We all know that names have power. From moms using full names when they’re pissed to when soon-to-be parents go back and forth on names for months before landing on the perfect one. But what happens when you give your child the wrong name?
I was Lindsay Anne Huffman for the first 17 years of my life. The thing was, of course, that I was not Lindsay Anne. I was a caterpillar, and I needed to get the fuck into my cocoon. I entered my cocoon when I became Linden. It felt not perfect, but close enough.
But recently, I’ve been feeling trapped. Chafing within my shell, I needed to break free. Linden was purposefully neutral, and an obvious homage to my former name. But whenever I tell people my name is Linden, it gives them pause. Linden? Is that a boy or a girl? I look, act, walk, and talk like a boy, but sometimes my societally-trained feminine mannerisms come out and then the neutral name Linden helps people come to the conclusion that I’m probably a girl. I’m so tired of being misgendered that I decided something: it’s time to be a butterfly.
I am ten months on Testosterone, and I have top surgery in a month. There is no time like the present to completely embrace myself and my masculinity. Thus, I’m going by my middle name now: Andrew. Linden was a transition name. Maybe I’ll identify with it again in the future, but now I think I just need Andrew.
Now to the education part of my blog posts. To the several people who asked me why I changed my name from Linden to Andrew: this is why. However, you should not have asked me. If my sister wanted to suddenly go by Louise, people would feel entitled to ask her why. I don’t think they would have the right. And you don’t have the right to ask me now. Change is healthy and natural, and of all the scary things one could do to implement change in their lives, I think changing one’s name is relatively harmless. Especially with trans people, who have been forced with a misgendered name their whole lives, and finally have the chance to find something that feels right to them. I get that it will be mildly inconvenient for a while, but I think you can probably find it somewhere inside yourself, deep down, to get past that.
Thanks for everyone for being so great and welcoming for me asking to be called Andrew<3