What’s in a Name? Grappling with Cultural Histories and Name Calling

What’s in a Name? Grappling with Cultural Histories and Name Calling

Adult ISH co-hosts Merk Nguyen and Nyge Turner wrap up Season 4 with a narrative episode that truly feels like a page out of their journals. First, Nyge travels back to his school days — from kindergarten up to college — where he fights through his learning disabilities and labels put on him by teachers, family and classmates. Then, Merk dives into her internal battle over whether to change her last name once she gets married. Will she keep Nguyen to represent for Vietnamese kids or make the switcheroo to her future spouse’s name? Listen, find out and follow our socials @yrAdultISH to stay connected!

Episode Transcript

Nyge: Wow … I am really at a loss for words … This is the season four finale and yeah, I know we have had finales before but this one feels so much different! Right?!

Merk: Yeah. I mean, this year, bro, we made it. We made it. We’ve survived. 

Nyge: It just feels like high school graduation all over again. By next season, I know y’all are tired of hearing about it but I’ll be married, moving back out of my childhood bedroom, marriage, living in a new place, hopefully a vaccine will make its way around here and things go good with that. This time … Right now feels like the calm before the — and I’m not gonna say storm but definitely a whirlwind. 

Merk: Yeah that’s wild to even think about. I mean, next year I have so much I’m trying to do, like make more connections to animation studios in Hollywood, got to manifest that dream come true. I’m also thinking of getting a vocal coach. 

Nyge: And maybe even, you know, a little something something from your boo Samuel, asking a little question? 

Merk: I mean, we’ll see. We will see. But for now, we want to say welcome everyone to the season four finale of “Adult ISH” where I swerve my boo possibly proposing to me because it makes me nervous I’m talking really fast right now … We build anticipation on this show! I am Merk Nguyen. 

Nyge: And I am Nyge Turner, who gets played all the time when I try to ask questions. 

Merk: You didn’t even ask a question. You were just throwing my business out there. But I mean, to be fair, that’s what we do on this show. 

Nyge: It is definitely what we do. It’s very on brand for our show, but we just want to celebrate that all of us are here and we have made it through 2020, a year that has had so much hardship for so many people.

Merk: Yeah. And I think because of that, everybody deserves a hug — an audio hug — because that’s safe and germ free. So should we do it, Nyge? 

Nyge: Yeah, I think we should give them a hug. 

Merk: Okay, all right. Three, two, one…

(hugging noises) 

Nyge: Y’all be hugging kind of tight! I ain’t hugging y’all no more.

Merk: Hey! 

Nyge: Anyway, to shine a little light out there though my cousin’s son was actually just born the other day and I have been super happy about that all day. I would have been even happier if they had stuck with the original name for the baby because he was possibly going to have the same middle name as me but they didn’t go with it though like some real Weenie Hut Juniors because it was supposed to be my middle name.

Merk: Wait. What’s your middle name again? 

Nyge: It’s Dane. Like a Great Dane. Like the dog but just Dane.

Merk: Wait, what ISH your name?

Nyge: Ah, I see what you’re doing there.

Merk: Yes, yes, everybody. This episode is titled, “What ISH My Name?”

Nyge: (sings) Ooh nah nah, what’s my name? (laughs, then speaks) Anyway we are going to be breaking down the importance of our names because so often people call people out of their names. Whether it’s descrimination from someone’s race, gender or even education level. It can really hurt when someone takes that from you, so we wanted to talk about our experiences with that. 

Merk: Yes so first, Nyge is going to get into a personal story about his fight with a name he’d been called so much through his school years that he actually started to believe it was true about himself. 

Nyge: And later, Merk’s gonna tell us a story about ALL her names. Cuz let’s see you’ve got your real birth name, Angela… 

Merk: Yeah. 

Nyge: Then there’s Merk. Then there’s your last name, Nguyen. And then when you get married to Samuel it will be… 

Merk: Okay wait! How about you, “Save it for the pod,” as Davey says. 

Nyge: This is the pod! (laughs) But we’ll save it for later. 

Merk: Save it for later. Yes but how about you go ahead Nyge. 

Nyge: All right.

[Music Break]

Nyge: I’m driving on Interstate 580 through Oakland, California, and I’m listening to this song by Joyner Lucas called “Broke and Stupid.” I usually don’t listen to Joyner, but my dad sent me this song and he and I don’t exchange music often so I give it a listen. As Joyner raps confidently over a sample of Weldon Irvine’s “Morning Sunrise,” he says a bar that hits me right in my chest.“I ain’t bragging I’m just happy I made me a million/ADHD I was slow now they label me brilliant.” I start to tear up.

Growing up, school was pretty normal for me. Up until third grade. One seemingly normal day, eight-year-old me is sitting in class doing a timed writing assignment and I get to the word “nine.”  It looks funny to me for some reason. Like when I started writing the word, N-I-N-E, it felt normal. But once I look at it on paper, it seems backwards? So I try again, N-Y-N-E.  Hmm. It still feels off. So I erase the word and rewrite it about 15 times until the bell goes off. I stay after class. And then I find myself staying after class again and again and again and again….

Later that year, my third grade teacher who is always yelling at me how I needed to pay more attention to detail tries failing me, but my parents decide I should first get checked out at the hospital first. And what do ya know? They diagnose me with ADHD and dyslexia. That night, we sit down at the dinner table and my mom tells my dad and my older brother what the doctor said. 

“What does a learning disability mean?” I ask my parents.

My brother says, “It means you’re retarded.”

I fill up with so much anger and pain that I start to cry so hard that I throw up. I’m on the kitchen floor, hands in my own barf, screaming, “ I’m not stupid! I’m not stupid! I’m not…” The next day at school, I’m vanished to a special assisted learning class until I graduate junior high. Now I’m a freshman in high school. My parents make sure I have all my paperwork so that I can get the special assistance that schools make for people in my situation. But instead of submitting my paperwork, I throw it in the trash! I’m turning over a whole new leaf, baby. A whole new me. At least I thought so until algebra.

I’m in class trying to learn the quadratic formula and my mind’s like, “Why is it a mix of letters and numbers? Why do the other students seem to catch on so easily?” And before I know it, my teacher says, “Okay everyone! Pack up your bags for the day. Have a great weekend everyone. Umm, Nygel … Can you stay after class for a sec?” My heart is in my stomach. I really am stupid. And it only took Mr. Garland half a semester to sniff me out. 

“Hey Nygel. So, I called your parents about the trouble you have been having in my class and they just told me you have a 504 plan.” 

A 504 plan is something I have had since elementary school. It’s a list of quote unquote “special privileges” and cheat codes that I get because my brain doesn’t work right. Like at my school, I can have a laptop at my desk or open notes on a test. Like the school may even hire a student to take notes for me during class. The teacher continues.

“That’s great! So, instead of coming to my class for fourth period every day, just go to Room One.”

Sitting in my room that night, I start hitting my forehead with my open hand over and over again, telling myself, “I’m stupid, stupid, stupid.” Room One is a small classroom with seven desks for the students and three desks for the teachers. I walk in and find an empty desk and sit down. 

One of the three teachers goes to the front of the class and says, “Alright everyone today is exam day. So can we all take out our calculators?”

Calculators? We never get to take those out in class. He continues, “I’ll write all of the formulas that you were supposed to remember on the board.”

Wait, why are we even taking this exam if all we have to do is plug in the numbers. Ugh, I get it. We don’t take the real tests here. And by Friday, I get my first A in math ever … (sarcastically) yay. For years, I wanted a real A so bad. But they robbed it from me. For the next four years, I spend all my math classes in Room One where some students just storm out of class, talk back to the teachers, and just plain lose focus way too often. Even for me. There is like no sense of accomplishment or adversity here. 

The problem with that class is that on graduation day when they hand me my diploma, it feels like a participation ribbon, not a trophy. My mom tells me, “Don’t worry. Real life isn’t like school. It’s totally different.” And that’s a piece of hope I hold on to. But after high school, I try to start business after business, but they all fall short because I tried to start like five different business ventures at a time and half do all of them. I don’t know why I can’t just pick one thing and be good at it. So I go back to school. Freshman year of college. Let’s try this again. 

First day of school and you guessed it — the 504 plan goes straight in the trash. Time to turn over a new leaf, again. And three months in and unfortunately you guessed it again. I’ve dropped all of my classes. Except one. I get an email from my anthropology professor: “Nygel, it’s almost impossible to come back and pass my class at this point. We only have 3 more tests until the semester is over.” She’s basically urging me to drop it. But all I see in that email is the word “almost.” 

My mom isn’t around anymore, but I remember she used to tell me that my mind was special. I just had to think differently. She said I mess myself up when I try to fit in other people’s boxes. So how about I break the box? I’m sitting in my bedroom, staring at my wall — a large wall that everyone in my life draws and writes on for some reason. I love the way it looks.

It reminds me of my mind. Mixed up and everywhere, but at the same time, I still know where to find everything on a dime. Without looking, I know my friend Sky signed my wall once in the top left corner and another by the skateboard that’s hanging at the top. I know that my friend Abe wrote, “I stole your gum,” right by the closet after he stole some gum out of my room and I know my grandpa Ben wrote, “The best grandpa,” and signed his name right in the middle about a year before he passed away. 

Then, it clicks. All I have to do is remember all these anthro terms like I remember everything on this crazy colorful wall. I know, wow, what a realization. So I get a pencil and write all my notes on the wall in their own unique places. And the moment I do that, everything pops out instantly to me. Each word I write. “Primatology — Famous Primatology.” Well I guess it is famous but the definition is written right next to the skateboard brand called famous that’s on my wall. “The Anatomy and social behavior of non-human primates in order to better understand humans.” The word takes on a personality almost once I pick a spot for it. Or “Historic Archeology.” I think middle left of the wall because I wrote it right at the edge of where my brother drew the NorCal emblem. “The work to reconstruct the cultures of people who used writing and about whom records exist.”

Once I write all my notes on the wall, I start to test myself, running back and forth on this wall trying to find and remember the answers. It’s hard to explain, but this is the first time I’ve been impressed with what my mind is doing. For so long, I felt that my brain was working against me to make my life horrible. But I think the problem is I just didn’t know how to communicate. In two weeks, I end up with two A’s on the first two tests. All I need now is another A to pass and prove to everyone that they were wrong about me. 

When it comes to the class final, every answer comes to me, it’s automatic. “Adaptation.” Right in the middle, next to my homie Micah. “How humans have changed and adapted over time.” “Paleoanthropology.” Yo, so I used to be a volleyball phenom and right next to my trophy it’s, “Asking questions about the emergence of humans and how humans evolved up to the present time.”

When I finish the test, I confidently walk out of the class, saying the same prayer over and over again. “Please let me prove everyone wrong. ‘Cause I am not stupid. Amen.”  

Two weeks after the semester is over, I’m about to check my final grade. I open my report card on the computer and there it is. A fat D. I didn’t pass. I really don’t know what my next move is because this class really didn’t matter anyway. I was only taking it because I wanted to prove a point. But, it looks like I proved it. Or it was proved to me. My brother’s voice comes back to my mind and all of a sudden, I can feel that cold kitchen floor again where I taste the throw up in the back of my throat. 

But for some reason, not that it matters, I decide to click on the grade overview before I log off from this failed semester. Turns out, I actually got an A on my final test as well. But when I scroll down to the bottom, I notice that I received a fat zero … in class participation, which is why my final grade was a D. And there is a comment section where the professor notes: “Mr. Turner, You failed this class because of your lack of attention to detail. It was clearly stated that you had to raise your hand and participate at least once in every chapter we covered in class.” So technically, I’m not stupid. I never was. I just need to pay more attention to detail. More attention to detail! I can work with that.

[Episode Break]

Merk: Thanks once again for sharing your story with us, Nyge. 

Nyge: No problem. Always a pleasure. 

Merk: So speaking of attention to detail, I noticed you didn’t mention anything about graduating college. Did you end up graduating? 

Nyge: Yeah, but no, but yes. So umm… 

Merk: No but yeah. Yeah buh nah.

Nyge: I have like a class left but yeah. But nah so. Yah. 

Merk: So about the way that you learn stuff, do you have some other tricks you learned that help your brain remember things?

Nyge: Um, the way that I think is kind of like around in like circles sometimes, and it’s like everything is kind of balled up. But then I need it to like somehow come out into a straight line, like a stream of thinking. 

Merk: Yeah. 

Nyge: And something that helps me a lot with that recently that I’ve been using is I got this like Galaxy Light off of Amazon to where it’s like it’s purple and it lights up like my ceiling. And then when I need to really think about something, like, we have pitches coming up or anything like that … I just need time to go to my room, turn on my light, listen to some music and just like, I just need something to stimulate my thinking and help me to unravel everything.

Merk: And is there a song, a recent song that you’re like, “Oh, I grooved really hard to this. And my mind was just like, ‘Wow!’”? 

Nyge: Oh. A recent song that’s been bringing me a lot of ideas and creativity and all that, “Hindsight” by Madison McFerrin.

Merk: Oh, I’m going to check that one out.

Nyge: Yeah. I mean, it definitely gets my creative juices flowing for sure. But Merk, you’ve got a story to tell everyone too.

Merk: Okay so, you know when people get married some folx deal with changing their last name? It’s all about me dealing with that because, well… Just listen to the story.

Nyge: Alright, go for it.

[Music Break]

Merk: When I thought about marriage as a kid, I imagined it’d happen in my late 20s. The wedding would be held in the Catholic church I went to growing up. Sun would shine through the stained glass windows onto my tear-streaked face, and I’d wear a dress that’d hug my not-so-curvaceous body in the same tender way I held my teddy bear at night … And still do. But here I am in my EARLY twenties — 24 and already in very real marriage talks with my longtime partner, Samuel. He’s been hinting a proposal will happen by the end of the year and I’m excited to say yes but also stressing over a huge question: “What am I gonna do with my last name?” 

Right now it’s Nguyen, N-G-U-Y-E-N. Sometimes pronounced “WIN”, Nguyễn, or mispronounced NUH-goo-YEN. It’s like the Smith of Vietnamese people — 40-percent of Vietnam’s population has this last name. And in the United States, according to the 2010 US Census, it’s the 38th most common last name — one that I proudly share with many Vietnamese Americans. And yet, I can’t think of a lot of big names in entertainment with the last name. This is largely why I have aspirations to be a cartoon voice actor. For those 10 seconds of rolling credits to represent for my people. For the little Viet kids and their families watching the latest awesome animated film to see that someone like us is… Nguyening.

Ever since Samuel and I started dating, I’ve lowkey fantasized about taking his last name, Escudero. I’ve even scribbled my name as such into my diary, BUT… my biggest concern at the moment is, if I become an Escudero… then people won’t know of my Vietnamese heritage from my name. And does wanting to take his last name in the first place make me any less of an independent woman? 

I needed help. So I asked some people in my life what they thought about all this.

Kristy: Yes, I’ve definitely questioned it. That thought has definitely come across my mind. Like, “Oh. I’m capable of independently standing alone. I don’t need to take someone else’s name to be part of my identity because then does that mean, you know, my identity is consumed?”

Merk: That’s my older sister Kristy … Nguyen … Beck. When she got married three years ago, she schooched Nguyen to the middle and tacked on her husband’s last name to the end. I wondered if that ever took a hit on her independence…

Kristy: I know women are capable of being independent and standing alone and succeeding and not having to have a counterpart, right? To help elevate them. However, I come at it with a team perspective.  

Merk: So becoming part of Team Beck and swapping out her middle name didn’t shake her individuality. I just am not willing to give up my middle name, Bảo Nhi. It means protected child in Vietnamese. Getting rid of that would make me feel like I’m less protected. But maybe I could hyphenate it to Nguyen-Escudero and keep Bảo Nhi? Good compromise, and I’d be showing the world I’m in an interraccial marriage. A little long, but I’m into it. Would Samuel hyphenate his name though? If not, then what other last name options are there to equally represent both of us?

Lila: So when my wife and I got married we created a brand new last name together that doesn’t have any part of either our original last names in it.

Merk: This is Lila. They’re one of my storytelling mentors who got married to their wife Ali about a year and a half ago.

Lila: Neither of us wanted to take each other’s last name. But we really wanted to have the same last name. And especially as a same-sex couple, it felt really important to us to have, like, an easy way for people to recognize that we are part of the same family. 

Merk: They tried combining their last names, Kitaeff and Yates, but that didn’t feel right. Just like combining my and Samuel’s last names into Escuyen or … Ngudero doesn’t feel right either.

Lila: I really wanted to include my mom’s maiden name which is Hart, H-A-R-T. And it’s a name I felt really connected to that isn’t around much anymore in our family. So when Ali heard that, she had this really special connection with a place in Yellowstone National Park called Hart Lake. And so we came up with the name Lakehart. 

Merk: I love that idea of making a new name that’s uniquely ours … but I’m still too tied to Nguyen, the ultimate signifier of my Vietnamese heritage. Talking to Lila and Kristy helped. But I knew I needed a different perspective that felt closer to my roots, so I reached out to my parents. Not gonna lie, I was nervous. My dad has always wanted me to keep my name how it is. My mom thinks I’m still too young to get married. I called her first though cuz even though she initially took my dad’s name… 20 years into their marriage she changed it back to Trương, her original name. Essentially because she didn’t feel like Nguyen represented her.

Kimchi: So make it short, whatever happen in my marriage life I feel like …“Nah. I don’t need to keep his last name anymore.” 

Merk: So, a rocky marriage is one reason she made the switch. Another reason is that being Kim Nguyen — apparently a name for basic bitches known to shoplift wherever my parents moved — meant her simple grocery trip runs turned into mini interrogation sessions. She got tired of that and the fact that her first name is actually Kimchi. Not Kim. Some legal person screwed up her name when filing her marriage paperwork.

My mom also surprised me by saying that in Vietnam, it’s actually uncommon for people to take their spouse’s last names. The norm there is for people to refer to her as Mrs. Her Husband’s First Name. Because if you legally did change your last name, it was a sign of disrespect to your parents. BIGGGGG OOOOOOF. Mrs. Husband? Please. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing? ‘Cause a name is just a name. What really matters is the person behind the name, right? (Sighs) My dad feels differently.

Quang: You don’t need to delete your last name. You delete from your birth name, that mean you delete the relationship. You know how important it is?

Merk (on tape): Of course I know how important it is but I don’t think getting rid of the last name is deleting the relationship. It changes the name but it doesn’t delete the history you have with your family. 

Quang: And I am ask you why it’s so important you have a new last name with your marriage husband? Your future husband?

Merk (in narration): I think it’s because taking on a new name could be a way for me to show myself that I’m self-sufficient and don’t need to depend on my parents, or my surname. In the same way that getting married is a choice, my choice. But I don’t wanna have any regrets. 

Merk (on tape): Well you know no matter what my name is that I … love you so much, right?

Quang: Yeah … yeah… 

Merk: My heart breaks a little because in this moment, it’s as if I’m letting go of my dad’s hand as he walks me down the aisle.

Samuel: What I would hope you would do if we get married…

Merk (on tape): If?

Samuel: What I would hope you would do when we get married (laughs) is that you would at least take my last name.

Merk (in narration): I know this sounds patriarchal and maybe it is? Maybe he’s experiencing the same internalized pressure that makes me kinda feel like I have to take his last name. But I don’t wanna hold onto Nguyen just to prove a political point. And regardless of my name, our future kids will know where they came from and grow up in a home where both parents will share equal responsibilities. I just … don’t know what the last name of those kid’s mom is gonna be.

Samuel: Is there a reason why you’re so hesitant now taking my last name? Because I know you’ve told me in the past that you were excited to take it.

Merk (on tape): Like the fact that you and I could very well be married in a year that’s … (cries) That’s a huge life change. But like, I don’t know what it’s like to be married. I think because it’s just been hyped up all my life like, “Marriage is such a big deal!” Like, maybe the name isn’t such a big deal? But right now it just feels like it is, because all I’ve known my whole life is me as … as a Nguyen.

Samuel: Well, I can tell you you’re not gonna be alone in all that. ‘Cause I will be right there with you. Like I’ll actually be able to because we’ll be married and living together. And I’ll be going through very similar things with you as well.

Merk (in narration): I get what he’s trying to say here but … that’s not entirely true. He’s not grappling with this name change, like I am. Or all the other things that women have to deal with in this patriarchal society.

Merk (on tape): Do you see why I feel conflicted? 

Samuel: Yeah, and that’s why I think a good compromise is hyphenating. ‘Cause you still keep your last name. And I’m still able to pass on my name.

Merk: So then when the kids are born they would just go by Escudero and I’d be the only Nguyen-Escudero?

Samuel: I think so.

Merk: But if the kids aren’t even taking on my last name regardless, then it doesn’t even matter what my last name is, right?

Samuel: Well why wouldn’t it? ‘Cause that’s your name.

Merk: But I’m saying if I hyphenate my last name to Nguyen-Escudero, you’re saying that they would just go by Escudero.

Samuel: Yeah.

Merk: So then it doesn’t matter what my last name is. Because they’re gonna be going by your name.

Samuel: But it would matter what your name is because it’s what … if we’re going by public names, there’s a good chance your name is gonna end with Nguyen, and that’s it. Legally, you keeping Nguyen is not pointless like you’re saying it is. It’s for you to still keep part of your identity and where you’ve come from. Just because our hypothetical kids don’t have Nguyen in their last name, does not get rid of who you are and what you are.

Merk: But then why not have their last names be Nguyen-Escudero also?

Samuel: They could be.

Merk (in narration): One of the first moments that made me even question my last name was four years ago, a few months after we started dating. Samuel’s dad hung up a big letter “E” he’d painted and told me Escudero meant “shield bearer” in Spanish. To me it symbolized the protection his family was willing to offer in the future. A familiar protection my parents have reminded me I’ve had all my life. The stories of the near-death experiences I had as a kid and why I’m their protected child, their Bảo Nhi. And how Angela, my mom’s holy name and my actual first name has protected her, and me. 

It was the night after I talked to both parents for this story that I tossed and turned in bed and asked myself one last question to help me make my choice. Is there a way for me to make ALL my names exist in a way that I feel good about? So, what I’m deciding on is this … Privately and legally, Angela Bảo Nhi Escudero. A name that’s protected, not once, not twice, but thrice. And my name publicly and professionally? Merk Nguyen. A name I’ve chosen for myself in this career path I’m choosing to pursue. That gives me an all-encompassing strength, that honors my family’s Vietnamese heritage, and is a name that you WILL see on screen.

[Music Break]

Nyge: Thank you so much Merk, for sharing. 

Merk: Oh, you know, just returning the favor. 

Nyge: I wanted to know, what about your middle name? 

Merk: What about my middle name? 

Nyge: Where do you hold your middle name as opposed to, like, your last name as far as your connection to your culture?

Merk: I think Bảo Nhi is even more specific to me. And I love it because, I mentioned in there, if you noticed I had near-death experiences as a kid. There was one time when my siblings and I were playing on the playground and my sister was like six, my brother was three. And I was like crawling age. I basically got stuck underneath my dad’s car and he was about to reverse it. But something in his head, and he believes it’s a spirit of like my grandma, was like, “Stop, don’t move the car anymore.” Because if he had, he would have crushed my head. And how I got from playground to under the car, he doesn’t know. Because he looked over there [where I was with my siblings] and my mom was in the kitchen and like he’s like, “Oh, I can drive back.” So there’s one. And then I used to have seizures growing up actually. I was like almost prone to epilepsy or something. I mean, there’s multiple instances where, like, I should have died, I should not be here. But the fact that, like Bảo Nhi is “protected child,” I think is a testament to like how I’m still here for some reason. 

Nyge: Do you feel like that would be like an accurate connection to your culture, like if you did take on Escadero and then you just had your middle name as like that connection to your family and your culture? Ordo you feel like the last name just holds a different level of connection or what? 

Merk: At this point, no, I think they’re all equally the same. You know, I know they all mean separate things to me. I know that I’m going to, like, keep my life separate, but also not at the same time because it’s like … It’s the same person no matter what you get. It’s just they hold different significances to me that I probably can’t even explain. I just know in my heart, you know? 

Nyge: Yeah.

Merk: But I’m just stoked to be Angela Bảo Nhi Escudero because I get a new social security card and I’m excited for that! (squeals and laughs) 

Nyge: (laughs) Well, that brings me to another question. Did she propose to you yet? Since this story was written.

Merk: Boy, do you see a ring on this finger? No, you don’t. But what I do see is the end of this episode of “Adult ISH” produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation. 

Nyge: Big shoutouts to our producer Georgia Wright, Senior Producer Davey Kim, Executive Producer Rebecca Martin, sound engineer Galnadgee Joe-Johnson.

Merk: I wanna give a shoutout to a podcast episode by Vent Documentaries called, “Why Does Everyone Call Me Carlos?” It’s produced by VICE UK in collabs with the London Borough of Culture. Be sure to check that episode out ‘cause it’s what inspired me to tell my story today!

Nyge: Yeah, you can also follow them on Twitter and IG @ViceUK.

Merk: If you missed any episodes this season or wanna check out our transcripts for times where you’re like, “What the heck did Nyge say?,” then you can find us on our site at www.adultishpodcast.com. Or you don’t even need the W’s anymore. We’re in 2020. 

Nyge: If you’re not following us on social already we’re @YRadultISH. It’s gonna be a few months until you hear from us again but we’re gonna be working on Season 5. And we can’t do the dream work without the teamwork.

Merk: Yeah, so slide into our DMs or email us at adultish@yrmedia.org with thoughts on adult ish topics we haven’t covered yet OR ones you want us to dive deeper on. And if there are guests you wanna have us talk to, whether it be celebrities, musicians, activists or even yourself … Yes, you, cutie! Let us know. 

Nyge: We also wanna mention that Adult ISH is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent, listener-supported, artist-owned podcasts. Find them at radiotopia.fm. A reminder that shows like ours only run because they’re listener-supported. That means we don’t run if we don’t get donations from folx like you. 

Merke: So if you have the financial capacity to give, then you can donate to two places: yr.media/donate or radiotopia.fm/donate. Or you can keep the money to yourself and keep listening to our content for free which will lead us to eventually be penniless and we’ll have you to thank for that.

Nyge: Yeah, please don’t leave us like that. 

Merk: Please don’t. 

Nyge: Yeah, if you can please donate, we’d really appreciate it. 

Merk: Yes. And until then, we’ll talk to you in Spring 2021! 

Nyge: Later. 

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Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now