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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view Kiminindy's profile
    Posted May 3, 2012 by
    Kiminindy
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What does your name say about you?

    Whats In A Name

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Kiminindy says growing up with an ambiguous name taught him compassion for others. Because of the family history behind it, he never considered changing his name. On the contrary, he considers it a great source of pride.
    - mannynyc, CNN iReport producer

    My name is Kim Manlove and I am a 60 year old male who is decidedly heterosexual. Ironically Manlove is an ancient Anglo Saxon name from the Middle Ages which means philanthropist. Yet practically from birth my first and last names have meant a lifetime of gender and sexual orientation confusion and sometimes abuse for me. As a child, adolescent and adult I have been teased, some times good naturedly and other times not. In high school I was often assigned to girls’ gym classes, which frankly was perfectly fine with me. As an adult I was invited to participant in a female breast cancel research studies on a regular basis. And over the years a number of my “friends” and acquaintances have offered the suggestion that my name would make a wonderful stage name for a female stripper!

    Then of course, as the as the gay rights movement gained momentum through the course of my life, many new "opportunities" for confusion occurred. Today the term "Manlove" is listed in the Urban Dictionary as a euphemism for any manner of sexual acts between consenting male homosexuals. And Sports Writers and commentators across the country have taken to using “Manlove” as a descriptor of male admiration for male professional athletes of all sports.

    But despite a lifetime of teasing, snide comments and the occasional unwelcome advance having the name Kim Manlove has helped instill in me a certain amount of humility and compassion. Compassion for others, who through no fault or choice of their own may bear some disability or mark, seen or unseen, that draws the unwanted attention of others whose ignorance or prejudice leads them to make some hurtful or stigmatizing remark or gesture.

    It has helped me understand and appreciate that we are who we are and not what we are called or named.
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