Choosing Your Name

Whether you have come to terms with your gender identity or are still questioning, you may have wondered what name you are going to go by now. In some cases, transgender folks early in their transition journey had no trouble finding a new name for themselves – or, rather, their name might have found them! Others find it difficult to decide on a name and who can blame them? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when browsing over lists of baby names, not knowing what you are looking for.

If you have a difficult time deciding on a name, want to switch to something else or you simply don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

Make a list of what you are looking for in a name. There are countless name possibilities available For many people, it can be hard to narrow down the list to one that really stands out to you when others are viable choices as well.So before you start your Google search, I would highly recommend writing down on a piece of paper the criteria that your name should fit.

Some examples of criteria can be like: Do you want the name to be short? Do you want to keep your initials? Does your name have to be part of your culture/country? Does it have to be a masculine name or can it be gender neutral?

Here’s an example of criteria that helped me choose my own name:

1. It must have a Spanish equivalent. (ex. William = Guillermo or Joseph = José)
2. Not many people should have that name.
3. Can’t be gender neutral.
4. Has to have a nickname.

Search through various name databases. Now that you have your criteria written, it’s time to start your search and write down names you like. Use the criteria from the first step as a filter, which should help narrow down the list of names. I highly recommend the following websites: Behind The Name, Nameberry, Baby Name Wizard and even Social Security Administration.

Test the names out. Now that you have a list of possible onrs, it’s time to try them out before you go off and get your name legally changed. It’s one thing for a name to sound cool to you but a whole different story to hear other people refer you by that name. Pick one, inform everyone (who you are comfortable with, that is) of your new name and see if it feels right to you for at least 2 weeks. If the one you are using doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to switch to another name on your list. It’s better to experiment now rather than stick with one you aren’t 100% set on and end up paying for two legal name changes. (Yes, that happened to me.)

If you exhaust your list of names and haven’t found what you are looking for, rinse and repeat this process. The perfect name will come in time.

Feel free to share on how you found your name!