i always thought changing my name would be aligned with going on T; to avoid my femme birth name clashing with a more masculine gender presentation. but i’m so much happier using a gender neutral name now, regardless of (and before any) physical changes.
i dissociate when i hear my birth name out loud, in the same way i dissociate when being misgendered – i quickly anticipate this person is going to call me by this name/pronoun, so it doesn’t feel like a shock when it happens, and i can respond. many friends who are close to me don’t call me by my name, do so rarely, or use a nickname for this reason.
people often mention how my birth name suits me, in that i don’t give a fuck about how femme it sounds, and my reason for not changing it has always been i shouldn’t have to. i am who i am regardless of how femme my birth name is. i recognize the good intentions here, but the truth is it does bother me, and pretending it doesn’t is self-destructive. i want to make it clear now that going by my birth name is exhausting. it doesn’t feel like me, and i don’t want to do it anymore.
i want a name that doesn’t require dissociation with use. i want a name i never have to turn into a more masculine nickname so people don’t fuck up my pronouns. i want a name that makes it difficult to smack me on either side of the gender binary. i want a name that doesn’t cater to other’s expectations of me. i want a name that is always the name i see for myself, no matter who is using it. i want a name that feels safe and normal to use with the one i love, and i want to know what that feels like, so bad.
this is my face after a week of introducing myself to strangers by my chosen name. strangers are the best bc they called me by my name with no questions asked. i felt lighter. i felt seen. i felt like myself.
today i decided to never introduce myself to a stranger by my birth name again. if we already know each other, it would mean a lot to me if you act like a stranger the next time we meet. ask me my name. call me by my name. i love you all 💙
#oneofthem #transgender #queerbabes