"The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line." ~Joanna Field

Monday, March 12, 2012


Preface: Yes, I've not been updating. No, I don't think you care. Updates will be forthcoming after school settles down a bit.

Just thought I'd give an update, vis-à-vis this post from about a month ago.

I came out to the general populace as a name changer a few weeks ago. I told a few people about the name change in person, then I changed my name on Facebook, and invited people to call me by this new name. I also gave leave to message me if they had more in depth questions.

A fair number of people asked why, and depending on the person they got slightly different answers.
Generally I'd start out with "I feel it suits me better, for a variety of reasons.". If that didn't satisfy them, and I was comfortable with them having the knowledge, I'd give the canned speech: "I am no longer identifying as female, I am identifying as nongendered, a type of genderqueer where I do not feel either male or female. As such a gender neutral name felt more fitting." They then either went "Oh, cool." or asked more questions.
A large number didn't ask, just "liked" the post. That made me happy.

It's been interesting, and I'm sure it will continue to be in the next 11 months (I've told myself I need to use and identify with this name for at least a year before I will legally change it. I want to be sure (and get the money together). ) There will be a lot of places where if I had the legal identification, it'd be easier. I almost want to just do it and, if it doesn't work, change it back later. But that feels like the wrong way to go about it. Even though it'll be harder to explain in the getting a job setting, etc., I'll just have to muck through it. I'm just thankful that I don't have to go through the mess of trying to change my gender marker, because it doesn't bother me enough that the legal world sees me as female, and because there is nothing more fitting to change it to. I feel so sorry for those for whom that is a necessary step.

There have been a few awkward moments already where I don't know what to say or do. But for the most part it has been great.
I wasn't sure if I'd tell my professors about the name thing. Then I realised that at least my program head would be necessary, if I was going to use her as a reference later on.
Talking to people who I've met once or twice before, so know my old name, but I don't expect to meet frequently in the future...
Basically deciding when and where it is necessary to give out what name.

I've gone the 'easy' route and decided that everywhere at all times is the best way for me. I can clear up the messy bits as I go.

At the LGBT youth group I go to I introduced myself as my new name after coming back from reading week. Then I actually started participating. Talking to people, socializing.
Not to say I didn't speak to anyone there before, but not enough people that they remembered my name.
They all know me as my new name, and they don't stumble or falter in using it. It feels great
.My friends are all trying really hard. I'm trying to be lax about correcting them... it's awkward for me to do because they tend to get angry at themselves for forgetting. And I'm not upset or angry, just trying to help cement the name in their minds. Ah well.

Not to mention the fact that I still "screw up" as they put it. I still chastise myself with the old name. I used to often alliterate the name with words, and those sayings are still stuck in my head a bit.
And there are still times where my old name feels right. They are very infrequent, and make sense when you consider I've had it my whole life.
So really using my old name is still... acceptable, if not ideal.
Anyway. I just wanted to put it out there that this name thing has been near-uniformly positive for me. And I know that people have a hard time when they read all these scary coming-out stories.
My coming out stories from this and from coming out as a lesbian, years ago, are near-uniformly exceptional. If you are thinking about it and/or want some positive examples you're welcome to contact me. I'd love to tell you about all the wonderful, fabulous, exceptionally accepting people in my life.

Oh, as a side note, I was down town today with a friend and we took a look in some LGBT friendly (centric) stores. One was a book store. I was so excited. I wanted to read about 3/4s of what was in there.
There was a great looking book on FtM and other female-assigned-at-birth genderqueers and their stories. And one that was an FAQ about sexual and gender minorities (Is it a Choice?). Full shelves of "Lesbian Lit."! Mysteries, fiction, real life, spirituality... There were "normal" books too, but most of the store was LGBT stuff. I wish I had money, so badly.

No comments:

Post a Comment