Saturday Morning Cartoons: That’s Not My Name

Welcome to Saturday Morning Cartoons, a segment where four artists take turns delighting you with their whimsy, facts and punchlines on Saturday mornings! Our esteemed cartoon critters are Cameron GlavinAnna BongiovanniMegan Praz and Yao Xiao. Today’s cartoon is by Cameron!


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Cameron is an illustrator hailing from Ohio. When she’s not drawing, she’s probably very, very quietly having loud thoughts about: queer things, her eventual shop, what to watch next on Netflix, food, names for her future pets, and tumblr.

Cameron has written 76 articles for us.


  1. (Teehee.)

    I am attempting to find other ways to use this Buffy vs. Twilight vs. Dracula argument in everyday persuasion conversation.

    It will require some thinkings.

  2. I don’t have the same struggle exactly, but I go by my middle name, and it’s so annoying when places insist on knowing my first name instead. like fuck off, this is my real name.

  3. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is where the idea that garlic repels vampires originates! I wrote my senior comps on Dracula so I feel compelled to share fun facts about it so I feel like I got my degree’s worth of literature facts.

    Bram Stoker was also gay and had an overseas sex friendship with Walt Whitman.

    • well I majorly appreciate that last fact, thank you Monique! your degree has not gone to waste

    • I didn’t know that last bit, though it makes some sense since Dracula has a not straight vibe. Was he actually gay, or is this another case of bi-erasure? I ask because I was told in HS he was married and his wife sued a because they made the Dracula movie(forget the name atm) without his consent.

      • Yes, was married. Had a son, I think. The film was Nosferatu with Max Schreck in the title role, wasn’t it?

      • All one can do is speculate, of course, but there’s a lot of stuff in Dracula that seems to indicate Stoker had issues/reservations regard female sexuality and the female anatomy. It could be just be a manifestation of general thoughts about women at the time, or Bram could’ve been a gay man who found women’s reproductive faculties to be alien and grotesque and let those themes come through in his writing. I do know he had repeated relationship with men and wrote like a dozen plays for a male actor he had a huuuuuuuge crush on and wanted to make him the star of every single one of his fantasiesAHEM I mean works of theatre.

        • This is really interesting as I always thought of the novel as repliCATing homiaowsexual panic because Dracula purreys on furgins (young women) but efurryone is like “aaaaah nooooo what if he bites a man?” like one of those four white men in a novel who are indistinguishable because they aren’t either Texan or Dutch like Quincy or Van Helsing so they just sound the same. Or is it three…

  4. Yes all of this! The name on my paperwork really doesn’t feel like MY name, and it bugs me when people act like that name has to be my real name, rather than the name everyone (or at least everyone who knows me properly) actually calls me.

  5. Back in prehistory (before the twin towers attack and the subsequent changes to the regulation of both ID and identity) it was legal and a usual practice to do a “common law name change”. Which many Trans folk used who couldn’t afford court costs – or just didn’t know how to access.

    You basically just asserted a name as your new legal name consistently. Like common law marriages there was statute supporting this in many locales. Many states – mine included – got rid of common law marriage at about the same time. If I remember correctly – in my state there was some concern over it being used for same sex marriages.

    • Just checked – common law name change still exists in Ohio:

      How do you get a name change in Ohio?

      In a divorce case, the wife may ask the court to change her last name to her maiden name, and the court may then include the name change in the final divorce decree. Otherwise, there are two ways for someone to legally change their name.

      First, a person may simply “assume” a new name if it is done for an “honest” purpose and not for fraudulent purposes such as using an alias to avoid creditors or escape prosecution. You can “assume” a new name simply by using that name in all future transactions, relationships, etc.

      Second, in Ohio, a person can obtain a court order for a formal change of name by filing an application requesting a name change in the local probate court, getting a hearing date for a hearing on your petition for a name change, and publishing notice of your petition and hearing date in a local newspaper of general circulation once at least 30 days before the hearing on the application, and testifying at the court hearing as to your reasons for requesting the name change. Again, you cannot request and obtain a name change for the purpose of avoiding creditors, evading criminal prosecution or investigation, or for other fraudulent purposes.

      If you apply for a name change for your children, you will usually also have to serve a copy of your petition and notice of the hearing date on the other parent or file the other parent’s written consent to the name change. Courts are often reluctant to change the children’s last names over their father’s objections. However, if there are good reasons for doing so, such as making the names of the children and the custodial parent consistent, the court may grant the petition to change the children’s names.

      • Wow – that’s complicated. Things were simpler in Australia 20 years ago (when I changed my name) – just go into the Births Deaths and Marriages department and complete a ‘Change of Name’ document, pay $20 and hey-presto – then you just have to show that document to the bank, passport office, tax people etc.

        I’m somewhat bemused that the government makes name changing difficult these days, as we’re all pretty much known by numbers to all the agencies that ‘need to know who we really are’.

  6. Their heads are floating and I am very fascinated by it.

    I can understand the name thing to an extent. I have my legal name that everyone knows but then there is my other name that I mom gave me a nickname when I was very small and now my entire family, including my extended family, knows me by the name Kina. They believe that it is my name and not a nick name. According to them I am legally Kina Avawn Alvear…… I have no idea how to feel about it.

  7. I tried oh my god did I try to read this comic but my brain is still screaming from the temporal lobe about sparkly vampires. Mention them and my ability to process new word that mean things are about something. What’s going on? Don’t know, sparkly vampires my mind nerd rage quitted.

    There was a dudebro whining about birth certificate names being important for an employer when all they need is our Mark. Did I get the gist of it correctly?

    • That’s very unfortunate for you. It’s a very clever and well written comic. Maybe give it another try after a good sleep.

  8. Buffy FTW tho

    I have 3 different names:Michael and then 2 Michael related nickname. The nickname I give depends on the group and the context.

    I dont like explaining them all to different ppl because then they might not call me what I want them to call me But Also, I Feel Like A Double Agent Sometimes

  9. I’ve been struggling a lot with name-related stuff lately, so I really appreciate this comic. THANK YOU.

  10. I love this! I want to turn it into a poster and wheatpaste it everywhere!

    I just went through four airports earlier this week, and every single person who checked my ID or ticket tried to casually/courteously drop my legal name – which makes me a little nauseous to hear honestly. And liquor stores! JUST STOP. Ugh..

    ALSO. My signature is my common name, not my legal name. Older folks see the back of debit card and try to tell me that I didn’t sign it in a legal fashion. -___- No. Your legal signature is whatever is your unique signature (and it *should* match your license signature). You could write your favorite ice cream flavor or draw a shitting dinosaur – as long as it’s consistent and you’ll testify in court that’s it’s yours, it’s legal.

    The ONLY place/time you have to list your legal name is when something specifically states LEGAL NAME. Your legal name is just your state identification in letters, whereas your SSN is in numbers. If you use it on the daily, cool. If not, cool.

    /end rant

    • I spent a few years trying out names for myself and considering the logistics of: would it be gendered or unisex or nick-nameable or what, how many letters, if it would be easier to keep the same initials, if I’d have to field more questions if it was similar to my legal name, how changing my signature would work, how I felt responding to these names, asking myself if I was just fixating on a superficial thing–all before even uttering mention of a name change to people closest to me.

      So when people disrespect my decision as though I just woke up one day and thought to shake things up for no reason, I’m insulted. I’m irate. I’m hurt as hell. So shout out to everyone who feels like this and who feels it more than this.

      And shout out to @meyrude whose Say My Name, Mey’s My Name pieces are just so full of raw truth and strength and vulnerability (pt. I & pt. 2 ).

  11. “So what’s your name?”

    “You already know it.”

    “No, I mean legally.”

    “Yes, it’s my legal name.”

    “What was it before?”


    People and their fucking stupid ideas and stupid opinions. Thanks, Cameron. =)

  12. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little jealous that your legal name just “comes up as a data field” and then done with it. I’ve never had a situation where I didn’t end up getting questioned about my legal name after filling out my legal paperwork (I-9 and tax forms which require my legal name), usually under the guise of “making sure this is correct.” I still end up having to have the “Yes, that’s legal, but I’m called Aidan,” conversation. Although I do agree that having my real name on my resume is still better than my legal name as far as making a first impression goes.

    • I mean, of course it comes up more often than once and in more complexity than a data field. But swimming against a current once every few months is less tiring than doing it every day.

  13. I’m just a cis person, but I’ve been calling myself a different name for going on 6 years now. Should I just start introducing myself by my chosen name even though it isn’t my legal name? Would that be weird? Shannon feels like my dead name, but I have to carry it around every day and its heavy as fuck.

    • Introduce yourself as the name you’d prefer to be called. Makes things simpler later on. If your legal name comes up in convo, it’ll just be a situation of “Yeah, but just keep calling me what you’ve been calling me.”

    • Yes, definitely introduce yourself as your preferred/chosen name! It’s not weird at all. Of the people I know who go by something other than their legal first name given to them at birth, the majority are cis folks and it’s not weird at all. But like, I totally get how/why it feels weird, especially if the name change is something you’ve chosen–I totally felt really weird and awkward introducing myself by my chosen name until I legally changed it (mostly because a lot of people knew me by my birth name and introducing myself by chosen name would have meant correcting them and yikes that is confrontation which I would rather the ground swallow me up than confront someone).

      But like, if you need a reference from someone, make sure they know your legal name because there’s some chance (greater/close to 100% if it’s a background check) that the person calling will use the legal name. I also know this from one of my best friends who needed references for a background check who almost forgot to tell people he goes by his middle name and the people calling would be asking about Firstname Lastname, not Name-everyone-knows-him-by Lastname.

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