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Gender identity and name changes/titles.


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I was wondering if any trans or NB members here have changed their names either unofficially or legally? This could just be your first and/or middle name or your last name too.

I've had gender issues my entire life and I've always hated my first name because it just seems too feminine. I've wanted to get my name legally changed for a long time, but never have because it's expensive and just a general huge pain in the ass with all the different places you'd have to inform of the change. Lately, I've been thinking more about what I'd even change my name to if I did change it. I've had a hard time even coming up with anything. Like if I was a f to m trans, then I think I'd know exactly what I'd change my name to. It would really just be male names similar to the female names I was given.

I'm really more genderfluid than anything, and I have a lot of times when I don't even really feel like male or female, so I think if I was going to change my name, it should be something gender neutral. A large part of me would love to change my name to a name that I go by online a lot, because I strongly identify with that name and it is gender neutral. Unfortunately, I did try to get people to call me by that name in college and everyone had such a hard time pronouncing it that I gave up. Then I think that the fact that I use it online so much should be a reason to avoid it if I don't want people in real life googling me and seeing all of my online activities under that name. I've looked at name lists for gender neutral names, and I just haven't had seen anything that jumps out at me.

Another factor to consider is that my mother named me after her father who died before I was born. So a part of me feels like I should try to honor that by choosing names that begin with the same letter as my grandfather's first and middle names, but I don't know how obligated I should feel to stick to that if I can't find anything that feels like it fits.

Have any of you gone through this sort of struggle regarding name changes?

I also want to ask about titles. The standard titles for most people in English are Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss. And then sometimes there's Sir or Ma'am. I'm getting to a point where I don't think I can tolerate being referred to with female titles anymore(despite not minding female pronouns). Last week I even told a nurse in a doctor's office that I don't go by Miss. I don't think I really want to be referred to by the male titles either though. I'm curious how other NB members deal with this issue. I've heard that there is a gender neutral option of Mx. pronounced "mix", but I don't think I've ever seen that option like on webforms where there's a dropdown list with a limited set of options to choose from. I'm also not really sure I want to go by Mx. either though. I feel like it sounds too close to Miss to anyone that might not be listening closely enough. I mean I'd probably choose it if it was an option, but it would be nice to have a title option that I actually felt comfortable with. As of right now, I think I'm just going to start asking people not to use titles with me at all and just to use my name(as much as I loathe it). Honestly, using my name is just more practical anyway. I'll have someone calling up asking to speak to Mrs./Ms./Miss (my last name), and then I have to ask them which one they want because there are three other female people in my house with the same last name.

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  • 5 months later...

I've legally changed my name and it was an awesome decision. I was also named after relatives and it was sad to let go of those names for that reason but they'll always be a part of you even if you don't use them. They were a gift that you don't have to hang on to for them to be.meaningful. 

There are lots of great "gender neutral" names out there that you can find on baby naming sites (Alex, Lee, Riley, Avery, just to name a few). But also the real important thing is that your name is comfortable and nice for you! My name is a little unusual but usually given to boys when it is used. But it sounds like *my* name, so I love it.

You can also ask your family for help choosing a name if they're supportive. They gave you the first one, maybe they can help you with version 2.0!

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Thanks for your reply. I actually had been using baby naming sites, but there were quite a few names listed as gender neutral that didn't feel neutral to me. I pretty much found it impossible to find neutral names that I liked that started with the same letters as my current first and middle name, which I wanted to do to respect my mother's intentions when she named me. I did find some other gender neutral names that I liked, but haven't gotten up the courage to bring it up with my family and have really only asked my therapist to start using it, but most of the time he doesn't even say my name at all, so it's difficult to try to get a feel for whether it's really the name I want to go with or not.

Right now I'm much more concerned with people referring to me with feminine titles and other feminine terms. The worst is like when I'm with one or both of my sisters and then someone refers to us as "ladies" collectively. I hate that so much and I've always hated being referred to as a lady because to me that just seems like a super feminine term even more so than being called a girl or a woman. It just makes my skin crawl. I can correct people, and have done so at times, especially in a professional setting, but it's hard to stop it from happening until I get surgery and stuff to change my appearance.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey, a man (who is trans) here. I legally changed my name back in 2016 and this year finally legally changed my gender marker. Changing your name is a long process, but it's so so worth it. Just being able to hand people my debit card or license without the anxiety or stress of them seeing my brith name felt like such a weight off my shoulders. Some trans/NB people I've talked to picked their name right away and stuck with it without any hesitation, but that doesn't have to be the case! When I was first experimenting with/questioning my gender identity I cycled through a lot of different names... it took me so long to find the one that was right. I felt guilty making my friends and family keep changing what they called me (especially since my birth name was so special to my mother), but over time I realized that this isn't about them. It's about YOUR comfort and YOUR name! So don't be afraid to try out a few different ones, even if it's just online. When I found my name, I knew it was right. I felt comfortable and I felt it was really, truly ME, you know? You'll know when you have the right name, and it may surprise you which one you realize is yours! I love my name, but I honestly wouldn't have guessed it's what I would have named myself... I kept focusing on names that I liked the sound of rather than names that I felt actually were me/fit me, if that makes sense? Sorry this is so long, I just want other trans/nb people to know they're not alone in their transition-- whatever "transition" may mean for them!

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Also, for reference-- I have been living as male for about 8 or so years now (since 2010 about), but didn't legally change my name until 2016. So it doesn't have to be instantaneous. It would be worse to legally change your name only to realize that name isn't the one for you. So take your time! Discovering yourself isn't a race.

As for titles, I've also heard of Misc (pronounced misk) and Ind. (which stands for individual).

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Thanks for your reply. As of now, I still haven't gotten up the courage to sit my family down and ask them to call me by another name, but it's starting to bother me more and more having them using my birth name, so I think I'm going to have to do it soon. Maybe possibly when my uncle visits next week, assuming his next visit isn't as much of a disaster as his last one was(long story). So yeah, I'm not going to know if the name I'm thinking of is the one I want to keep forever until I do a test run of it. I just worry because I've gone by so many different names online over the years, that even if a name feels right at this point in my life, it may not always be that way. In some ways it's similar to how my gender fluctuates and I could be feeling one way for quite awhile and then it changes again, so that makes it hard to make decisions on what to do regarding things like having top surgery. Anyway I know I'm just going to have to tell my family I want a new name and take it for a test run. This whole struggle has made me really wish that I was just plain ftm trans. I know exactly what name I'd pick if that was the case.

I have heard of those titles but neither really appeal to me at all. Misc is pronounced similar to Mx, and both of them sound far too similar to Miss. I don't want to go with anything that sounds similar to Miss, both for my own comfort and for the fact that I imagine it would cause a lot of confusion getting people to say it right. Ind just feels really awkward on the tongue and doesn't appeal to me from an aesthetic standpoint at all. I've also heard of Per which stands for person. I think I like that one a bit better but I'm just not sure. I didn't feel this way at the time of my original post, but right now I'm just feeling like I'd rather have people address me by male titles, either Mr. or Sir because I've been feeling mostly neutral or masculine lately, but I might not always feel that way. Honestly, I don't even know what gender I am when I get up in the morning because I'm too tired. Gender does not exist before a certain time of the day for me. :laugh:

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