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NotSamuel

How do I know a name is right for me?

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NotSamuel

I’ve known I was trans for nearly three years now, yet I am still to fully decide upon a new name for myself. For context I’m 17, MtF, mostly out to my friends and family and my birth name is Samuel. I’ve switched between a ton of different names including Samantha, Chloe, Hazel, Holly, Erin, and more. Each time I recognise them as being ‘good names’, but it never feels as though they ‘click’ if that makes sense. I’ve never tried a name which I thought would 100% suit me. 
 

im wondering if any other trans people out there, FtM and MtF, might’ve encountered a similar problem. I feel like having a proper name would help solidify my identity, like having something to call my own. But it feels like I’ve read every name in the dictionary and I’m more lost than ever. What are you’re experiences with this kind of thing?

any replies would be really great, thank you.

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Jackie C.

No, you're right. While some people just pick something out of a book you really want something that feels like "you." A couple of strategies might be:

 

  • Looking at baby name books
  • Checking for common names in your birth year (they're recorded, you might as well use them)
  • Names of fictional characters you like
  • Feminized version of your given name (personally, I don't like this one but it would be Roberta in my case. Nobody wants to be Roberta. People should be ashamed for even suggesting it.

 

Unfortunately, you don't really know that a name fits until it clicks. The only way to find the One True Name is to sniff around and see what feels right.

 

Hugs!

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MiraM

It's not at all uncommon to struggle with finding a name that 'clicks'.  Over the years, I have tried many different names, and none of them seemed to feel right.  The name that finally felt right found me.  I used to be very active in MMORPGs and was having trouble coming up with a name for a new Avatar.  I went to the name generator and the name Ilmira came up so I used that.  I began using that in all the games I played, and eventually people just began calling me Mira.  When I began moving forward with my transition, and was thinking about names, The only one that seemed to be me was Ilmira, as I had been going by that for many years online.  As far as a middle name goes, I have always been a huge LOTR fan, and my favorite character from the movie trilogy was the she-elf Tauriele.  That character embodied the qualities I wished I could find in myself, so I chose that.  So, my chosen name became Ilmira Tauriele (insert last name).  Sometimes it seems that it is not us that finds our name, but the name that finds us.

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SamanthaC

I used to play and still frequent online games and second life etc. I picked a name for my (female) avatar that was not gender specific - Sam or Sammy. I've been using that name forever. I'm now going by Samantha, which I like, but doesn't feel right. If I could do it all over again, and I guess I can (an advantage of being Trans :) ) I'm not sure what I would pick. I actually like Mira - maybe I need to rethink my chosen name before I get too entrenched in Samantha (my Endocrinologist and Therapist are the only two who use Samantha now, so I don't think it's too late). Thanks for sharing Mira!

 

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Timber Wolf

I was lucky. It took me less than an hour to find my name. I just started going through the alphabet trying every name I could think of for each letter. When I got to Carla, it "clicked".  Other names sounded nice and all, but Carla was me. No, my birth name is not Carl. I decided right away I didn't want a feminized version of my birth name. I wanted to get a way from that man.

 

Lots of love, 

Timber Wolf 🐾

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KymmieL

MY name just kind of came to by accident really. It was the name of a employee of a suppler where I once worked. I just liked it. Kymmbrill is just a more formal name I came up with. Kimberly is just to common. While it is closely to my birth name Timothy. I didn't pick it for that reason. My chosen middle name just flows, Lorain. I like when a name flows. We made a point that All three of my boys names do.

 

Kymmbrill Lorain

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Clara

Oh I have a goood story about how I selected mine! 

So before I decided on Clara, I called myself "Myrra" as a placeholder. Myrra was originally the name of my first dungeons and dragons character (female Tabaxi ranger for those curious). Myrra eventually became my fursona when I joined the furry fandom, the fandom actually helped me realize my identity so I adopted Myrra as my temporary name. Eventually though I wanted to find a real name not something I just made up (although you're totally valid if you made your own name and stuck with it), so while I was looking for names I was watching a twitch stream, (shout out to Moczy on twitch btw,)when Moczy brought up an incident on twitch involving a CS:GO streamer, MissQGemini, who was caught cheating on stream, and I'll let the video speak for itself (Warning, video includes: swearing, and video game violence)

watch?v=eEstuj7NLww

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Josie Beth

I’m still not sure about my new name. But I have noticed that people often feminize my name for me sometimes. Like my current supervisor just abbreviated it to Jo, which I don’t mind. I guess even she can kinda see that I’m more GF than strictly binary at this point. 

 

While i was looking into a new name I didn’t really focus on the name as much as I did the meaning. I was looking for something that said I am forging my destiny, something that had positive connotations instead of the name being a portent of bad luck. (Sometimes I really wonder why parents pick certain names even though they know what they mean. And to add insult to injury my father even said once that I wasn’t ever going to find anyone because it wasn’t meant for me?!?! How can someone just be so flippant and basically just condemn their child to being unhappy?) 

 

Anyway, my given name basically means that I won’t really progress much in life, that I’ll have limited success but always fall short, (because of course, in the eyes of my father, that’s God’s will for me) and I want to change that. I don’t want to be stuck in a perpetual state of struggle. I’m also willing to shed my last name entirely because it means a clean break from my past. Since I really want to detach myself from all the bad memories associated with it all.

 

So while I currently go by the name I have here on the forum, that’s subject to change. The beauty of it is that I get to choose it. I get to make it significant. I get to choose something empowering instead of something that is a self fulfilling negative prophecy.

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ShawnaLeigh

I did.  I did not understand that the name has to just "feel" like you.  I tried to keep my birth name as it is multi gendered anyways.  Figured it would just be easier.  I then started to understand it was about putting one life away and living a new one.  Still just being who you are.

Now knowing my birth name is Shawn, then going to Shawna Leigh seems a tad weak.  But it felt right.

I knew it was me because I said it to myself like 100000 times in my head smiling the whole time the weekend I figured it out.  Like I found a piece of the women I have been trying to get out there for so long.  A baby step but huge for me.

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NotSamuel

Thank you for all the kind replies! It’s so great to hear stories from people all over the community who’ve been through similar stuff. Every name has a story behind it and they’re all beautiful in their own ways!

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Jani

Unfortunately you parents are not accepting otherwise you could ask what names they might have used had you been born the other gender.   Although this may be a way to reel them in to the conversation. 

 

Otherwise google "Names of Girls born in 19XX" and you'll get a good number of ideas.

 

Jani

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KymmieL

I was born in the time before ultrasound machines so my parents never knew whether i was a girl or a boy. My name would have been Patricia if I was a girl. However that name never came to my mind as one to choose when I discovered I was actually a girl inside.

 

Kymmie

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NotSamuel
Quote

I realise that most people who replied here probably won’t see this but I’m happy to say my new name is Evelyn! 

 

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Jackie C.

I'd expect everybody that posted here to read that. The system notifies us when a thread we've posted on gets updates.

 

Also, congratulations!

 

Hugs!

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SaraAW

Such a lovely name Evelyn. Glad you found another part of yourself. 
 

In addition to what Jackie has said, you’ll be surprised how many people read all or most of the topics on the forums. I read most, whether I have something to contribute and post or not. There are lots of times I have nothing else to add, as the many folks on here are amazing at sharing and offering advice or words of comfort. 

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Lilly James

My chosen name really found me. In university I lived in a shared house with 3 girls and I'd frequently dress up in their clothes. Of course they thought it was fir a laugh. However one of them always called me Libby whenever I did this. I didn't completely like the sound of it so it was just a matter of changing Libby to Lilly.

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Ronin82

I picked my future name by paying attention to my family history. My last name was changed when my great-grandparents immigrated to the US in the late 1890's. My first name will be my family name from before their immigration, while keeping my current last name. My middle name will be the shortened and neutral version of my current first name (which also happens to be the name of an anime character I identify strongly with). While I'm transitioning I'm using my long-time nickname, Ronin, as a filler for many reasons. The good news is it's gender-neutral and my parents have heard me being referred to as Ronin so often they don't mind (I'm not out to them, they don't accept LGBTQ people). I have really good memories associated with the name Ronin, although I do get eyebrows sometimes from high-ranking Aikido instructors. While I'm not entirely convinced I'll STICK with Reuben Lee, I'm really liking it and the connection to a long-lost family history. We'll see how things turn out.

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Jackie C.

Oh, I like the way that sounds. Never underestimate mouth feel. That's nice though, rolls right off the tongue and sounds very cool. Very masculine too. Good choice. 

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TrIIIy

I have gone through two name changes in the past two years. At first, I called myself Luc, because I am a Star Wars and Star Trek TNG fan. When I was little, I always wanted to be named Luke. I am a Gryffindor at heart, so I decided to just change my Facebook name to Luc and come out to the world in general. Nobody said anything mean about it, which was nice. The problem was that, after a while, “Luc” didn’t seemto be the right fit. 
 

Even though I was very scared of people’s reaction to me changing my name again, I went back to the drawing board, and I thought of the time when my mom told me that if I had been born a boy, I would have been named after my father and grandfather and called Trey. I have a complicated history with my father, but I liked the idea of being the “third” in a family line (Trey means “the third”). Ultimately, I do love my father, and I like the name Trey. So I decided that I would change it to that. 
Back to Facebook with my new name, and nobody had anything bad to say this time around either, which was a huge relief. I was concerned that people wouldn’t take my transition seriously if I kept changing my name, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Either way, I like Trey.

When I get my name legally changed it will be my dad and grandfather’s name. 
 

The moral of the story is that you can always change your name if it doesn’t seem right. 

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A. Dillon

For me, as soon as I heard the name "Dylan," I knew that I wanted it. This is not the case for everyone clearly, but it just fit me so well. However, there was still something off about it. I liked it, but it didn't have any exact meaning to me. That is, until I found the other spelling, Dillon. It means fierce like a lion, and gives me more confidence. If you aren't really sure what you are looking for, I would suggest going for what you want it to say and work backwards. It really narrows down the field.

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Romilly

Part of my transition was randomly blurting out "My name is Robin!" to a cis girlfriend online. I'm not sure why I picked it, but I know where it came from, because I had a best friend years ago with the name, and I really liked it. So my online friend called me Robin while I was working through some stuff. But it occurred to me that the friend I was taking the name from, that I was trying to honor by using it.... well, I'm fairly certain once I tell her she won't be my friend anymore. At least not in a way that's supportive of me being me, and not some weird evangelical christian idea of me.  And on the off chance that she does want to be supportive, I think using her name is a bridge too far. Also, I don't think it flows well with my last name.

 

So back to the drawing board, this time with the support of my mom and a stack of baby books. I've always liked the name Emily, but I had already decided not to share names with friends, so that went out. But for some reason Milly stuck with me. Except my mom doesn't like it. We argued back and forth for a while. She knows it's not her place to pick my name (she had her chance) but it's important to me that she be involved so I wanted her help. Eventually she remembered that Emma Thompson named her daughter Gaia Romilly, and suggested Romilly as a compromise. I get to use the nickname Milly, which I like, she gets to call me Ro or Rom, which I'm okay with, and I like the look and sound of it. I've been using it for 5 weeks now, and I'm really starting to feel like it's my name.

 

Now if only I can properly sign it. Cures you wasted childhood and not taking penmanship seriously.

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Jackie C.

See, now if I was shortening Romilly, I'd go with Romi (ROM-ey). Not that there's anything wrong with Milly. Or Robin (well, Robyn) for that matter. It works fine for me.

 

Friends can surprise you though. When I came out to the gang of people I hung around with, they basically answered back, "Well, duh." Total non-event. Including the guy I was sure was homophobic. Still, if she can't accept you, well that's her loss.

 

Hugs!

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KathyLauren

Years ago, long before I seriously considered that I might be trans, I wondered what name I would use if I was a woman.  (Hello, can you say "head in the sand" or what?)  I decided that transitioning my signature was important to me, so I wanted something that would look similar to my old signature.  My boy name was Keith, so I decided that Kathy was the obvious choice.

 

When it came time to pick a new name for real, that seemed as good a name as any.  I picked Lauren as my middle name for similar reasons: it was a feminine version of my male middle name.  When I announced my transition and my name choice to my brothers, they had no trouble figuring out where the names came from.

 

My wife suggested several names to me, but her choices were terrible! ;)  I just couldn't see myself using them.  Anyway, my legal name change is done, and I feel like a Kathy.

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