When I was a kid, I hated my last name: Nguyen. Not because it was Vietnamese, or because it looked funny–just because it was hard to say. It was difficult for telemarketers (“Can I please speak to Mister Engoovknen?”). It was tough for teachers (“Next to read her essay, Diana N–N–win.”). It was even a challenge for me (“New-yen. Well, that’s how I say it. Okay, there’s a proper way to say it in Vietnamese, but that requires accents, and this isn’t, well… this is just how my family and I say it…”). The name was a fucking drag. My name was just a goddamned drag.
As an adult, however, I fell in love with Nguyen. I love the N on both ends. I love when bartenders try to correct me on the pronunciation. I love that folks who take meetings with me prepare to tell me that they know other Nguyens, or share that they had a favorite Pho restaurant when they lived in the Bay area. I love the way Nguyen sounds when said aloud (whether you pronounce it like my parents, like my friend Jenny, like CNN anchor Betty, or like me), and how it looks in my fancy cursive handwriting on textured stationary. On paper, I think the six letters look strong (unlike more delicate Viet surnames like Do or Le, though those are also nice), and they remind me that I’ve got plenty of blood in me from my father’s pragmatic, thoughtful, gentle family to balance out the high-strung, prideful, wacky-but-fun dysfunctional blood of my mom’s side.
It makes me wonder then, how a name that brings me so much pride and joy is starting to feel more like a growing source of such painful, awful shame–as a result of others that share my beautiful moniker doing a bad job of reprzenting. This kinda thing happens all the time. I’m sure it’s hard, for example, to be so-and-so Nixon, Gilooly, Madoff, Palin, or Bush (kind of the reverse of how it’s great to be a Kennedy) and hold your head up high.
For the last three years or so, it’s become increasingly difficult to be a Nguyen, what with that famous “bisexual” of the same last name running around town, sullying all of our reps. Tila Tequila doesn’t even bother to use “Nguyen” in interviews unless she’s telling some sob story about her parents being immigrants (a subject easily trumped if someone prefers to ask about her tits)–yet still, that tiny bit of shared identity holds the capacity to pain all of the other Nguyens so deeply.
And to think it could get worse.
One of our readers unleashed a terrible truth on me today: the nameless ginormous boob skank (Wait, don’t call her that!) that shot to anonymous fame via one unfortunate Michael Phelps photo-op actually has a name–and that name is… Nguyen.
In fact, Naomi Nguyen, apparently a former fighter/now actress, has her own official website, replete with more ginormous boob photos:
But there’s more than just a name! You can actually get to know her in this charming, candid interview:
Okay. She’s no genius. She’s got some crazy fuckin’ circus boobies. But you know, I wouldn’t exactly state that I have anything against this not-ginormous boob skank per se.
…I just really, really, really, really, really wish we didn’t have the same last name.
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