about my name change

Hello friend,
I am writing this to let you know that I am genderfluid. I am now going by the name Murphy and the pronouns “they” and “them”. I would appreciate your support in helping me live as myself–a nonbinary human being.

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Things You Might Wonder:

  • What does genderfluid mean?
Genderfluid is an adjective, meaning “denoting or relating to a person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender”. For me, it means that my gender identity changes over time. Some days I am a girl. Some days I am a boy. Some days I am neither.

  • But how does that work?
I’ve wondered the same thing, honestly. This is just as strange and confusing for me as it is for you. All I know is that there are periods of time where I feel completely comfortable identifying as a girl, being called a girl, and wearing typically girly clothes, and periods of time where I definitely don’t and everything related to being a girl makes me very uncomfortable.

  • What does nonbinary mean?
Nonbinary is an umbrella term for people who don’t identify as completely male or completely female. I am nonbinary because I identify as sometimes male, sometimes female, and sometimes neither.

  • Why change your name if you’re a girl sometimes?
Because on the days when I’m not a girl, being called by a girly name makes me feel like I’m lying. Going by a gender neutral name helps me because it doesn’t make me sound one hundred percent girly, so I can use it all the time. It’s also easier for me and everyone else to use one gender neutral name than It would be to change my name every time my gender changes.

  • You’ll always be Jessica/Jess/Jessi/a girl to me!
Well, you do you, I guess. I would feel more comfortable being called Murphy, since it matches my gender. I hope you can understand that.

  • Isn’t “they” grammatically incorrect for one person?
Nope! (see Washington Post, HuffPost, Everyday Feminism, essay by Dennis Baron) I feel that the word “they” fills a necessary gap in the English language. English doesn’t currently have a pronoun that’s just for describing a person with a neutral or changing gender. If you invent a better one and it catches on, let me know!

  • How do you use “they” for just one person?
Like this:
“This is my friend Murphy! They love Star Wars and Pokémon!”
“I can’t find Murphy; have you seen them anywhere?”
“This person’s name is Murphy! They picked their name out themself!”

  • But there are only two genders!
Not a question, but wrong! (see this article from Wikipedia, as well as its sources.) People who don’t fit into male or female boxes have been around since, well, people. It’s completely natural, and it happens more often than most people in our society think.

  • Have you had your hormones checked?
No, and I don’t plan to any time soon! Gender identity has very little to do with hormones, as I’m sure plenty of other transgender people can tell you.

  • Does that mean you don’t have… you know… girl parts?
Nope! See the above answer. Didn’t your parents ever tell you that it’s rude to ask people about their genitals?

  • Being transgender is a sin! You’re going to go to hell/outer darkness/the Telestial kingdom!
Good! I can see all my friends there!
More seriously, I do believe that God made me the way I am for a reason. How boring would be if everyone’s gender matched their biological sex exactly?

  • Being transgender is a choice!
Nope! (see Time Magazine, APA) Science is finding more and more that being transgender is biological, just like hair and eye color!

  • But living as a transgender person is a sin!  
Then I’ll go to hell with all the other transgender people. We’ll have a party, and you’re not invited!
Seriously now, that sounds to me like something that ought to be between me, God, and my bishop, no?

  • Your description sounds a lot like how I experience gender. Does that make me genderfluid? 
Maybe! It’s up to you to describe your relationship with gender. Here are some good resources for exploring your gender: (Ask a Gender Therapist, List of Genderqueer Identities) Best of luck!

  • Is this some kind of autism thing?
Not really. Some autistic people are genderfluid. Some autistic people are transgender. Some autistic people identify with their assigned gender. Same goes for people who aren’t autistic.

  • Is this related to that asexual thing?
Not really. Genderfluid people can experience sexual attraction just like anyone else. Sexual attraction doesn’t always match up with gender. Just ask a homosexual person.

  • Are you getting surgery?
That seems like a very personal question. Are you sure you want to ask random people on the internet about their medical problems?

  • Are you going to change your name legally?
Hopefully, someday!

  • I support you!
Not a question, but thanks!

Sincerely,
Murphy

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