This has been a difficult week for trans people. Between the passage of US President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban and Japan’s Supreme Court ruling that trans people must be sterilized before undergoing gender confirmation surgery, it seems like the dignity of those who identify as trans is under attack.
Still, despite this, trans people on Twitter are celebrating themselves with the hashtag #TransNameStory.
Where It Started
The hashtag seems to have been started by Faith Naff, a queer author. On 23 January, she asked trans Twitter how they picked their names.
Hey, trans people, what is your #TransNameStory? How did you pick your name? I named myself after the main character of one of my books because I wanted to be just like her.
— Faith Naff (@FaithNaff) January 24, 2019
On this hashtag, numerous trans people have shared how they got their names. While some names beared family significance, others came from entertainment media like books, movies, TV shows, and video games.
Check out some of the most touching (and unique) name stories below.
So my middle dead name was my dad’s name, to start off.. I lost my dad 7 years ago to cancer then about 4 months later lost my grandmother (His mom). It was important to me to still have a part of him in my name. So I took his mom’s name. #TransNameStory
— ❄️ Gwendolyn Anne Moore ❄️️ (@moyshes8) January 24, 2019
I chose my name (which is James) because it is a nickname I got from my mother. I didn’t come out to her at the time because I was too scared but every time she said “James”, it made me feel like I was accepted and safe. #TransNameStory
— Dusk Ghoul (@dusk_ghoul) January 25, 2019
Mine was a bit circumstantial, partially because I could use it prior to coming out publically but also because I love my parents and wanted something with some similarity to my old name to include them in my journey early on. It means alot to me. #TransNameStory https://t.co/57CaOfBcJl
— Jamie Jessica Martin (@JamieJessMartin) January 25, 2019
If I was born amab my parents were going to name me Johnathan Alexander Smith. I liked it but thought it was too long so I took the initials and slapped an ‘E’ to the end to make Jase #TransNameStory https://t.co/k2gzsHN53l
— Jase. (@bloopy_moons) January 25, 2019
Religion, Mythology & Heritage
#TransNameStory I chose Hypnos after the Greek god of sleep. It means “to sleep” which is a damn mood because I’m always tired. I read about him my freshman year of highschool and got attached to the name years later. Plus it was easy to change a capital A to an H in my signature
— Baklava (@The_Baklava) January 26, 2019
— Yonah Bex Gerber ✡️ (@remembrancermx) January 25, 2019
I wanted to keep a Scottish/Irish name and I wanted to keep my initial because I just liked it. I saw Caelyn and it was just so perfect. (Though my Mum is slightly miffed that I’m switching from a Scottish name to an Irish name). #TransNameStory https://t.co/nnr6wbtcM3
— FrontRowGirl (@OCaelyn) January 24, 2019
I’m moreso nonbinary, but I chose Orion because it’s the name of my main OC(who is trans ftm), it’s a more masculine name, and because it’s the name of a constellation, which is a part of me because I’ve always loved Astronomy.
— ♡ orion the king of starbucks ♡ (@doremirocker) January 26, 2019
— Carlito Espudo (@alittlemanly) January 26, 2019
When I came out I already knew my name was Anna. I *think* it originally came from a character in the “This Life” TV series in the 90s!
“Jayne” was a thank you to a friend who helped me during transition.
Hyphenating them together just seemed right. #TransNameStory
— Anna-Jayne Metcalfe ♀️⚡️ (@annajayne) January 24, 2019
Three reasons why I chose the name Louis.
1) I’ve always liked the name. And it flows with my selected last name of Lazuli. Louis Lazuli
2) idolizing @Louis_Tomlinson made me even more sure of having this name.
3) Louis has 5 letters, just like Lapis.
— ♡ Louis + Lapis ♡ (@DistxntShore) January 25, 2019
So here’s my #TransNameStory: Originally, I picked Ramona, essentially on a whim, to be my new MIDDLE NAME. The first name I picked didn’t work out, so now I go by Ramona.. because: pic.twitter.com/DRho9eFXOs
— Ant Ramona w/6 Legs (@DKSB17) January 25, 2019
Pink Floyd’s the Wall was in heavy rotation in my high school years, when I was feeling possibly at my most repressed. Anybody who knows the album knows the song I pulled from.
— Vera Wylde (@verawylde) January 25, 2019
Named after one of the main characters in a book that helped me realize I was trans. The book didn’t actually have anything to do with the subject otherwise, just that I saw myself more and more in that book and came to the realization because of it. #TransNameStory https://t.co/gAmcBK25QF
— Melissa Lindhout (@MelissanityOW) January 25, 2019
The Unique, Unusual & What Felt Right
This is what I called the feminine part of my mind when I was in my teens. (“Those are Tara thoughts”) It’s an Irish name, so it’s true to my family roots. It felt natural to use it when I came out publicly. #TransNameStory https://t.co/wgh9zX003q
— Tara Seplavy (@t_seplavy) January 26, 2019
I wanted my name to end in a vowel, most end in consonants & its softer sounding. I wanted an x in there, I find x’s fun to say in a name. I was recommended my surname, as it meant “flower garden” Makes me think happy vibes, which are the vibes I want to give off #TransNameStory https://t.co/snDg1tlE9I
— ♡ ⚧ ️ (@iamonthissite) January 25, 2019
I made my name! Evalice is made up of the names: “Evangeline” and “Alice”, because Evangeline means divine and Alice means truth. So, “Evalice” means “divine truth; the truth within myself”#TransNameStory https://t.co/BJ1CEasmAy
— a tiny green gremlin with sharp teeth (@oneofwaking) January 25, 2019
IRC. I didn’t know how to spell Terabyte (this was like 1994) so I spelled it TerraByte and then realized it was wrong and shortened it to Terra (which is what everyone called me anyway). Later I changed it because Terra sounded “too feminine” #TransNameStory https://t.co/x8IIhxYbNc
— Terra Field (@RainofTerra) January 25, 2019
A lot of people ask me why I “chose” Jennifer when I could have chosen any name.
“But, that’s so common. Why would you want something so many other people are too?”
Well, the truth is, I didn’t choose it. It should have been given to me at birth. #TransNameStory
— Jenn ⚪️ (@Renoe) January 24, 2019