Baby name story: Jesse

Jesse Ellison (b. 1978) was given a boy name intentionally as part of her parents’ “failed experiment with gender neutrality.”

Even though the experiment was a bust, and Jesse has had to explain to countless people over the years that her name is indeed Jesse and not Jessica, she likes her name and appreciates the reasoning behind it:

Now that I’m older, and a little bit wiser, I love that my parents were so consciously trying to foster androgyny. Ultimately, the whole point was to ensure that I had the freedom, and choice, to be whoever I wanted—which is, after all, what feminism is all about. And even though it’s still cause for confusion, I even like my name. Actually, given that the alternatives included—true story—Oyster and Wing, I love it.

Oyster and Wing? Hm.

Source: Ellison, Jesse. “My Parents’ Failed Experiment in Gender Neutrality.” Newsweek 22 Mar. 2010.

2 thoughts on “Baby name story: Jesse

  1. I’m glad Jesse has embraced her name, but I have a real problem with parents who deliberately chose to mix-up boy/girl spellings of a name for whatever reason. Jessie/Jesse, Aaron/Erin, etc. This drives me nuts!

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