Monthly Archives: March 2011

Checking My Privilege

One of the biggest things I’ve been dealing with since coming to Chicago — particularly since starting my internship with TJLP — has been learning to see, and check, my own privilege. Continue reading

Righter and Wronger: Figuring Out Who I Am

A few years ago, I was going through a bit of an identity crisis. Well, actually, it was rather more than a bit of one — growing up in a society as deeply entrenched in a gender binary system as the U.S. is can turn questioning one’s gender into a really complicated mess.

I kept trying to figure things out in my head — my mind hadn’t failed me before. I’m a philosophy major! Thinking is what I do! I kept thinking that if I just worked at it hard enough, I could theorize my way to an identity, decide — based purely on my mental skills — how I identified and how I wanted to live my life. It wasn’t going so well. Some things are not purely theoretical, and gender is one of them. Still, I kept at it, not willing to accept that there wasn’t some conclusion to reach if I could only find the right argument, the right chain of logic. Continue reading

How I Got My Name

How did you get your name?

The Daily Post’s 83rd topic prompt, for the 28th of March, is “How did you get your name? — Who chose it, and why?” That’s kind of wonderful, given that March 28th is the day that I legally changed my name to my chosen name. Continue reading

Legal Name Change! My Name Is Ryan

The judge just signed my legal name change forms at the Daley Center! Not my best photo (I'm both really tired and really happy), but it was a momentous occasion.

Today, I finally had my court date to legally change my name! Despite all of my fears, it went so smoothly — a really fantastic experience (similar to the how well the paperwork went). Continue reading

When Dance Was My Life

In 2002, barely after my fourteenth birthday, I went back to Korea for the first with my mom and about fifty other people, all either fellow dancers (and fellow Korean adoptees) from my traditional Korean dance group or members of their families, as well as my dance teacher. I remember dancing in the hallway of the guesthouse where we stayed, between the stairs and the elevator, near the computer room. We were practicing for our performances — three of them in total — for the social workers of adoption agency through which most of us had been adopted (and at whose guest house we were staying), for expectant mothers at an unwed mothers’ home, and for children at an orphanage.  Continue reading

My Anthem: P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass”

I adore P!nk’s song “Raise Your Glass.” It’s a really catchy song, it’s a ton of fun to sing along to, and when I think of an anthem, it’s the first song that comes to mind.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary lists one definition of “anthem” as “a usually rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view.” Another definition is “a song or hymn of praise or gladness.” “Raise Your Glass” is a complete celebration of being the other, being different — being, as P!nk puts it, “wrong in all the right ways.” Continue reading

Should I Go To Law School?

I’ve been told that I should be a lawyer basically my entire life (not “should” as in “must be,” should as in “would be good at”). My grandfather is a criminal defense attorney (well, he was — he recently retired after fifty-odd years of practicing law), and I’m the only one of numerous children and grandchildren who has ever shown any kind of law school leanings. None of that, of courses, is a reason to go to law school (and/or become an attorney), but it speaks to the fact that the the possibility of becoming  a lawyer has been somewhere in my mind for as long as I can remember.

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3 Countries I’d Like To Visit

List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

First and foremost, I’d like to go back to Korea (ROK/South Korea, of course). I’ve been three times, but I haven’t been back since 2006. I’m actually planning a trip back with my cousin. I am so excited. The food, the shopping, the busy press of people in the streets — everything is exhilarating. And that’s without taking into account that it’s where I’m from. Going back to Korea brings me back to my roots in the most basic sense. The US is my country and my home, without question, but Korea is still somehow essential to who I am. Continue reading

Response to Single Dad Laughing

A friend on Facebook recently linked to a post called “Worthless women and the men who make them” from a blog called “Single Dad Laughing” in which a (straight) guy laments about how the men of the world have destroyed women with this notion of the perfect woman. So many women are praising him for being amazing and wonderful and sensitive, and it’s just not sitting quite right with me. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s nice that he’s realizing that when women feel insecure about their looks, it’s not just on them individually. I just . . . don’t really like the post. Continue reading

Uncomfortably Gendered at the Flogging Molly Concert

I almost didn’t get my ticket to the Flogging Molly concert (about which I blogged here)– the person at Will Call didn’t want to give it to me. I showed up with my Groupon and handed them my ID; they asked, “So, where’s Ryan?” I explained that I’ve changed the name on my Groupon account, but I haven’t yet changed it on my ID. After a bit of arguing, they handed me a ticket and said, “If Ryan shows up, he’s going to be really disappointed.” Yeah, about that? He’s not going to be disappointed. I am him. I now have my ticket. I am most definitely not disappointed about having gotten my ticket. (On a sidenote, I met two people named Ryan once I got into the theatre — popular name, apparently. Who knew?) Continue reading