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Our names are our armor and our truth.

Written by Vedant

Queerspeak 1.0

Growing up, I always felt like I was living in someone else's skin, wearing a name that was like a tight, uncomfortable garment. This name, the one given to me at birth, never felt like mine. It was a label that boxed me into a life I didn't choose, a constant reminder of a persona I couldn't relate to. This feeling, which I later understood as dead name dysphoria, was a relentless shadow in my life. 

During my teenage years, as I grappled with my identity, the sound of my birth name became unbearable. It was like a jarring note in the symphony of my life, disrupting my harmony every time it was uttered. This dissonance only deepened my resolve to find a name that echoed my true self. 

The journey to 'Rushik' was a pilgrimage to my inner sanctuary. The moment I found it, it was as if I was hearing my true name for the first time. It was not just a label, but a symbol of my reclaimed identity. 'Rushik' resonated with who I was at my core, not who society expected me to be. 

In the world outside, being called 'Rushik' became a balm for the wounds inflicted by my dead name. While I performed on stage, it was a sign of respect, a recognition of my true identity. With friends, it was a celebration of my authentic self. In public, it was a declaration of my existence, independent of the societal norms that had once confined me. 

However, the path to acceptance was strewn with reminders of my past. Each unintentional use of my dead name by family or friends reopened old wounds, a stark reminder of the disconnect between my past and present self. It was a struggle to educate them, to make them understand the pain associated with the name I was trying to leave behind. 

Reflecting on this, I realize the profound impact of names in shaping our identities and experiences. For transgender individuals like me, our chosen names are not just words; they are lifelines to our true selves. When society respects this choice, it's not just using a name; it's healing the dissonance caused by years of being called something we are not. 

This story, my narrative, is a call to action. It's an appeal for empathy, understanding, and respect for the identity each of us holds dear. It's a reminder that behind every name is a story, a battle, and a triumph. My name is Rushik, and this is my story. Our names are our armor and our truth. When society embraces this truth, it doesn't just respect a name; it respects a life, a struggle, a journey. 

As I look towards the future, my hope is not just for myself but for a world where our names are spoken without hesitation. A world where every transgender individual can live their truth without fear. My name, my identity, is a testament to the journey I've embarked on – a journey of becoming Rushik, in every sense of the word." Where our chosen names are embraced without hesitation, and our past identities are left where they belong – in the past.

My name, 'Rushik,' is more than a collection of letters; it's a testament to my journey, my struggles, and my triumph over a past that no longer defines me.


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