The Feel of My Deadname

An invented character that meant something to me

Logan Silkwood
3 min readDec 27, 2021


Photo by Logan Silkwood

Imagine you’re a nobody actor
who gets really ridiculously famous
for playing one character,
but then no one knows your real name,
only the character,
no matter how hard you do
or don’t try to correct them.

It’s tempting and easy and lucrative
not to correct them
every single time,
and the thing is,
you’re not even sure
it’s entirely true
to say the character
isn’t at least a part of you.

Everywhere you go,
you will get called the name
of this character
that meant something to you,
a character that you built from scratch,
who you lived through so much alongside
while wearing their skin,
a character that you used to crawl
out of nowhere into a place
where you would never
have to worry about paying rent
or being loved,
a character that took you places.

Even if they know that’s not really you,
they’ll still want you to pretend
just this once,
for old time’s sake.

Say that one line;
their favorite line.
You know,
the one about being a woman?

You don’t cringe
because you hate the character;
you loved that character;
she was more complicated
than anyone might realize
to look at her,
and you built every layer,
studying what everyone expected,
even adding a secret twist or two.



Logan Silkwood

I’m a polyamorous, non-binary trans man (he/him). I edit for Queerly Trans, Prism & Pen, Enbyous, and Trans Love & (A)Sexuality. Twitter: @logan_silkwood.