This post is just a follow up to the old Mind Blown: Kurt Elizabeth Hummel post where I discovered that using “Elizabeth” as Kurt’s middle name was canon, not fanon. But we were never sure if that was Kurt doing something intentional there, or if that was actually his middle name.
The very gracious Ryan Murphy confirmed in his Q&A last night that Kurt wrote his name thus because that is his name.
And now we know!
Also, I’m arguing with myself whether I put this under “Gender Stuff” or not.
This just leaves me with so many more questions. Did he give himself that name or did his parents actually decide to do that and why? I think it’s actually fairly trendy to give girls male names, but I’ve never heard of a boy getting a very traditional female name like Elizabeth…especially not by a mechanic (who probably had less liberal attitudes when Kurt was born than his does today) in middle America.
It’s really, really interesting, isn’t it? And we don’t know the name of his mother, do we? So if it is, is it some name change that happens after her death (a theory I’ve seen floating around)? Or is it just a way to represent a name that’s woven into the family’s history? But for the time he was born, and the place, choosing Elizabeth as a middle name for a boy would’ve raised eyebrows with a good number of relatives, I would think.
But I’m speaking out of my own experience here, with a newborn whose two names (one of which is Gael) are used for either gender. But Gail, anyway, was the name of my husband’s mother, who died in a car accident when he was a child. Both our son and daughter share that as their middle name. Even though there’s a Gale in The Hunger Games 🙂 we still get lots of questions about it . . .
Here in Ireland, a feminine middle name is not unusual for men — because they take a Saint’s name at First Communion or Confirmation or one of those things (sorry, Protestant upbringing). So there are some Sean Marys and that kind of thing. So maybe the Hummels are Catholic (if we can ignore the very German surname, but maybe mom was a Murphy), and St Elizabeth is the mother of John The Baptist, right? The barren wife of Zechariah, who is visited by Gabriel and becomes pregnant very late in life.
Catholicism actually isn’t that rare in Germany, especially not in the southern parts of the country.
And, as I coincidentally discovered yesterday, the person who drew the pictures upon which the Hummel figurines are based after which Kurt Hummel (the character as created by Ryan Murphy, not the in-canon person) is named, actually was a Franciscan (= Catholic) nun!!! (Go here for a picture and some info about her life: http://mihummel-licensing.ch/en/com_philosophy.php)
That said, in German the only female name I’ve ever seen given to boys seems to be Maria (= Mary), as a second first name (we don’t have middle names like in America). But then I’ve never belonged to any church, so I might be missing things here.
We have an Austrian actor named Karl Maria Brandauer (I think he was a villain in a James Bond movie once) but then again Austria is very catholic so giving boys Maria as a middle name isn’t uncommon here either.
And I always thought that fanon used Elizabeth because it was already canon
I assumed it was a family name. My father is the third Quinn in a row, but he had no boys to pass the name to so it became my little sister’s middle name. My cousin’s middle name is her mother’s maiden name. I think it’s very common to have the middle name be something a bit…odd. A name that sometimes doesn’t quite fit the norm but means something to the family.
I know of a lot of women who have more masculine or non-traditional names, like my grandmother’s middle name was Gordon, that kind of thing. But there’s still a ton of gender panic in America when it comes to boys being in any way effeminate, — like you can give a girl a boy’s name, but try the opposite and everyone asks why you’re such an asshole of a parent. You know? It’s like girls being able to dress up in jeans and t-shirts and boys can’t wear Dora The Explorer t-shirts. So I just always doubted it was canon.
it also fits comfortably into the category of throwaway lines about Kurt’s femininity that usually function as throwaway jokes in canon, and occasionally edge into actually implying that he is a girl–he wanted sensible heels for his third birthday, Rachel wants to see him in a bridesmaid’s dress, his period doesn’t come until the end of the month, etc. I actually find it more believable that Murphy is continuing the joke via tweet than that Burt, who was uncomfortable with Kurt’s femininity even up to the point of junior prom, allowed his son’s middle name to be Elizabeth. (Obviously Kurt’s mother had a role in his naming too, but we literally know nothing about her except that she’s dead.)
“Elizabeth” is also used as a middle name in The Producers musical for both the faux director (Roger de Bris) and Hitler (“descended from a long line of English qveens”)
So…when Ryan Murphy said that Kurt’s middle name was Elizabeth… um…THAT STILL DOESN’T ANSWER ANY OF MY QUESTIONS! Did his parents actually name him that? Did Kurt decide to change his middle name to Elizabeth? If so, did he do it to remember her after she died? Or am I just completely off?! RYAN MURPHY DIDN’T ANSWER ANY OF MY QUESTIONS 😦 It’s kinda sad–he replied, but, then, he didn’t really ANSWER anything… 😦 does anyone know the answer to my questions? Probably not. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking–it’s a little late to be saying this NOW, during Season 4, but…well, there is no “but”. I just found this post right now, and I couldn’t have replied to it when I didn’t know it existed. So…yeah…