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ToniTone

Name & pronoun "issues"

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ToniTone

I titled this thread name & pronoun "issues" with quotes, bc I don't really have an issue with my name(s?) or pronouns. More of a curiosity as I adjust to them. And I want to have a dialogue of intrigue on this matter. 

 

I identify as transfeminine and two spirit. I've always loved my (birth/'undead') name Tony. Despite finally coming out as trans, I still have some attachment to Tony with a 'y'. 32 years is a long time to live with a name. I feel it not entirely a deadname to me, perhaps it lives on in the diminished/ghosted masc part of my duality. Do any of you have an attachment, or perhaps even a "vestigial use" of sorts, to your deadname? 

 

I love how the feminine variation of Tony is Toni. And I love the name Toni. It's me! It's like "I'm still Tony, but now I'm Toni" you know!? I dotted the 'i' with a little heart the other day, and it was such a simple joy to do this. My friends spell my name as Toni now and it feels so validating (flattering even). It seems so right. 

 

Although my given name is Toni (nee Tony), my "full deadname" would be Anthony. The feminine variation of that would be Antonia ("priceless", "praiseworthy" (I dunno about that one), and "beautiful") or Antionette. I find it fascinating how often these names appear in royal lineages. I'm a bit of a narcissist, so my passion for my name ties into this. But anyway... 

 

Do any of you have a deadname that had a convenient and acceptable variant that matched you and your true gender? And did you have a relatable experience or interesting realization? 

 

And I just have to bide my curiosity; for those of you who didn't have a convenient/acceptable variation of your deadname, how did you go about discovering your identifying name? Did you have to improvise it? Did you have or find a connection to it? What was YOUR experience like? 

-----------------

As for my pronouns, (for now anyway) I'm pretty open about them. I'm more feminine than anything, but I still present as masculine, so for now people who don't know I'm trans (only out to friends irl for now, close to coming out to friends and public) refer to me in masculine pronouns, and I'm ok and used to that. Some people (like my pa) might feel uncomfortable, alienated, confused or whatever about me being trans, I think I'm ok with letting the elder generations of (pa and grands) refer to me as male. I don't think I'll be able to culture their "traditional values". Is this ingenuine, or is it justified? 

 

I'm open to non-binary terms too. I don't see myself as entirely female, at all male, maybe it's neither. Is they/them a safe go-to when one is unsure of someone else's pronouns?

 

Really I'm pretty punk rock and unphased by/apathetic of what people think of, feel about, or call me. They can call me mud, they can call me scum, or some other four letter word, for all I care... 

 

I'm definitely more feminine than not. I came out to most of the people I know, all my open minded friends. They have been very warm and supportive of me in this. They're almost exclusively queer and queer supportive. I didn't even have to explain myself or my pronouns to them...

 

Inexplicably, they just knew right away to refer to me in the feminine! I must admit it's very foreign and new to me to be acknowledged and referred to as fem. Sometimes I double take. But it feels right. It's so wonderful that my friends validate me. It feels lovely to be referred to as what you are after assuming a facade your whole life. 

 

Did any of you experience this adjustment to new pronouns early on in your transition? Or feel that same gratification from finally being validated for what you are? 

 

I'm eager to hear y'all's experiences and have a dialogue about this! 

What's in a name..? 

 

Love ❤️

~Toni

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Robin

Hi Toni,

 

I have been fortunate, as the name that my parents gave me is considered appropriate for either gender. 

 

It is interesting to note that for feminine applications, Robin is sometimes replaced with Robyn, which is the opposite of the convention with your name.  This is not always the case though, and for me, it is not worth the hassle of changing it.

 

Robin.

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Kirsten

Hmm. We’ll pronouns and names are a big validating factor of transition for sure. Hearing that approval from others really changes my mindset a lot.

But it comes with a side effect which is the annoyance that comes with being misgendered. I was an “I don’t care about pronouns and dead names” girl when I started. But at this point it’s been over half a year since I started using my name, and short of a telemarketer call, one ass at work, and a random oops, I don’t hear my dead name or a sir mr he him or any of that anymore. But when I do it can be annoying. Depending on the context obviously. 

As for my name, my assigned name was Michael. And the obvious choice was to go with Michelle right? But for me my assigned name comes with baggage. My father was a loser drug addict pedophile. And I was a junior. And my mother has disowned me for transitioning. I wasn’t going to stay with that name. So for me Kirsten is just one of those names that has always been in my head as long as I can remeber. Plus it separates me just a little more from my past. And everyone says it really fits my personality too. So double win! 

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ToniTone

To Robin-I always loved that name! Either spelling of it.

 

It's funny how just one subtly different vowel can carry so much context. And yet we can be so accepting of it. 

 

To Kirsten-It's a lovely name. From your little profile avatar on my tiny phone screen, I'd say you totally look like a Kirsten, if I may say so. 

 

From what you told me here and what I can recall from other replies on my threads, it sounds like you had some rough spats and struggles in your life, if I may be so bold. I can relate to wanting to evade the sadness of the past and changing my name with that. If I was born with a name I didn't love so much (Tony is like the coolest male name ever imo), I'd probably change it too. 

 

I hope you heal/are healed of the sorrows of your past, and are content and at peace in your life. ❤️

 

 

So anyway, you see where I'm coming from then on the pronouns? I'm just beginning this journey. I still present as male, and bc of this and where I live (male only sober house, for the time being  anyway), I'm a little slow or reserved in actively changing it. This is temporary thugh... for... convenience I guess? Don't really feel the need to stir the pot or agitate the all-male house I live in by alienating it's residents with my not-male gender atm. I'm accustomed to playing double agent.

 

But I intend to come out 'publicly' soon. I feel a want and need to validate my gender, not hide in "shame" of it or whatever (I say in quotes bc I'm not ashamed of it, and I'm pretty shameless anyway). 

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ChickenLittle

To answer your question: My birth name was incredibly feminine, with no masculine variant that I'm aware of. Even growing up, I never liked it and always dreamed of changing it. Funny story, I ended up changing my name before I realized that I'm transmasc and chose a gender-neutral name for myself (it's a family name, the one my mom originally wanted to use for me before my dad picked the super femme one I ended up with). So when I decided to transition, I stuck with the name I picked. At this point, my birth name doesn't even register as something related to me at all. It's interesting how people have such varied feelings and experiences with names!  

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Kirsten

Thanks Toni. I am as healed as I will ever be. I grew up in a bad situation. Took a lot of flack and abuse for being trans since I was little. But there’s no love loss for me with my family. I did my due diligence to be accepted by those people. My dad is gone and my mom is a loser. My step dad is useless at this point as well. So I’m over them. 

Pronouns will start to take care of themselves to some extent. As you start to look different you’ll hear more of the she/her stuff. For me the he/him didn’t bother me until it was all she/her. When everyone calls you she for months and then you hear he it’s a little crappy. But usually it’s accidental and no big deal anyways. 

As for coming out publicly, be sure you’re ready. Half of me wishes I waited. The other half says screw that. Lol. I came out and started living fully as female about 3 months into hrt. But for me I was closeted for 30+ years and fully aware. I had enough by then. And it really helped my mental state. So I’m happy I did things my way. If I hadnt I’d probably be divorced right now and maybe dead. It was what was right for me. And that right there is the important thing. What is right for you. But I will say had I waited for a while like most do, the social awkwardness would have been less. And it would have made things easier socially. Both on me and my people.

So just be sure. It can be tough. When that nobody calls you out and shames you for being trans, it’s no fun. Only happened a couple times for me. But those moments suck mostly because you’re never expecting it. It’s hard to always be prepared. Especially when you’re just doing your own thing. 

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killjoyaiden

My legal name has a unisex nickname that's attached to it, which I went by when I first came out. However, it was only a "safe name" so when I became more stable in my identity, I changed it to Aiden. I still have a little bit of a connection to my dead-nickname, only because of the memories tied with it. Anytime someone refers to me by it, it feels like they're talking about someone else, yet I respond to it. It's a weird feeling to describe, but it's like if i was an actor and my dead-nickname was the name of the character I was playing. It's not my actual name, but I still respond to it because it's my character. Idk that's the best way I know how to describe it. 

 

 

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ToniTone

To ChickenLittle-It is so interesting! That's why I made this thread. I crave these stories. Is that bad? 

 

I can't imagine wanting to change my name when I was young or ever (well, unless you consider changing from Tony to Toni a drastic enough change). I always wondered what that was like. 

 

To Kirsten-I'm glad to here. Sometimes just being ok is just great, if that riddle makes any sense. It's good when you can come to terms with the past. The memory remains but the pain is passed. 

 

I'm pretty fortunate, most of my family is estranged are jerks and I'm over them. The only family I have is my ma, and I know she'll never abandon me, I just hope she isn't too disappointed. All my friends are awesome! They're all artist, punk rock, liberal or anarchist, queer and queer supportive. I came out to them and they all been very supportive, nothing about our friendship has changed. 

 

To killjoyaiden-Yeah I hear ya. I also identify as Two Spirit. I still feel like my masc side is within, it's just taken a back seat and let Toni come out and do her thing. It's kinda like Tony still there playing double agent. 

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ChickenLittle
On 3/28/2019 at 3:37 PM, ToniTone said:

To ChickenLittle-It is so interesting! That's why I made this thread. I crave these stories. Is that bad? 

 

I can't imagine wanting to change my name when I was young or ever (well, unless you consider changing from Tony to Toni a drastic enough change). I always wondered what that was like. 

 

To Kirsten-I'm glad to here. Sometimes just being ok is just great, if that riddle makes any sense. It's good when you can come to terms with the past. The memory remains but the pain is passed. 

 

I'm pretty fortunate, most of my family is estranged are jerks and I'm over them. The only family I have is my ma, and I know she'll never abandon me, I just hope she isn't too disappointed. All my friends are awesome! They're all artist, punk rock, liberal or anarchist, queer and queer supportive. I came out to them and they all been very supportive, nothing about our friendship has changed. 

 

To killjoyaiden-Yeah I hear ya. I also identify as Two Spirit. I still feel like my masc side is within, it's just taken a back seat and let Toni come out and do her thing. It's kinda like Tony still there playing double agent. 

 

No way, I think sharing stories and talking about the diversity of our experiences is a great thing! Also, it sounds like we run in similar circles-- back when I lived in Kansas, I spent a lot of time with the punk/artist/anarchist communities there. :D 

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