I was another name at birth. Muslim. Arabic. But my mom left him and changed it to christian. Except she didn't change it. At 12, when they gave us ID cards, I saw these strange letters for the first time. Anwar Hussein Syed. "Who the hell is that?" Oops, she said. I should have told you that man was your dad. And yeah, you have a different name.
Everyone knew me as Andrew James Paquin. When they saw my ID, they said, "who the hell is that?" They made fun. Called me 'names.' We were kids, And all of a sudden, I had two names - and none at all.
At 21 I changed it legally to what I was known as. And then I met my dad. And his name became mine again. I claimed my own name, my own heritage, my own story. Andrew Syed. That is who I fucking am.
The told me it was like a coming home. I am connected now to a family bigger than me. A story with history and blood and meaning. An identity that roots me to others even if I don't know them yet. But they know me. They always have.