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It took 30 years, but I am now ready to reclaim this part of my Korean Canadian identity. For most of my life, I’ve been ashamed of my name. Not my anglicized name, which is what my colleagues and friends have always called me, even though it doesn’t appear on my driver’s licence or my passport. My legal name. My Korean name. My real name — the one my grandfather gave to me at birth. 황기선. Ironically, for most of my life, my name was something I wanted to hide. I remember dreading the first day of school, when I’d have to explain to my new teachers that I had an “English name” that they could call me by, “please and thanks.”

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