To Sasha, genderqueer identity is “like discovering a secret room.” All their life they had only known male and female, but by sophomore year in high school, their gender identity was starting to become more nuanced. The name Luke didn’t “fit” anymore.
Sasha and Andrew began looking on the internet for new unisex names and found the name “Sasha,” a nickname in Russia “for both Alexandra and Alexander, which was Sasha’s middle name.” Sasha’s new name—Russian and both feminine and masculine—was “perfect,” and when Sasha wrote an article about gender for the school paper that same year, “they used their new name as the byline.”
When Sasha uses their new name as the byline on their gender article for the school paper, they cement their new identity and project it to the world. Like Slater’s list, Sasha’s article encourages others to respect and acknowledge the LGBTQ community.
At Sasha’s school, the other students accepted Sasha’s new identity “without much comment.” Several of Sasha’s classmates come from LGBTQ households, and it never was made to be a big deal. Sasha quietly became another person, and the others at school grew accustomed to their gender-neutral pronoun. A new card entitled “Luke…Sasha…Person” was added to their deck of index cards. Now, if anyone playing calls Sasha the wrong name, they must immediately discard.
Like the byline in the school paper, the new card in 1001 Blank White Cards validates and legitimizes Sasha’s gender and their identity. The card serves to remind others that they must respect Sasha’s identity and use proper names and pronouns. In that vein, the cards are also a form of social justice.