Why I Named Myself After an Object

If someone wants to be taken seriously, they probably shouldn’t name themselves something like “Rock” or “Soda,” or even “Kayak.” They should name themselves something respectable, something normal, something that’s been done before. Name themselves after someone they look up to or someone who has done great things in their life. They should name themselves something human. They should name themselves something normal.


I’ve lived my entire life outside of the "normal." Growing up, I would constantly hear, “Act like us.” “Mimic us.” “You act too weird.” “Be normal.” I felt less than human because I was treated less than human. Something was wrong with me. I was incapable of emulating the people around me. I found it difficult to maintain eye contact and follow the conversation. I would make quips that I didn’t realize were quips, and I’d respond to jokes with the utmost seriousness. I got called a smartass a lot. I was incapable of going with the flow; certain foods made me freak out, and going out drained me quicker than normal. Ah, normal. Normal was all I wanted to be throughout my early childhood, into puberty, and into teenagehood.

This was made worse by the fact that I was born a girl… but didn’t feel like one. It didn’t matter that I didn’t feel like one; the deep-rooted desire of wanting to be a boy. The joy I felt when I was eleven and cut my hair short was abnormal. The joy I felt being called “sir” and “buddy” was abnormal. I was abnormal.

No matter how I struggle or scream, or fall to my knees and beg, my identity will never be fully recognized. My humanity, no matter how abnormal I am, is still there. I’m still human, right? How I wish to be viewed means something, right? My mind means something… right? People will always remain seeing me as that strange little girl; named something nice and pretty, but who can never seem to be nice and pretty. The way my body is, I will always be viewed as “a girl.” The way my mind is, I will always be viewed as “autistic.” Those words mean something, but the first is not who I am, and the second gets me treated with disdain. I could say the smartest things in the world, be the most academically knowledgeable, be the most revered, and still, I will be strange. Will my humanity mean nothing to you? It doesn’t matter who I make myself or present myself to be, to you. Where is your empathy? It wasn’t there when I was a young boy. It wasn’t there when I was growing up. So why should I struggle and flail with a name that doesn’t represent me or represent who I want to be?

I can never go with the flow. I struggle to modify myself to my living arrangements, and I struggle to repair my mind. But a kayak? Well, a kayak will always go with the flow. You can store it wherever you’d like, and if it gets some scratches, that’s okay. You can always patch it up. You can go alone or with a friend, and you’re safe in a kayak. You’re safe with me. That’s how I wish to be. That’s what I want to be. That’s what I am. Recognize my humanity, our humanity. We’re begging.

I’m a smartass. You have to recognize my humanity, even if I named myself after an object.

So, that’s why I named myself Kayak.

For More Resources on Changing your name, check out Former NSC member Reggie’s guide here.

Written by Kayak, 23-24 NSC member