A Matter of Identity

Posted by William Journal January 3, 2019

When I told the few family members I have left that I was changing my name, most of them said I was always going to be David to them. That’s fine. I get that. The thing that I have been a little disappointed in are a few friends who still call me by my birth name.

Don’t @ me, I know it’s not the same, but I’ve been trying to educate myself about what it’s like for transgender people to make that change in their lives and the issues they face. Now, of course, me changing my name is a hell of a lot different than changing my body, the way I dress, etc. I get that. Still, it’s about becoming a person that you feel you actually are.

“David/Dave” is something that people in my daily life have always just called me, but I never felt like it’s who I was. It wasn’t until the internet came along that I was afforded the opportunity to try out different names and see if one of them fit. And believe me, I tried out a lot of them over the years, as longtime friends can tell you.

The thing that inspired me to write this post was a few days ago, I received an e-mail from a very good friend who voiced their support over my decision to change my name and my reasoning behind it. They were replying to an e-mail that I’d sent, which I signed as William. Still, they used my birth name twice in the e-mail. I didn’t call it out, I let it go, but to me, it still felt disrespectful, especially after they voiced their support for the name change before.

Maybe I’m being too sensitive here. I guess I think you should honor someone’s wishes about how they identify themselves. I get that it takes people some time to adjust, but the person above had no excuse in my opinion.

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