Sunday, June 22, 2014

Transgender Blog Challenge Day 2: Choosing My Name

Second day of the transgender blog challenge, and today's question is:
How did you choose your name, and what names were you thinking about using and why?

I'll start this one from the end:  I chose my full name in all of five seconds while I was panicking about the prospect of graduating from college and having to walk as my former name.

The very first name I actually tried was "Galvin" because I was trying to find a hip cool interesting name.  It lasted probably until my Yahoo! account using that name was locked because they thought I was a spammer (and I kind of was).  That's... an odd aside.  Every other name I've used has been based on my former name, which was "Jacqueline Ann."

It was important to me to pick a derivative of this name because I was named after a deceased aunt who died in an institution for intellectually disabled people after the state and medical establishment pressured my grandmother for years to just dump her there and forget she ever had that particular daughter.

So that made my middle name "Andrew," and it's consistently been "Andrew."  But for some reason I didn't want my legal name to just be "Jack," despite practically everybody who met me pre-legal-name-change calling me that.  I didn't like "John."  For many years I was "Jacques."  Then for a while I was "Jacob," which is a literal translation of "Jacques."  Then I thought "That's weird, 'Jack' isn't a nickname of 'Jacob'" (I have since learned that Jack Kevorkian's real first name was Jacob).

That went on for maybe six years.  Then graduation happened, I panicked, and I printed out the forms.  Suddenly I thought to myself "My parents used to call me 'Jackson' as a nickname, so if I use that maybe they'll actually start calling me my real name."  Slapped it down.  Didn't register that I'd accidentally named myself after the president responsible for the Trail of Tears until somebody pointed it out to me at a casino.  Anyway, my court date was set, I told my college it'd already been legally changed (it wouldn't actually be until a month after graduation), and that was that.