just provide abortions, so you may be scaring/shaming a woman who just wants access to healthcare for her pregnancy out of seeking help at all. What you can do, however, is push for your local schools to teach real sex education and not abstinence-only contraception. Yeah, scary pictures of STD's might do the trick for a while, but as we've previously discussed, people are probably going to do what they want to do regardless of what you tell them. We need to be teaching our young people how to have safe sex, and just be teaching them about sex in general. I know that the thought of your teenager having sex probably scares the crap out of you but, if they're going to do it anyway, don't you want them to be safe?

Another thing that you can do to lower the rate of abortion is to call for easier access to birth control for women. When they can easily and affordably access safe methods of contraception, there are bound to be less unwanted pregnancies. The United States needs to not only be educating its youth about all aspects of sex, but it needs to be making it as easy as possible for them to be SAFE about it. It may not be your first preference for young people to be having sex, but if they're going to do it anyway, we need to ensure that they feel comfortable taking the countermeasures to be safe about it.

The last point I'd like to make before I finish up is that even if you think that abortion is morally wrong, it's not your choice to make whether or not another individual decides to get one. Many times this decision is going to be a painful one for the mother, especially if she knows that her child will not survive outside the womb. There is no reason to make this process more painful for her, or even dangerous by illegalizing it. We need to be supporting mothers and not shaming them for whatever decision they decide to make.

If you're anti-abortion, that doesn't mean you have to be anti-choice. If you would choose not to get one, that's totally fine and I understand that, but it's important to look at the bigger picture and ensure both the physical and mental health of our women who are probably already going through a lot. Now is not the time to tear others down for their choices. Now is the time for the human race to stand together and support each other and make sure that our country is a safe one to live in regardless of your beliefs.

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