On Being Transgender and Changing Your Name

My great great grandmother was also a Katharine Marie. I don’t know a lot about her, but I wish I did. I learned that when my parents were choosing names for their baby, they had settled on Katharine were I to be designated female at birth. I only found out when I brought up the subject of female names to my mother in 2010, 2 years before I transitioned. I was astonished to hear her say that she had considered giving me the name that I had always been enamored with; the name I had always wanted as my own.

I’m a woman with a pretty amazing namesake – two fantastic women. And my name is just as valid as any nickname adopted by any individual at any point in their lives. My name is just as valid as that of any Hollywood star. My name is just as valid as any woman married or divorced who chooses to adopt or discard her lover’s family name. Those names are not up for debate, however. Somehow, transgender names are.

-Kat Haché, on changing her name, from Longreads Best of WordPress, Vol. 1.

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