Most of my life I’ve had to explain to people how to pronounce my name: Jesús Miguel Rodríguez (heh-soos me-ghel roh-dree-ghez). It’s not so bad now, but growing up with such a name can be hard if the people are not familiar with Hispanic culture. In kindergarten, I had a kid (who always had green snot which is probably why I still remember this) called me God because he couldn’t pronounce Jesús.
In tenth grade I tried an alternative, I tried to be known as J. Mike Rodríguez. That didn’t work because I never responded to Mike 🙂 I remember once in the hallway someone called out Mike! Mike! They were calling me. That was the end of that, I went back to Jesús. My name never made me feel bad, just annoyed having to explain it to people and tell them how to say it correctly. When I became a parent, I decided not to put my children through this, but still wanted them to have Spanish style names so we chose: Adán Miguel, Marco Antonio, and Iliana María. Unfortunately, Adán has the toughest time with his name because most folks think it is Aidan, but it’s Adam in Spanish.