Blessed Are The Binary Breakers: Numinous Names- Stories of Name Changes

Numinous Names: Stories of name changes across genders, cultures, and faiths


Let's hear some stories from various people — trans and cis, Jewish, Christian, and Sikh — about how gender, faith, and culture played a role in the names they use. How do names isolate us, or connect us; harm us, or heal us? And what does the Divine teach us about honoring one another's chosen names?

Episode Transcript


Talking Points:

  • (0:00 - 6:40) Introducing the topic; part of Avery's own experience

  • (6:41 - 9:45) Judaism: biblical name changes, honoring new names

  • (9:46 - 18:03) Eli's story: how the prophet Elijah helped Eli choose their name

  • (18:04 - 22:36) Adrian's story: finding the right name, "dark richness"

  • (22:37 - 26:19) Mychel Vandover's story: renaming ceremony in a supportive church

  • (26:20 - 30:16) Name changes in religious orders: Buddhism & Catholicism

  • (30:17 - 33:40) Sister Jean Ann's story: how a nun got her name

  • (33:41 - 39:14) Khalsa names in Sikhi: names that emancipate from caste, eradicate injustice

  • (39:15 - 48:21) Pauahi's story: a fiery name that binds her to Hawaiian lineage and activism

  • (48:22 - end) Wrapping up: more stories to come!

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