What is the story behind your name/surname/both?
It is a question we had to work with on one of the seminars in my organisation. I sat down with myself and I thought about it long and hard.
My name is often mispronounced. Don't ask me how it's possible. I have no idea. Quite often I get the question if that's my full name or just a pet name, because people usually tie "Andy" to "Andrew" and no, I'm no Andrew.
I'm Andy. That's my name.
And I'm sure of it because I've chosen it myself.
When I was 16, still very much in the closet and unaware that what I felt was "I'm no woman, I'm no man, I'm nonbinary". I was filled with inaccuracy, an acute and biting to the bone feeling of "something-is-missing" and I couldn't name it, I couldn't pin-point a moment in my life when something went wrong.
And it's a good thing because nothing in my life went wrong.
I'm non-binary. There's not a single bad thing about it.
It's just the way I am.
But there'll always be people thinking otherwise, vocal people, public faces.
Like one of the Polish politicians who made fun of transgender people claiming that he could say till five thirty he's a man and after that time he's a woman.
There are always people like that.
And I don't care. Their ignorance will make me no less real and my existence is the best form of resistance, so I'll be very vocal about it.
I'm queer. I'm non-binary. I'm from Poland. I exist, making people uncomfortable with my sheer existence and unapologetic being.
There, for your pain of having to share a country with my queer self, have a poem I wrote about my name.
It's in German. Another one of my languages.
Mein Name ist eine Geschichte
die ich 20 Jahre lang nicht erzählen konnte.
Mit 16 habe ich mich selbst getauft
weil der vorherige Name nicht mehr die Wahrheit war.
Selbst ausgewählt, selbst erzählt
selbst besiegt und selbst gekämpft.
obwohl es so unmöglich scheinte.
Mein Vater nennt mich seinen Sohn
trotz der Geburtsurkunde
trotz der Stimmen aus dem Fernsehen
die zornig grölen, ich sollte nicht sein.
Aber doch, bin ich.
Selbst genannt, selbst erzählt
immer noch nicht binär
aber froh jedes Mal mein Vater mich seinen Sohn nennt.