“Why did you change your last name?”
This is something I get asked a lot per changing my legal name upon transitioning and even before then when I was discovering what name would fit me best. I went through a plethora of first name changes as well as back and forths on the last. Subsequently, I dropped both my birth first and last names. Both, of course, with reason.
I changed my last name at first for the purpose of ‘does it matter? I’m still their child no matter what name. I don’t really care for my last name, so I want something different.’ Other excuses, well, I didn’t really have any. I didn’t have an answer as to why I changed my last name as well. I just wanted to. I felt like I didn’t have to have a reason. No profound or meaningful reason. I just wanted to.
Nowadays, I state otherwise. I changed my last name simply for this reason. I still wanted to. And furthermore, I didn’t feel like a part of the “family” anymore. They treated me different. They saw me no longer as a part of them. I wasn’t their child. I was a stranger. So why would we want to have the same last name and associate anything with each other? Why would I want to hang my birth last name over my head like that? I am me, a new me in some ways, but a totally reformed me. I am my own person, my own journey, my own self. Changing my entire name just seemed . . . right. And I still stand by that.
This holiday season, as I stated in the blog before this one, I was sent Xmas gifts from my mother. I didn’t know how anything was going to be addressed, since they refuse to acknowledge my name, let alone write or speak it. If anything else, she’d address it to my boyfriend or something like that. Needless to say, it kind of happened that way.
Upon receiving the package before Xmas Eve day, it read my boyfriend’s mother’s name and below it, much smaller, was my now legal name but my ex-legal last name. Of course, points for the first name correctness, I was happy with that. But everything else kind of messed with me a little. Maybe more than I should have let on, but that’s just how it transpired.
It took me until Xmas day to open those gifts. I felt so destroyed, so confused, so . . . wrong. She addressed it to my boyfriend’s mother, flat out. Maybe it was for the post office to not get anything wrong or mixed up, maybe not. I don’t know, but for whatever reason I can’t really pinpoint from A to Z, it messed with me. And now I don’t expect to hear from anyone for another six months until around my birthday. Which is totally fucking pointless, just like Xmas was. Why try to belong to something and keep popping in and out like that if it’s just going to cause me grief and chaos? Why do you keep coming back again and again and again only to never give me the benefit of the doubt I so very much crave? If you’re not going to acknowledge me or see me as who I am in the now, then what exactly are you trying to get at?
It always baffles me when I see LGBT kids have supportive parents who go above and beyond for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy for those who have that support and more. But my brain can’t register that’s a thing that actually happens. Because I, and so many others, don’t have that. We don’t have parents/relatives who call us the correct name and pronouns. Who help us get our shots and surgeries. Who buy us new clothing. Who understand what we do or who we are. It’s a very wide and unfortunate majority who are shut out like that. It’s painful, and it kills me to have friends and my boyfriend go through that same bullfuck I went through and still have to on and off.
There’s nothing wrong with how you go about your transition. Whether you decide to keep a certain part of your name or not. My personal experience is not the same as anyone else’s. We all have our reasons for different aspects of our journey. Some of us, not so much. Not everyone has a profound, deep, novel length meaning to everything said or done. And that’s perfectly okay. For myself, it took me a while to come around to why exactly I changed everything about my name.
Simply put: I wanted to. And I didn’t want to be a part of them. Though, in reality I do, I don’t want to associate WHO I AM with WHAT THEY ARE and what they believe and think of me.
I don’t know what they want from me. Do they want a connection or not? Are they just coming in and out randomly, hoping that I’ll ‘change back’? Maybe. I can’t tell their intentions anymore, and nobody tells me. Nobody talks to me like a normal person. It’s like they’re trying, but they try too fuckin hard. And it puts me off even more, sadly. I can’t ask, because it would start something I rather not get into. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to bring it up. I don’t want to argue and I don’t want to fall flat on my face with tears before them. I don’t want them to have that smug benefit of the doubt.
Every line feels blurred, more often than not. I think I’m in the clear, everything is okay and we all talk. Everything is great, or at least moderate. Then things will hit me, one by one. There’s so much I want from them and so much I want for them to do. It would be nothing short of a miracle if they would just go speak with one of the Q counselors I have/see. Maybe it would be helpful, maybe it would just make things worse. I really don’t know. And it’s the thought of not knowing I think that kills me more than anything. What I could have. What they could learn. What they could see and hear. There’s nothing I want more. I can’t even seem to bring myself to ask them to do that. I’m too afraid. No child adult or minor should be fucking afraid of their parents or relatives. I doubt they’d go. Can you imagine if fucking someone at church found out they went to a “gay place”? Honestly, that stings.
I wish I knew what to do. What was the clear path, the right thing. What I could just . . . do. I need to know, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. There’s nothing I can say, nothing I can do, nobody I can go to that will give me a Point A direction. Uncertainty is one of my greatest enemies. One that I don’t really care to come across.
So why did I change my name was the point of this whole blog. Only to come around with what do you want from me? Two questions that I still think about every single day. I hope for the day that I don’t have to hear them ever again. Or think about them anymore.
I think that when that day comes, I’ll finally be able to breathe. At least, for a little while.