May 2023

Finding My Name

The text notification on my phone said “Hello Corvinrock,” and I immediately thought, “Who is this? And how do they have my number?” Then, I noticed my name was misspelled as Corvinrock instead of Corvinrook and I thought “Oh gosh, the spam bots have learned my name. . . sort of . . . should I be concerned?”

I finally clicked on and read the whole message and my thoughts changed to “Are they sure they have the right person?” When it sank in, that I was really nominated for a Queer Youth Leadership Award, and this was no mistake, I was very surprised.

I was quite honored and very flattered, as well as quite nervous. I wanted to know what I had done to deserve such an honor, as I was simply trying to live my life the best I could, while being the best person I could be as I did it.

Turns out all the little things we do in life really do have an impact. I am very open about who I am with those around me. I wear pride pins and bracelets, I dress in a unique style, and I’m very loud in who I am, what I like, and who I like. I am unapologetically myself, and I’m not ashamed of that fact. It probably has something to do with me being a theater kid, or maybe I’m a theater kid because I’m that way.
Along with the theater, lots of things contribute to making me, me, and it took quite a while and quite a bit of effort to figure out just who I am after putting them all together.

When I was first starting to figure myself out, instead of telling my parents, I just left random hints. I did not want to initiate the conversation. I kept quiet for a while as I figured things out for myself. I told my friends, though, and when walking home one day in Middle School, I just blurted it out. In the following years, I realized I really didn’t like my name, and the old identity it represented.

During my Junior year, I put a lot of thought into a new name for myself, and I made a list of things that meant a lot to me and represented who I wanted to be. I looked into myths and legends, space and the stars. Being fascinated by crows, I also looked into things related to them. I found that Corvus is a star, as well as the real name for crows.

I found that Rook can refer to crows too, as crows have been interpreted as a symbol of death, and the transformation from the physical to the spiritual world. However, in spiritual language, death really represents change, transition, transformation and new beginnings.

Adopting my new name gave me even greater confidence to be who I really am. With this confidence, I joined the Drama department of my High school where I’ve represented the LGBTQ+ community in theater and encouraged others to be themselves.

I’m glad this nomination is about being myself and the little things I’ve done to try and make my community a better and safer place. I hope that my story, and stories from the other nominees that might be told at the ceremony will help others see they can find themselves too.

I hope you’ll join me at the 26th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards (QYLA) on Saturday, May 13 at New Brighton Middle School in Capitola at 5:30pm where we will all be honored and celebrated as nominees along with our allies.

Corvinrook Champion, he/him/his and they/them/theirs, is a senior at Scotts Valley High School and part of the LGBTQIA+ community in theater. As an openly queer, transgender, and asexual student, Corvinrook inspires peers to stand up against prejudice.

Three awards are presented at the ceremony, the Queer Youth Leadership Award, the Ally to Queer Youth Award, and the Organizational Ally to Queer Youth Award. To read about all of the 2023 nominees and learn more about the awards ceremony, visit or call (831) 427-4004.

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