What’s in a name?

Since I started this little gender journey, I’ve started thinking a lot about my name. My name is Sam, and all of my family and friends have always called me Sam rather than Samantha. In fact, my dad used to talk to my mom’s belly when she was pregnant with me and called me Sam. Apparently I was going to be Sam whether I was a boy or a girl. All of this leads me to think I’m going to keep my name. I like my name, and I’m kind of attached to it. I’d definitely love to hear from other trans folk that kept their original name, and how they feel about it post-transition.

I guess if I do transition I’d legally change it to Samuel, though I’ve also considered just changing it to Sam. Then it would work either way. I have noticed that hearing or seeing my full name (like at work, etc) gives me a jolt of dysphoria. I’d also need to change my middle name, which makes me a little sad even though I don’t like it. My mom gave me her mother’s name as my middle name, as a tribute and because we shared the same birthday. I never really got to know my maternal grandmother, but I’ve heard she was a kickass woman. In that way it makes me a little sad to lose that connection, but the name is so unambiguously female that it would just need to go. 

This also reminds me that I haven’t come out to anyone in my family yet. I’m scared. I’m scared they’ll reject me, be angry at me, that I’ll lose their love and support. Most of all I’m afraid that I’ll hurt them. I love them so much, and the last thing I want to do is cause them pain. My parents are in their late 70s, and just have no understanding or context for transitioning or gender identity. I guess I’m also stalling because I’m not quite sure what to come out as.  Like yes, I know I’m not cis, that much is clear. But am I FTM? Neutrois? Genderqueer? I really don’t know. I hate how much of my headspace all these thoughts about gender take up, because I’ve noticed I seem to barely have any time to think of other things. I was working on a new tv pilot, but I haven’t written a word in weeks. It’s infuriating. 

In other news, I’ll be working evenings instead of a typical 9-5 for this month, so don’t be surprised to see posts at odd hours. It’s going to be interesting working from 6pm-2am. I had my first shift Thursday night and it was interesting. Way more laid back. I’m supposed to be helping out with training and offering feedback and support. The people on that shift are pretty set in their ways though, and tend to get a little defensive. I guess we’ll see how it goes. 

I just finished reading Queerly Beloved by Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall. It’s about a lesbian couple and their experience when one of them decides to transition. The book alternates between Diane and Jacob’s points of view, often telling the same events through each of their perspectives. I related to a lot of Jacob’s story, as he also confronted his complicated feelings about gender in his late 30s and transitioned at 38, if I recall. It was also really refreshing to read a book with a happier, hopeful tone. So many things I’ve read so far say that my marriage with my wife is doomed if I transition. Oh, and reading blogs and Reddit posts have convinced my wife I’ll end up being a gay man. Sigh. In any case, I recommend checking it out if you’re transitioning later in life, especially if you’re in a committed long term relationship. 

I just picked up Man Alive by Thomas McBee, so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on that soon too. Please comment with any other book recommendations!


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