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That’s Still Not My Name

July 18th, 2013


My dad called me just now, and I had a hunch he might try to carry on a conversation while avoiding all names and nicknames for me entirely.

(The last time that my dad called me “Snooks” over the phone, I ended the call. So I wasn’t surprised that he might try to find another “loophole” to try to call me without actually having to use my name.)

Sure enough, he plowed ahead with his plan:

ME: “Hi, this is Ashley.”

DAD: “Hi. How are you?”

ME: “Hi Dad. I can see what you’re doing there. And that’s not okay either. I’d like you to call me by my name.”

DAD: “We’ve discussed this.


“So how has your week been going?”

ME: “Dad, we can talk more about this when you’re ready to call me by my name. Goodbye.”

This time around, I didn’t offer a one-one-thousand grace period before I said goodbye—I was so sick of the “We’ve discussed this” bullshit that I just wanted to get off the phone as soon as possible.

Oh, and for anyone curious, the call lasted 31 seconds.

I’ve Become Nameless to My Parents

July 8th, 2013


My parents called—they were both on the line— and they sang “Happy Birthday” to me over the phone. But they seemed to take some creative license with the lyrics.

The tradition version of the song is, of course:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear [name],
Happy birthday to you.

But their rendition went a bit differently:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to youuuu,
Happy birthday to you.

I just—I don’t even. What.

And then my parents and I had some light chitchat—and throughout the call they managed to avoid calling me by any name, nickname or otherwise. I don’t even know what to say.

Immovable Object

July 1st, 2013

Jay Frosting

About a year ago, Ashley sent her parents a letter asking them to call her Ashley. At the time, she left open the possibility that her parents could still call her by a childhood nickname sometimes, Snooks-Pooks. But her parents now call her Snooks all the time, so Ashley wrote her parents a second letter to more firmly ask them to call her Ashley and to remind them that Snooks-Pooks isn’t a replacement for her name.

Ashley chats with Jay about her parents’ reactions to the letter, in separate talks with her dad and then with her mom. Ashley hoped her second letter’s illustrations of gender dysphoria might help sway her parents, but their views remain just as headstrong as ever.

The next step is to ask her parents to call her Ashley when they refer to her as Snooks over the phone — and if they decline, she plans to end the call. Since Jay and Ashley talked, this has already happened once.

Ashley introduces Jay to ScrapeRite plastic razor blades, a dodad that may sound butch at the outset but earn their femme cred by offering a tool to save your nails from scraping and other tasks. Ashley also talks up Kohl’s cotton shoe liners (or “footies” as Jay’s mom calls them) — you wouldn’t think someone could be so stoked about an accessory that no one sees anyway, but Ashley can’t get enough of these, especially with their anti-slip pad at the back that helps keep them from slipping off her feet.

(Ashley’s nail polish in this episode is Teal the Cows Come Home. We aren’t being paid to say this — just thought maybe you’d like to know.)