My name is Dave. I have a name. I wear my name. I would do it up in lights if I had a electric drill and the ability to do so. Dave. DAY-Vuh.
When I first went into a gay bar, men did not have names. Not full names. Often not real names. There was a fear of being known, being caught, being EXPOSED. I am a sissy. I don't like pain. I am a far from brave as grace is from greedy. Even so, this struck me as simply stupid. I never adopted a 'nick name,' I never introduced myself as anything but Dave Hingsburger. It's my name. MY NAME. Fuck the rest of the world, me, I am I. It's all I got, it's all I am, it's all that will be on the plaque that marks my remains.
My name is Dave Hingsburger. Write it in indelible marker. If you had a few too many beers you may be able to pee it into the snow. HINGSBURGER.
I remember being made to sign papers that disallowed me from saying people's names publicly. I remember standing in a graveyard where names were absent, disabled people were buried with their case number on the marker. God forbid someone walk through a graveyard and discover that a member of your family was buried there. God forbid that the shame might be attached to your name. Disabled people need freaking names.
My middle name is James. I was named after my Uncle Jim. I loved my Uncle Jim, he was a big hearty farming guy. Rough and tumble, hard as nails, he never got me but he never bothered me because of it. That is tolerance. Shrugging the shoulders and saying 'but he's Marg's boy' and accepting what came in the package with the name James.
We went to see the movie Precious today. It's about a teen mother and part of the story involves her first child who has Down Syndrome. She's called, Mong, and Mongo, and Mongol, throughout the film. She captures the camera with the sheer freaking, fracking, fucking reality of her presence. She dominates those scenes as, sometimes, the only humane being in sight. Yet she is never named. As the movie drew to a close I had a chanting in my head, 'name her, name her, name her,' But they didn't.
And it's fucking pissed me off.
They used that kid.
They used disability.
They dissed her ability.
But they never had the courage to name her.
Precious is a hard movie, because it didn't get it's own point.