We are lucky we get to name ourselves, most people don’t get that chance. For me my main factor in choosing my name was to keep my same initials (I wouldn’t have to throw out my monogrammed pocketbook and other things.)
When I used to do the Q&A type of outreach the number one question was “What was your “real” name?” which I used to dance around telling the students politely that is not a good question to ask a trans person.
“Deadname,” which can be used as a noun or a verb, is among the words that defined 2023, according to Merriam-Webster.NBC NewsBy Jo YurcabaNovember 27, 2023A “deadname” is the name a transgender person was given at birth but no longer uses. The word, which can be used as a noun or a verb, is among Merriam-Webster's words that defined 2023, following a notable increase in searches for the term.The oldest dictionary publisher in the U.S. announced “authentic” as its 2023 Word of the Year on Monday. Other words that stood out in the publisher’s data, along with deadname, include “rizz,” meaning romantic charm or appeal, and “deepfake,” which is an "image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.”Searches for deadname increased in March, according to the publisher, as a number of states were considering “parental rights” legislation, which restricts the instruction of LGBTQ topics in schools and, in some cases, requires school staff to notify parents if a student asks to use a different name or pronoun than what they were assigned at birth. Merriam-Webster noted that “deadname” doesn’t appear in the legislation but was often used in media coverage of the issue.
Last month I was a guest lecturer at a college last month and of course someone asked about my “old” name and I hemmed and hawed and did a fancy two step around it. The professor noticed it and commented on the question, that it wasn’t polite to ask a trans person about their deadname.
Research has found that using trans people’s requested names and pronouns is associated with improved mental health outcomes. For example, transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all of the people they lived with attempted suicide at about half the rate (13%) when compared to those who did not have their pronouns respected by anyone with whom they lived (24%), according to a 2021 survey conducted by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization.A 2018 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health similarly found that using transgender youths’ chosen names in more contexts was associated with lower depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior, and that the odds of each were lowest when chosen names were used in more contexts.
What I usually say is that our deadname causes stress and anxiety in us and that our deadname is used to discriminate and harass us. So we do not like to give out our old name.
The Republicans know that it causes increase mental health problems, they heard medical people testify that it would increase suicide and other medical problems in trans youth but the Republicans don’t care about the hard it will do… they just care about votes!
Deadnaming and misgendering, which means intentionally using the pronouns associated with a person’s sex assigned at birth as opposed to their gender identity, are often used to harass trans people online. As a result, many social media platforms have banned both deadnaming and misgendering.
All we have to do is look to Florida and other Republican states that has made it a crime to use out true name and proper pronouns. Teen Vogue writes,
August is one of many trans Florida youth who have been forced to either come out to their parents or go by the wrong name and pronouns at school. The Florida Board of Education adopted a rule in July that mandates parents must explicitly consent for their children to be called anything other than the name on their school record. This policy applies to nicknames too, even if a student has always gone by one.According to the law, for example, all Nicks will revert to Nicholas, Katies will be Katherine — unless a parent signs a form consenting to the use of a different name. While the policy covers any type of deviation from an official name, LGBTQ+ students, supportive parents, and local advocates say it is pointed to trans students — and hurts them the most. Says August, “It disproportionately affects trans youth and it is meant to target trans youth."
Do you think that the schools will get approvals from all the parents to use nicknames, I bet they will only require it for trans students.
Suggestion: for students in those states, keep track of every time the teachers uses a nicknames so you can sue the pants off of the school. This way you can show that the policy is enforced unevenly.
NBC goes on to say,
In addition to Florida, nine other states have passed laws in 2023 that restrict the instruction of LGBTQ topics in schools, restrict school staff and students from using pronouns that don’t align with their assigned sex, or do both, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the American Civil Liberties Union.
It is like a virus that spreads its slime.
In recent years, Merriam-Webster has increasingly highlighted words associated with LGBTQ people as these terms have become more common. The publisher’s 2019 Word of the Year was “they,” which has gained popularity as a singular pronoun used by nonbinary people, who are neither exclusively male nor female.