serious stuff

What’s in a name?

Names are important to me. I don’t subscribe to the idea names have power (oooh!), that knowing your ‘true name‘ will give me control over you, or allow me to steal your soul… but names do matter.

I changed my name a decade ago, following some major life stuff. I’d lived with a variety of names before then but none of them were me. They were names given to me by other people and all felt fake. What I think of as my real name was the one I’d always used inside my head. So, I wasn’t really changing my name – I was just bringing my true name to the surface. That fairly minor difference made me so happy. I still sometimes grin when I see my name written somewhere. That’s really me!

Names are important.

So, I’ve been wondering lately about how transgender people go about choosing their new names. Perhaps in some cases it’s just a matter of picking something that sounds nice but I like to think, in most cases, it’s much more than that. That people finally get to let their true names come to the surface.

That idea seems to be borne out by most of the articles I’ve read:

Whereas this and this tell a completely different, dull and pragmatic story.

And… speaking of pragmatism, here’s what the Scottish Transgender Alliance has to say on the matter


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