I just posted about names you should avoid if your thinking about changing your name. It was a fun post. But, it made me think about posting the background to how I picked Rebecca.
Some trans people go with the same first letter of their male name. For instance, if your male name is Joseph. You might choose Jennifer. I know of a couple people who changed their first and last. But, moved their first name to their last. Although I don’t know for sure, I suspect that’s what Trans activist Andrea James did. When I first started exploring trans blogs and message boards in the early 2000’s, there was a bizarre phenomenon of people choosing Kate. There was a popular trans blog, since gone away, called Authentikate. I guess some of them looked up to her. But, naming yourself after her? That just seemed weird. I know one transwoman who could have kept her androgynous name. But, chose instead to go the same first letter route.
Me? Where did Rebecca come from? Am I fan of Rebecca Black? Umm, no. I suspect that eventually people from my childhood might read this. Heck. Even a woman I grew up with named Rebecca might read this. Which, when you think of it, is kind of creepy. Anyway. When I was a kid, I thought I had this crush on a girl my age who was also on the swim team. For many years, I thought I had a crush on her. She was very pretty. She was outgoing and nice. In high school and junior high, she was a cheer leader.
When I grew up and started to reexamine those feelings, I realized it wasn’t a crush at all. I looked up to her. I wanted to be like her. I was envious because she was born the way I felt that I should have been born. Typing those last sentences feels weird. Because I really don’t think about her that often nowadays. I haven’t thought about her much since we were kids. But, that’s the honest truth. That’s where the name came from.
What makes it easier to stay with Rebecca is that I don’t know anybody with that name currently. Rebecca is a tad formal. No. I have never preferred Becky. Friends just go with Becca. Which works for now. One trans friend who has known me for quite some time and who I’ve been hanging out with a little bit this summer says it’s hard for her to call me Becca out around town. I don’t look like a Becca. And she doesn’t want to out me by doing so. I told her she could call me Becks if she wants too.
Naming your child is a very hard thing for many parents. My sister was almost named Jennifer. To me, she doesn’t look like a Jennifer. But, that’s because I grew up with her as *******. Although, I haven’t asked my father, my mom and I have speculated where my male name came from. My parents are baby boomers. My dad was in college at Stanford during the civil rights era. And he is a Democrat. He might have named me after one of the Kennedy’s. Which is bizarre since, as many of you know, I’m not exactly a Democrat.
Choosing a middle name. Until I started down this road, I didn’t even think about middle names. A close trans friend asked her mother to pick her middle name. That seems like the right thing to do. I don’t have any preferences. I don’t give it much thought. If my mom declines to do it, I’ll probably ask a bunch of friends to write down names and put them in a hat to be drawn. Well, now that I think about it, I don’t know if I’m that brave. I’ve met my friends.