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Allusioning Names

Even I need comic relief at times.

My Orthodox parish has the tradition of reading Ruth each Pentecost. The Orthodox Chuch sees Ruth as a direct allusion to Pentecost - bringing in Genitles into the family of God through their faith. Ruth contains names with great allusions to their circumstance: Noami, meaning "joy," changes her name to Maura, "bitter," when both of her children die. Naomi's late children are aptly named "Wasting" and "Disease." Ruth means either "companion" or "compassionate;" both aptly describes Ruth's action and of the Book of Ruth. Orpah, who turned her back on Naomii, is also a Hebrew play on words for "back." Boaz means "swiftness," such as the speed in which he marries Ruth. As Naomi says, "the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today." 

Whether an exegete takes these names as coincidence or divine or editorial foreshadowing, they are fascinating. A great part of being transgender is getting to choose a new name for yourself as Orthodox and Catholics do all the time. 

  • Drew Phoenix - Symbolizing his new, masculine life emerging from his old, feminine life which made him deathly depressed
  • Jerry Leach - Even people supporting him see the connection. Jerry has made a career out of sucking the life blood out of others. Like naive doctors of the Dark Ages who thought leeches could cure the sick, Jerry masquerades as an expert and applies himself as a cure when people are at their most vulnerable state. 
  • Alan Chambers - The president of Exodus describes his relationship with being gay as a "life of denial," as one imprisoned.
  • Danny Blackwell - Whether Danny has a black past. If it ends up embracing his gender at birth, he'll believe his therapy days were blacker still.
  • Autumn Sandeen - By transitioning, she turned over a new leaf

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