Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Whats in a Name?

The concept of having a second name is more complicated than it sounds, especially when it comes to choosing one for yourself.

First off having a second name can imply a second identity when in reality this is not the case. Whether I am presenting as male or female, im still the same me in my head. But if I am going to go to the effort as presenting as a female, then a female name is required to fit the image. My real name could potentially be used for both genders if I wanted to, but I cant risk any overlap.

Secondly, its quite a minefield having to choose one myself. I feel I need to make sure that there is nothing relate-able to it because there will always be questions with how I chose it. For example, I wouldnt want to choose the name of someone in my family, an ex-girlfriend, someone famous for all the wrong reasons, or even a friend for that matter in case my girlfriend tries to find a connection that isnt there: "Why did you choose that name, do you want to be like her?". Plus if others found out about me, in particular someone who shares the name I use, they might come to a similar conclusion and find it a bit creepy.

Another issue is that when I had to choose my previous two names is that ive never really felt like any of the names I had to pick from were 'me'. A name is something you are given, something you grow up with. It isnt generally something you choose yourself.

So, the reason I am posting about this is I cant call myself Aimee anymore. Ive been thinking of changing it anyway for quite a while for various reasons (including I have a cousin called Amy) but I was a bit weirded out by a story I was told the other weekend, there are just too many connections to something I dont want to be. I might be over-reacting a little but there we go, it was the final push I needed to actually change my name.

This will be the third name I will have used for my female side, and this one I want to stick with permanently so im trying to think of the best way of coming up with a name. The obvious one is to ask my mum what I would have been called if I was born a girl, but I wouldnt have a clue how to bring this up with her without arousing suspicion. She can be very perceptive and as much as I have been thinking about telling her, I just dont think its a good idea. So the only other option is that ive written a massive list of names down, and removed those which to the best of my knowledge are in use by family and close friends, sound trashy, or have connections I dont want to be affiliated with. So far im down to:

Abigail - Or Abi for short
Kara- Hmm, maybe not
Melanie - Mel
Sophie - Soph

I would have loved to be Becca or Hannah, but unfortunately those names are taken! :)

Of course I am still open to suggestions, im finding this incredibly difficult.


  1. Lately I've been wondering if I'm really an Ashley. The other name I've been considering lately is Hillary, but that belongs to someone I know and I worry about it being weird for her when I come out. And then, I wonder if Ashley has kind of stuck since I've been using it for so long. Ah well.

    If you want my honest opinion, of the names you've listed here I think you seem like a Melanie. But that's just me, of course. :)

    1. One vote for Melanie so far then! :)

      Its a difficult thing picking a name and staying comfortable with it, since a name is something you are given and grow up with. Its a part of your identity, and you dont get to choose other aspects of your identity.

    2. Btw, I really like the name Ashley, I think it suits you better than Hillary.

  2. Nothing wrong with another Becca !

    1. Haha I guess not. Although I guess Becky is an option! :)

  3. Hi Aimee!

    First time reader here. :D I totally hear you re: picking your name. I picked my initial attempt when I went to a support group for the first time and was asked what name/pronouns I wished to be addressed with (this was barely a week after admitting I was trans and starting therapy). I picked Kelly off the top of my head, and instantly knew it didn't fit. (My sister confirmed it in her own blunt way: "Nope, nope, nope. You're not a Kelly." lol)

    After several months of reluctantly using Kelly, I took a friend's advice and looked through a list of female names online (Irish names, in my case). She assured me that I would know my name the instant I saw it - and she was right. :D And I have been Cassidy ever since!

    Hope that helps in some small way. And for what it's worth, I also think you're a Melanie based on reading this post. :c)

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog, hon!


    P.S. Hello, Miss Becca! Lovely to see your name as always, sweetie. :D

    1. Hi Cass!

      My first name was the same, it was when I first started poking around the internet I needed a name to be called by. And as soon as I registered it I knew it wasnt right. When I started getting 'out there', I knew I needed something new and I really liked the name Aimee but over time ive come to realise it just isnt me.

      I have tried looking through a big list of names online but there are sooo many to choose from!

      Hmmm, 2 votes for Mel so far then. And im guessing Becca thinks I suit Becca/Becky too? :)

    2. It can definitely be overwhelming when you're confronted with a massive list of names. As I mentioned, I knew I wanted mine to be Irish (my profile picture probably explains why! lol), and that helped. So I guess I would say anything that can help narrow the choices down somewhat might be worth considering.

      While I suspect Miss Becca may not be wholly impartial ;D, I think either Melanie or Becca/Becky would work. Good luck, hon!


      P.S. I knew Cassidy was right for me when I checked its meaning: "curly-haired." I was sold! :D

    3. I think Cassidy definitely suits you, and the meaning is an added bonus! :)

      Ok, im down to Melanie I think, or ive just found another list of names and Allison sticks out as well... Im rubbish at making decisions! :)

  4. I like all of the names you've listed as a friend's daughter is an Abigail and we've known her since she was a baby, she's a delightful young woman now. A colleague I worked with years ago was a Sophie and we got on really well. Another close friend is a Kara and she's nutty as anything.
    My daughter would have been a Kayleigh as I loved the song so much.
    Melanie reminds me of a couple of the assistants from Doctor Who.

    A piece of advice I was given about choosing names was to pick something that isn't androgynous. Go with something that people are going to associate with the gender your presenting so that you are giving them a helping hand to gendering you correctly.

    The other thing I've seen suggested when picking names is to look at the ones that are popular for the year that you were born, picking something that was popular 50 years ago but has gone out of fashion makes you stand out, as does picking something that's only been popular in the last 20 years if you are 50 years old.

    My name came about because I'd used it for my burlesque alter-ego and it grew on me so much that I knew that's who I was rather than anything else I was thinking of.

    1. Thats some good advice, thank you. My male name shortened can apply to both genders, but as you said im looking for something that is undeniably female. I also didnt consider the fact I should be looking at names popular at the time of my birth, thats a very good point and will be something ill look into later today.

      Now youve mentioned that Melanie was an assistant on Doctor Who, im not sure I can use it now. My mother is an obsessive Whovian, and I didnt want my new name to tie into the show at all if I could help it. I do really like the name Mel though so ill have to think about that, especially since Melanie has gotten the most votes so far.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. My suggestion is to take the names you like and look up their meanings. Maybe a name you are already drawn to will connect with you in the meaning. :)