What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
Romeo and Juliet, Act II. Scene II.
“A rose by any other name?! Yeah, right!” I’m pretty sure that’s the sentiment you’d get from transgender folks about names. Names can be a critical part of one’s identity and can serve as a way to affirm your gender identity to yourself and have others affirm it back to you (p.s. don’t deadname people).
At the same time, the truism derived from Shakespeare holds, well… true. The person you know and love, who has come out and identifies as a gender other than what you thought they were – they’re the same person you know and love, just with a different name! And now, you can show your love by using their new, chosen name!
Is this just a transgender thing, you ask? Nope. Does this apply to non-binary people, too? It sure does! A fair number of genderqueer/non-binary individuals choose to change their names to reflect their “less/non-gendered” identity – especially if they have particularly “feminine” or “masculine” names. (more…)