When I was 17, I realised that presenting as female was no longer appropriate for me. I didn’t feel that it was validating of the identity I felt inside. This is not because I was a “boy trapped in a girl’s body” – it is because I am a complex human being. And because gender is fluid and as I’ve grown, how I relate to my body and gender have grown too.
In discovering my gender identity and living a life truer to who I was, I realised that the name I was given at birth was no longer appropriate for me. And though I had grown in many ways to love and adore that name, as I struggled more with my gender dysphoria, my name felt distant and impersonal.
It stopped being my name, and in my mind, merely became a “girl’s name”. When uttered out of the mouths of those I knew would not accept me, it felt like a slur – invalidating and an insult. This became the same with my pronouns. Every time I overheard someone using the words “she” and “her” in my regard, I felt distressed, uncomfortable and isolated. I made very active decisions about my name and my pronouns.