From Formspring (easy one first)

who is the aiden that you are not?
-anonymous

Lol, it’s just a bit of a joke. Damned near every trans guy in the US decides on some variation of Aiden/[Letter] + Aiden (Brayden, Jaiden…) when they go to change their name. It’s to the point where if I meet a guy over the age of about 5 with an ‘Aiden’ name I assume he’s trans (especially if he’s not Irish or it’s spelled ‘Ayedian’ or something).

NOT Aiden refers to both the fact that my name is most definitely something other than Aiden and my not fitting in well with most trans guys. Downside is that names go through cycles and ‘Aiden’ names seem to be on a downswing so in a couple of years the joke won’t make as much sense. Oh well.

6 Replies to “From Formspring (easy one first)”

  1. Around here, and when I was first coming out, the name was “Eegan” + a letter; Keegan, Teegan, Keenan etc. That and names that started with the letter “J”. I picked a J name before I understood the trend….and kept it because my old name translated well into it.

    I think it’s a function of having the change to reinvent yourselves – just like parents, who get to create an identity for their new child, it’s a chance to shape who you are. Seems only natural that the most popular baby names at any given time will also be the most popular transitional male names. I just giggle every time I meet an “eegan” and now I will when I meet my next “Aiden.”

    • Heh, I was on the tail end of the ‘egan’ phase. Know quite a few Kegans and Fegans, several Regans (who I mock because they’re all rabid liberals), and a small handful of Tegans (that one wasn’t as popular thanks to the sister-duo). Things had switched over to Aiden by the time I started paying attention though.

      I get why it happens, I just think it’s kind of ridiculous. I’m not a huge fan of parents going all kre8iv with their kids’ names either, at a certain point it becomes ridiculous. I also grew up with a horrible hippy name though so I’m biased. Spend enough years explaining to people that yes, that is your real name and no, they’re not spelling it right and you start craving a name like Dave or Bob.

  2. Totally. I picked a really plain, boring name this time around. Too boring, actually. There are days when I really miss my old name because it was interesting (heard of and literary but underused). I am thinking that I may change my name again when I change all my ID and stuff just because that way, I have an excuse to and my old friends can pick between either one.

    I know the name but I’m afraid to say it – I check those baby name popularity stats compulsively to make sure that JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer hasn’t written some book featuring a [name] in it!

    I never want to judge people for the names they’ve picked – I mean, it’s their choice, their name etc. But I think it’s ludicrous too; just as much for babies as it is for trans people.

    I remind myself, though, that years ago I worked on a research project where we were talking to hundreds of young parents with children under the age of five. We never reported on it since it wasn’t part of our scope but it was impossible not to notice that there was a statistical correlation between people in lower socio-economic groups and single parents who had kre8iv (I love that) baby names.

    I just remember thinking that the person who named their baby Andromeda had no one to smack them upside the head and tell them to rethink it…..I think it’s the same for trans people. We’re frequently disconnected from family support and don’t have that voice of supportive reason.

    Also, there’s been some discourse on how unusual names effect a child’s sense of self – children with unpopular names are more likely to be delinquent HOWEVER, that’s a function of social ostracization and an earlier awareness of themselves as an individual. Trans people are used to feeling different and out of place and many of us have really placed a lot of value on that awareness – so maybe that translates into us picking really ridiculous names for ourselves 🙂

    By the way, I love this blog. I just crawled out from under a rock and here it is! The sophisticated and funny discourse on trans stuff that I’ve been craving my whole adult life. Go you!

  3. I picked the name “Chris” partly because at the time I didn’t know anyone with the same name. How times have changed.

  4. I have a brother five years younger than me, named Daniel, and at some point in my childhood I was talking with my mother and she mentioned some other names that had been on the shortlist when they were choosing one for him — I don’t remember any of them but Gabriel, because it impressed on me immediately as, Yes, *that’s* what I might have been, had I been born a boy.

    Ten years later when I figured out I was trans, I never went through the phase of trying on different names to see which one fit — I was Gabriel from the start and there was never a question of being anything else.

    I do get mildly self-conscious about the name sometimes, because I’m aware that trannies have an embarrassing tendency to go for the ~cool~ names and “Gabriel” flirts with being too cool for it’s own good. But, well, I didn’t choose it entirely on my own — as I tell people, My name is Gabriel, my brother is Daniel, and my parents are atheists. Trufax.

  5. My chosen name is a bit in the “Special Snowflake” range, but everyone has kinda agreed that it suits me. I know of one or two other trans guys called Beck, but in both cases it was derived from Rebecca. My birth name is nowhere close to that. I picked Beck because when I told my parents that I wanted to go by a different name, they’d suggested Beth from my middle name. I hated that name, and decided I could just butch it up a little. I get self-consious about it sometimes because others find it a childish sort of name, but I feel much more like a Beck than a Claire.

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