I know from time to time people ask what my original full name was and what my given name at birth is. Well, when I was born in Thailand in a refugee camp, I was given a Laotian girls name at birth. That was because my folks at the time thought I was a girl and because my intersex medical condition and Kallmann’s syndrome. They gave me a Laotian girls name and that name is Nilavong. On all my documents that I came to America with my Laotian given name goes like this; Nilavong Kamhou Dethoudo Chaleunphone. In America, my folks decided to give me a gender neutral name and decided to give me Nick and sometimes Nicky for the slang version of Nick. So in America, my given name that my folks give me is Nick Kamhou Dethoudo Chaleunphone. The thought was it would Americanized me and give me an American name instead of sticking to the Laotian girls name.
Though at times I still think about the name that my folks gave me when I was born. It makes me think and wonder how ironic that when I was born, I was given a Laotian girls name at birth. It makes you wonder what your parents where thinking when you were born in a refugee camp and when they delivered you in a refugee camp. It also makes you wonder what they were thinking when they came up with Nilavong as a name for me. Though I still hold that name close to me, and I sometimes use my original name as my pen name when I am working on my books, my writings or on the Net as well. Even if I ever go back to visit Laos and Thailand, I would retain my Laotian name and use my Laotian name when I am ever in Thailand and Laos. Even If I ever get Married and I have kids, I would give my Laotian name to my kids to pass it on to them as a legacy of what my folks gave to me. So even if I still have my American name, I still have my Laotian girls name that my folks gave me at birth.