Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Deadnaming!*

I never heard of that before until a couple of months ago but it is fitting.

A few years ago on a forum there was a thread about going to schools doing outreach and I said there we some questions that I wouldn’t answer such as telling my old name. I got tons of flak over that with comments saying I should answer all of their questions because they are there to learn.

My response was learning to ask trans people what their old name was is not educating them it is responding to their curiosity, it is better to teach them that it is impolite to ask trans people about their old name.

When I heard the word “Deadnaming” for the first time I thought “Wow, that is a good name for that” because it is from our past, I don’t hate my old name it is just that is ten years in the past and it seems foreign to me now.

I still get mail with my old name and I cringe a little when I see it. I still get some checks form stock dividends with my old name on them, I don’t change my name on them because they will only reissue a stock certificate to replace a lost certificate with my old name not my legal name.

I change all my legal documents over to my legal name and gender including my birth certificate but the question remains; can you ever really change all your records? Credit reports list my old name as AKA. I also wonder if my death certificate will list me a “female” or will they just go by what is between my legs?

When we were passing the birth certificate we asked the question to our lawyers do we need legislation to make sure the death certificate doesn’t list our old gender? They when back and researched the question and at the next meeting they said in their lawyer talk that they thought we didn’t need to add anything to the bill because it should follow what is on their birth certificate and when questioned by us they said that In their opinion it should reflect the gender on our birth certificate.

So time will tell if we are “deadgendered” in our death.


*From Wiki Gender
Deadnaming is the act of referring to a transgender person's birth name instead of their chosen name.

Deadnaming normally occurs for one of three reasons:
1: Someone accidentally deadnames because they're used to using that name.
For example: John Doe called his transgender sister, "Steve" by accident because he had referred to her as that for most of his life. He apologized and corrected himself.
2: Someone purposefully deadnames to cause distress.
For example: At school, while Jen was walking down the hall, Anthony walked by her and coughed "Steve." Jen got upset and tried to correct Anthony, but he just walked away snickering.
3: Someone purposefully deadnames because of their beliefs.
For example: Great Aunt Mary called Jen "Steve" because she believed that Jen is still a boy.
Many consider deadnaming to be a form of transphobia.
Some ways people avoid deadnaming:
  • use stand-ins like [boyname]
  • use the single initial of the former first name
  • refer to that identity as pre-[current name]

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