How Changing My Name Is Like Changing My Gender
I was born S and assigned R at birth. But the name I was assigned at birth never fit right. No one ever called me by my birth name except doctors and my grandmother.
On the first day of school I’d always explain to the teacher, “I go by S.” That’s what everyone knew me as. That’s what I knew me as. That’s what felt right.
I always intended to change my name legally, someday. But I was finally forced to in High School when I couldn’t deposit a check because my birth assigned name and the name on the check didn’t match. When I went through the process of changing my name, there was a lot of paperwork, but it wasn’t actually a big deal in real life.
Everyone already knew me as me, so it wasn’t a shock. I was completely comfortable in my true name and proud of it. So I was relieved to finally have it match my legal records.
Sometimes, when I hear the name R, I remember vaguely that I was once an R, too. But I never really considered myself to be an R, so I have a slight aversion to the name, now.
It’s like a pair of hand me down pants that don’t fit quite right. Someone else gave them to you, so you wear them for a bit, but you are more than happy to discard them when you find a pair that do fit you exactly as they should.
I’ve already changed my identity once. How hard can it be to change it again? Who knows how many times I’ll have to change before I feel like I’m wearing the skin that was tailor made for me.
But I’m wiling to keep making adjustments until I figure out the perfect fit. Because who wants to go through their whole life wearing the wrong size hand me downs?