Name Twins Forever

When my parents picked my name two decades and some change ago, they did so by locating the nearest baby book and selecting number seven. Number seven followed me around through childhood where I met a lot of other children by the same name. I hated it. It was too long, too clunky, not right. When I hit third grade I entered into a love-hate friendship with another number seven (as third-graders often do). I will always remember her mother calling mine to ask why their number sevens couldn’t get along. I haven’t always been a sweetheart.

Fast forward to eighth grade: my name twin and me were tighter than pleather pants. We struggled together in the space between religion and rebellion. Recently, she brought to my mind our coming-of-age soundtrack: Spoon Kill the Moonlight. Because of that year the phrase ‘the way we get by’ will never sound the same. As we went on, my name twin found renewed strength in her faith and I succumbed to screamo music and crushing angst-filled sadness. We stayed close and continued to be great friends throughout high school. If my memory serves me correctly, until this week, we had not spoken since the summer after our freshman year of college.

The universe has been knocking my socks off since day one but, in the past month, it has really raised the bar. February brought me back in touch with three of my close friends from high school. As I have really only kept in contact with one of them, this is a sizable increase. Thanks, facebook! They have all reached out to me because of reading this blog. Who knew it would reap such rewards!

I tell you the story of my name twin without physically being able to spell out what that number seven name is. Like many transfolks, I have a very hard time being able to tell people my legal name and I become extremely defensive when people that know it mention it. There are many transfolks who have no problem disclosing this. But for me, the mere mention of the name in my presence bristles the hair on the back of my neck and throws me into a minor panic of being outed. This is coming from someone who often runs around talking about his weekend of tranny-fun time. And it’s certainly not as if people in the community don’t know my legal name or are unaware of my trans identity. But still I cringe at the word and overly reprimand transgressors from my own place of fear. Hopefully I will one day get over myself and be able to reclaim the seven letters that spell out the name that has followed me from birth until now. Maybe when I receive my diploma with my chosen name my past will be easier to share.

In my last facebook message to my former fellow number seven I ended with a post script that we would be name twins forever. I mean every word of that statement. We have grown and moved through our lives in the most incredible ways but we will never undo the experience that brought us here. Being back in touch with the friends that saw me at my youthful bests and worsts is invaluable to me. I assumed that my dynamic identity would push people away and keep me out of touch with those who made high school bearable. I always sell myself short. Thanks you, wordpress and thank you, universe. You have taught me that the love that shines from my heart defines my history. No identification necessary.

One Response to “Name Twins Forever”
  1. Jackson says:

    I know what you mean – bracing yourself for folks from your past to be daunted by your transition. In my experience they came back into my life and not for reasons of prying or making me a spectacle but because they still care about me and much to my surprise in a lot of cases, I still very much care for them. My transition has the reeled the world into me, closer than I could have ever imagined, to my heart. I have a more honest relationship with everyone and maybe even more so with the ones who used to call me by my old number 4 😉

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