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Elon Musk tweets about cheese amid daughter Vivian's name change crisis

Bruno Cooke June 21, 2022
Elon Musk tweets about cheese amid daughter Vivian's name change crisis
Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images


While business magnate Elon Musk was asking his Twitter followers about their favourite type of cheese, it was being reported that his daughter – formerly Xavier Musk – wants to change her name to Vivian Jenna Wilson.

It was Father’s Day on Sunday, which Musk also marked with a tweet.

The Tesla chief executive’s cheese tweet prompted nearly 7,000 retweets and even more quote tweets; meanwhile, Vivian Jenna Wilson listed the reason she wants to change her name as: “the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way”.

Here’s what we know.

Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Elon Musk asks his Twitter followers about their favourite type of cheese

“The sheer variety of cheese is amazing”, he later added, responding to his commenters at large.

He also added a link to a Monty Python sketch titled, Cheese Shop. 

Some of the most popular comments make reference to esoteric or record-breaking cheeses; others are more straightforward. One wrote, for example, “parmesan or mozzarella”.

Several commenters saw Elon’s original tweet as an opportunity to play for laughs. Others approached his question earnestly.

Xavier Musk transitions and changes name to Vivian Jenna Wilson

In court documents filed in LA County by Xavier Musk – and reported on by TMZ – Elon’s daughter now wants to be recognised as female and known as Vivian Jenna Wilson.

Photo by Christian Marquardt – Pool/Getty Images

She listed her reason for the name change as: “Gender Identity and the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form”.

A day earlier – on Father’s Day – Elon Musk tweeted “Happy Father’s Day”, and then added, “I love all my kids so much”. 

Vivian’s hearing on the name change is due to take place Friday (24 June 2022). She has a twin brother whose name is Griffin. They are Elon’s oldest children.

How old are Griffin Musk and Vivian Jenna Wilson?

Vivian Jenna Wilson and Griffin Musk are Elon Musk’s oldest children – they are twins, born to the business magnate’s ex-wife Justine Wilson via IVF.

Born 15 April 2004, Vivian and Griffin recently turned 18 years old.

Alongside the change to Vivian’s gender identity – she wishes to be recognised as a woman – she also no longer wishes “to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form”.

Her new surname of Wilson comes from her mother Justine, who is a Canadian author. It’s not clear at this stage what significance the name “Jenna” has for Vivian.

Source: YouTube [TEDx Talks]

Elon Musk has commented on gender politics and pronouns before

Musk tweeted on 17 December 2020 that he “absolutely” supports trans people, but that “all these pronouns are an aesthetic nightmare”. 

Several Twitter users responded to his comments by highlighting the fact that he named one of his children “X Æ A-12”, which they suggest presents significantly more confusion than changing from “he” to “she”, or “she” to “they”, and so on.

He and Grimes had to change the name to X AE A-XII. California law requires that parents use only the 26 characters of the English language to name their child.

Elon Musk’s “pronouns suck” tweet has also resurfaced in the wake of his trans daughter’s announcement –  Vivian Jenna Wilson, formerly Xavier Musk, now wishes to be identified by “she/her” pronouns, rather than “he/him”, according to TMZ’s reporting.

Yet Elon Musk’s cheese tweet continues to produce interesting results

It’s par for the course for conversations about the Tesla billionaire to go in several directions at once.

So it is that while his daughter Vivian is in the midst of transitioning – both nominally and in terms of her gender identity – half of Elon Musk’s followers are telling him about their favourite cheese.

Jaadugar | Official Trailer | Netflix India

Jaadugar | Official Trailer | Netflix India

A few of the more interesting responses include Gamalost, “the Viking cheese”; an old Transylvanian cheese manufactured in an underground grotto since 1800; and Brazilian cheese Queijo Minas do Serro, aka “the best cheese on this side of the galaxy”.

What’s the preferred cheese of Elon Musk himself? Stilton, apparently. And in barely a day, his one-word response prompted “a group of seasoned devs, artists, marketers, and influencers” to launch $STILTON.

Watch Musk recount sending a cheese to outer space via New York Magazine’s Grub Street here.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or