What's in a name?

Here’s why picking a name as a trans person isn’t as easy as you might think

One of the most exciting and challenging parts of coming out as trans involves finding your new name. And while some folks have a name they’ve always wanted to be called, others are less sure.

In a recent video from trans TikToker @wigglyspine, she goes into a few reasons why picking a name isn’t as easy as people might assume.


From someone who didn’t… trial the name before changing it 😉 #trans #deadname #question #advice #mtf #forthedolls #wigglyspine

♬ original sound – WigglySpine

“Some people want to keep certain parts of their deadname, some people want something entirely different from their deadname,” she says. “Some people want something that has family significance, and others get rid of their family name entirely.”

As we all know, trans folks are not a monolith, and everyone’s process is different. While some folks feel totally fine keeping their assigned-at-birth name, others want to find a new name that doesn’t carry the baggage of a past life.

“Once I realized what was going on,” WigglySpine explains, “I couldn’t stand being called by my deadname.”

So she did what many of us do: She “scoured baby name sites” before making a list of names she liked. She knew she wanted to keep the first letter of her deadname so her signature wouldn’t change.

“It took a lot of adjusting to be called a different name,” she says. “But then it became a part of who I am.”

“Now,” she says, “I have the unique opportunity to spend the time considering names that I didn’t originally.”

No matter how you find your name, it should be a joyful, rather than stressful, process. And remember: if you end up choosing a name that doesn’t suit you or that doesn’t make sense for who you end up becoming, that’s fine too! We make the rules!

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