What’s in a Name?

unnamedIt was such a small thing, but seeing my name written on a Starbucks cup was one of the most memorable moments of my life.  Seeing ‘Hannah’ written under a lipsticked kiss coffee cover was such  a thrill.

Our names are important.  They have power, they give us power.  Usually our names are something we chose.  Sometimes they are the names we would have been given had we were identified as female at birth.

Sometimes someone else gives them to us.  But the power comes from us having a name, a real name to this side of us that is usually a secret to almost everyone else in our lives.

It’s funny, when I talk to other t-girls, we chat about shoes, makeup, shopping…but we also talk about deeper things, like our family, whether or not this side of us works in our relationships, or politics.  But our names are rarely discussed.  How did you get yours?

Love, Hannah

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5 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Well, I was working with four criteria – I wanted one that:
    1) started with the same letter as my usual name – the standardish, but not essential protocol
    2) ended in ‘a’ – sounds more feminine I think
    3) had two syllables
    4) wasn’t the same as anyone I knew really well

    That rather narrowed the field down, but settling for Rebecca met 3 out of 4, and I was especially pleased that it has origins in the Old Testament and means ‘Faithful’, so that meant a lot to me.

    I went (on my own) to my first church service last Sunday morning – a regular Anglican church, not a specifically LGBTI+ friendly one – and it was wonderful. Nothing untoward at all, in fact so ordinary it was a joy! I also did some grocery shopping later that day, pushing my trolley round Sainsbury’s – can’t get much more more ordinary and normal that that either. Tthanks again for you inspiration Hannah xx

    I also remember my first Starbucks cup too – so exciting 🙂
    Rebecca

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  2. Simple when asked what name I wanted to be known by I replied Chloe’. A name of my favourite perfume and one that I have liked for most of my years. I connected it with another favourite, Alexa, as ChloeAlexa. My middle name is an archaic Latin name in honour of my father, Laurencia, Last name kept original.

    You may be called this for many years relaxedly, yet when you legally court change it, that is when the real meaning comes through to you. All your papers from Birth certificate, to Passport, declare you are Female now, and that gave me a completely different outlook that was unexpected, yet much appreciated. Plus the initials are the same as my son’s.

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  3. Simple I just added an “A” my second name is a family name and meant I kept my initials. I did try out a few more “exotic” names, but Paula just seemed to fit and is fine for everyday use as well as the more glamorous situations.

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  4. Thanks for posting this picture of your Starbucks cup. I completely get the sensation of acceptance and belonging which it gives you.

    I chose the name Vivienne at University. In the infancy of the internet, I discovered that I could present as anyone I chose (something which untold thousands of people have done since)– but what name to choose? Vivienne seemed classy and elegant, and feminine, as well as being able to be reasonably shortened. Marcus is my middle name.

    At first I wasn’t particularly attached to the name; it just seemed to be one which I picked. But now I really feel as if the name belongs to me. I like it a lot, and people give me compliments about it, which is lovely. If for some reason I couldn’t keep it, I couldn’t begin to think of another name.

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  5. My name process wasn’t an overnight thing. I would run from one name through another over the years, many of which sounded awesome but didn’t seem to fit me comfortably. Then I learned about an upperclassman I admired in high school. Her name was Allison, which felt awesome and feminine. More importantly to me, though, it does not have the same ring as male mode name (all they share are one vowel and one minor consonant). I think having two totally different names for my male and female sides ensures that they feel to me like totally different identities and personalities, a button-down and timid Clark Kent vs. a Supergirl who’s a little stronger and a little more outgoing.

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