It was just like one of the hardest points of my life and all of that is very much embedded in the name Tiffany for me.
My name is Rya. I changed my name in 2021. It started with the name Ryan and eventually I dropped the 'n' and I was like that, that feels like me. But Rya, the name, means dream or free-flowing river and it's based off of the Greek name, Rhea and I love my name Rya, It feels very affirming.
When I hear the name Tiffany, I honestly hated it even just saying it out loud right now I get this like creepy crawly feeling on my back. I feel like I've been conflicted with my name, honestly, my whole life...
I selected this photo because I really wanted her to be seen and I think she really deserves to be seen. And she did a lot for everyone even when she didn't have much to give. I remember one day I had talked to my mom and I was like, "hey mom sometimes I feel like, I don't know, maybe I shouldn't exist and I don't know what would happen if I like disappeared" and my mom was like, "oh, everyone thinks about that." And I think she was trying to normalize it, but it just felt really dismissive and so I think during that time, I just felt really invisible.
Video interviews coming soon. In the meantime, to hear more, listen to this condensed audio of Rya's name story.