I Chose My Preferred Name And I Still Forget It Sometimes

I Chose My Preferred Name And I Still Forget It Sometimes

"Hi my name is E…Ian. Nice to meet you" Do not be fooled, I too have forgotten my name when I am introducing myself to someone new. Going by a name your whole life and then changing it not only affects others and how they address you, but it also affects myself.

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How did I choose Ian?

A question I have not be asked as much as I had thought, but one I often ask myself, is why Ian? I chose the name because it sounded similar to Erin, but it wasn't her. Too, it flowed with my middle name as I wished to keep it. I did not choose the name because I felt a connection to it because I did not know anyone by the name of Ian…so I thought. However, after I had chosen it, I realized I had a connection to the name as my hairstylist had a son named Ian. For those of you who do not know, my hairstylist is like another mom to me because she is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as her child is transgender. Thus, I never met her son as Ian because her "son" is solely her "child" and I only knew them by their preferred name, rather than their biological name, Ian.

While I had chosen the name and plastered it on social media, I had a hard time telling my hairstylist of my name. I actually did not tell her my new preferred name as I was unsure of her reaction as she once had chosen the name for her son. It brought up questions in my mind such as "would she be okay with me having that name?" and "how would she feel knowing she is calling me a name she had once given to her child at birth?", but as I was sitting in the hair salon, she brought up my name as she had seen it change on Facebook. She smiled, looked at me and told me she had chosen the name for her child as she had loved it and it only made her love it more knowing that I wanted to be called Ian. And from here on out she has called me Ian.


My hairdresser the day I told her to cut my long hair (November 2017) Ian Hodges

How does one forget their chosen name?

Choosing Ian as a name and remembering myself as Ian has been an emotional roller coaster as I have felt disconnected from my own name. I have even asked myself "what is my name?" or "is this who I really want to be addressed as?" because it is a change. I have felt disconnected from my name because I am reminded more of Erin than I realized. When I am not faced with multiple names, I am Ian, but when I am surrounded by Erin I am often frustrated, not by those that accidentally forget to call me by my preferred name, but because living two lives is emotionally frustrating.

I am surrounded by my biological name and it questions how I want to be addressed because I am being pulled in different directions. We as a society do not think about the documents, licenses, certificates, tagged pictures, etc that our name is printed on for employment, government, and medical use. Too, with the constant emails, appointment reminders, and even the college diploma I have hanging in my room, I am reminded of Erin. Although I am so proud of myself, I see my diploma and I am unsure of who graduated with dual bachelors as it was not Ian. So, forgetting I am Ian is easy because Ian is just beginning to make moves in society whereas Erin has been making moves for a lifetime. Thus, forgive me for my honesty, but I too have forgotten I am Ian.

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9 Things Girly Tomboys Know Too Well

It's all about balance.
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Most girls are either girly girls or tomboys, but for some of us, we are a cross between the two. We are a rare breed between wearing dresses and shotgunning beers. We can relate to other girls but play sports with the boys without batting an eye. It's all about balance like balancing your ratio of pieces of pizza to how many pieces of cake you'll still be able to eat.

1. You love your comfy clothes.

You wish you could live the rest of your life in your favorite pair of sweatpants, yet you know you have to "adult" sometimes and put on more socially acceptable clothes.

2. You don't love shopping.

You find it a real hassle to drive all the way to the mall, just to aimlessly walk around looking for expensive clothes that you can't afford. Your one saving grace is the food court, that's your happy place.

3. You LOVE food.

Most of the time when you're in a bad mood it's because no one has fed you in a few hours. When you finally get that burger you've needed, you don't care who sees you devour it.

4. You're not graceful.

When you wear heels you look like a baby giraffe learning to walk. You wonder how these other girls glide around in heels while you're falling in trash cans.

5. You love wearing a dress.

You love wearing a dress, because think about it, it's one piece of clothing instead of having to put an entire outfit together. But you are sure to always wear some shorts under it, knowing that if shenanigans present themselves a dress isn't going to stop you from participating in the festivities.

6. Your makeup routine takes 10 minutes or less.

Sometimes you get in a girly mood and try to watch makeup tutorials, the end result never turns out well and normally results in you wiping it all off and eating an entire frozen pizza instead.

7. You love playing/watching sports.

You feel at home on the field or court, you're never afraid to get down and dirty when it comes to your favorite sport. You'd rather watch sports than "Say Yes to the Dress."

8. You love beer.

If given the choice between a fruity girly drink or a nice cold beer, there is no hesitation for you, beer it is.

9. Sometimes you just really don't know what kind of girl you are.

You don't consider yourself a girly girl, a tomboy, or anything else really...so the best title is a girly tomboy.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I Won't Forgive The Anti-Semitic Students Of Spain Park, Not Yet

Maybe it isn't time for an apology.

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I am Jewish. It is something I have never been afraid of and something I value as much in life as I do with my family and friends. Throughout my life, though I have witnessed hate of the Jewish people and jokes made about Jewish people.

In high school, I had to listen to jokes about Jews and the gas chambers and was asked because I was Jewish if I could do someone else's math homework.

To say I had to deal with anti-Semitism in the South does not come close to describing what I had to go through. As time went by the jokes stopped and I thought I would not have to deal with instances of prejudice or bigotry but I was wrong. Growing up as one of the only Jewish people in my friend group and in high school it made me consider myself strong and ready for college but in my freshman year I had to go through other jokes about my religion and even in sophomore year had to witness someone I thought was my friend make a joke about my religion because "he thought it was funny."

I let the instances of anti-Semitism serve as times when I could prove people wrong I learned to forgive and forget.

But I had to witness other acts of hate towards Judaism while in college. From swastikas on a fraternity house, a synagogue shooting, the BDS movement and more hate speech, the hate towards Jews have seemed to grow and I do not understand why. I get hurt each time I hear of an instance but it has not allowed me to view my Judaism any differently. However, there was an occurrence that has affected me in a different way.

It happened in my home state and it has not sat well with me.

On Monday a video surfaced of multiple high school students making anti-Semitic and anti-Black comments. The video featured a guy turning around the camera multiple times to show he was laughing and thought it was funny while others made comments about concentration camps, what would happen if Jews ruled the world and asking what the world would be like without the Holocaust. The students were from Spain Park in Birmingham and have gathered quite a reputation online.

To say I am filled with anger, disappointment, and embarrassment is an understatement.

This is my home state and these students are not only disrespecting the Jewish and Black people in the state of Alabama but throughout the US and possibly even in the world. I am hurt by this instance but I am not ready to forgive these students just yet.

After the video was leaked online some of the students sent messages to the person who uploaded the video apologizing. That I took as a mature gesture until I read the apology from the girl in the video. The apology asked if the user could remove the video because it would ruin her life and reputation. It was later found out that the female student is the daughter of the manager of the Toyota dealership in Hoover after the manager posted an apology.

Any remorse I had going for these students was now gone.

They were not sorry. They were sorry that they got caught and were facing consequences. They gave the apology that your parents made you say when you did not want to apologize. They did not care about who they had harmed or what they had said, they cared because they had to face consequences and they know that this mistake would follow them for the rest of their life.

I'm at a loss for words.

I don't know how to feel. I know someone will tell me I am overreacting but how am I supposed to approach this? What they said was wrong and there is no proper way to express frustration for it. I know people get offended by certain things but some things are not meant to be a joke. So I hope what you said was worth it and was fun to say because it will follow you for the rest of your life. Some lessons are best-learned overtime and it looks like you will have a chance to reflect on these events.

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