The Name Game

Trans folks are asking: How many times can you change your name?

For many trans folks, choosing a new name is an important part of transitioning. But what if you don’t get it right on the first try?

That was the question on the mind of someone who took to Reddit to ask fellow trans folks for advice. “I’ve been going by June for a hot minute and idk I feel like I’d like a different one,” they wrote. “Am I just crazy or is this normal?”

Other trans folks were quick to assure June (new name pending) that even after announcing a chosen name, it’s perfectly normal to change it — and change it over and over again, if need be.

“Sometimes a name don’t stick. No shame in changing it again,” wrote one commenter. “I had one I wanted to go by but it just didn’t fit right.”

“When I started out I was ‘warned’ by multiple trans people that I’d probably go through several different names before finally finding one that stuck,” shared another. “So I think that’s very common.”

“I keep changing my new name. Kind of a fun game to play,” added a third.

Some also shared stories of names they’d considered, but later realized wouldn’t work.

“I was considering the name ‘Misa’ but then one of my friends said, ‘Meesa trans’ in a perfect Jar Jar Binks impression and now I can’t even think about that name,” wrote one commenter. “Haha, just have fun with it. A ftm friend of mine went through like 4 names before settling on one and he had kept the 3rd one for like 2 years. There’s no pressure.”

Another commenter suggested that when you do change your name, it’s helpful to choose multiple middle names at the same time. That way, they can act as back-up names without having to go through another legal name change.

“I’ve done it quite a few times when I was a bit younger and started going by my middle name recently,” they wrote. “May I suggest multiple middle names? If you feel like this is happening but not 100% sure it’s nice to have others to fall back on.”

Having heard all the advice, June seemed ready to jump back into their self-naming adventure: “Back to the baby name books,” they wrote.

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