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Agender and off to College

| Aug 27, 2018
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Wow, has it been a month already? Lately, I’ve been busy preparing for school. I start college this week, and I’m really excited, but there has been one issue that keeps popping up: my birth name. I’ve realized (mostly through the internet and my trans/non-binary friends) that there can be a lot of discomfort when a trans/non-binary person is transitioning to college. This discomfort is only beginning for me, and I’m trying to figure out a way to get past it. So, let’s talk deadnames.

For those of you who are new to this piece of transgender terminology, a deadname is the name that a trans person has used in the past. This term is generally used to refer to a trans person’s birth name, but it can be used in other contexts as well. It is considered rude to ask what a trans person’s deadname is, especially if you didn’t know them before they came out or you aren’t extremely close to them. I tend to think of it as a secret that I don’t want to tell anyone.

The issue that I’m having with my deadname is the fact that it is still my legal name. I’ve been working on changing it, but the state is taking forever to get me my new birth certificate. Once I have that, I can use it to change all of my legal documents (such as health insurance, checking accounts, school documents, etc.) over to my preferred name. After I’m able to do all of that, most of my current discomfort will go away.

In all of the legal documentation that my college has, my deadname is used. This means that anywhere my name is in the system, it is listed with my deadname. My student account, email, and ID all use my deadname. I’m going to talk some people from the college soon, and hopefully they’ll be able to help me get it changed in the system. My current biggest fear is having to hear my deadname during attendance, because in that moment, everyone in the room will know. I’m not ashamed to be trans; I’m actually quite proud of it. I just don’t want anyone knowing my deadname. It bothers me and reminds me of some really bad times. I don’t want people calling me that.

I’ve realized that a lot of people have the same struggle that I’m having. There are even posts on Tumblr (a social media platform that’s hip with the teens) with sample formats for emails to make your teachers aware of your situation. Whenever I feel alone in this, I think about all of the other trans kids who have to go through this too. It makes me feel less alone.

Before I finish up this post, I’d just like to send a message out to any younger trans kids or trans kids around my age: Hey! It gets better! I promise you someday you’ll look back at all this and realize how far you’ve come. Things get better, slowly but surely. I know that it’s very cliche to say it gets better, but it does. I’ve only been out for four years, and it has gotten so much better. So don’t fret; you’ve got this. (Sorry, I’m just writing what I’d like to hear at this point.)

Anyway, I hope this was a good post. If anyone can relate to it, feel free to tell me about it. You can tell me about your struggles with your deadname, or going to college, or really anything that you think I should hear. Thank you very much for reading this. I hope you liked it.

Blessed Be,


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

M is an 18-year-old agender person who lives in Pennsylvania. They about to enter senior year of high school. Their preferred pronouns are they/them. Their favorite things are music, poetry, and dogs. M is an aspiring writer, activist, and psychologist. They look forward to being a part of the TG Forum community, and would love to share their perspective of the world.

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