Friday, May 27, 2016

The Name Change Begins

So I wrote a post months ago about the name and gender marker change process. It didn't happen back then because life got in the way but now we're doing it. 

The first step is applying for the name change through the state via our county court. My husband and I had to fill out forms for TN since he's a minor. We both had to sign and get the forms notarized. (Both have to sign because 1 parent can't make decisions about a minor without the other parent's consent.)  It's a process and I went through the motions without thinking much. But when I let it sink in...

I am not sure how to describe how I feel. It's all very surreal. On one hand, my kid is my kid. Does it matter the name or male/female? On the other hand, as a mom, my inner core is connected with the daughter I birthed and the name we chose as mom and dad in anticipation of our tiny baby 17 years ago. 

It doesn't seem to really impact me until I'm having a stressful day. Then it all comes pouring out. How I'm losing my baby girl and how I just want it all to go away and never have happened. That doesn't happen very often but it does hit. It's funny, though, because later I'll hang out with TN (he loves doing almost anything with me to hang out - walk thru model homes... see a funny movie... come with me to our locally owned Mexican restaurant and just talk...) and realize how freaking normal he is now that he's male. He has great insightful discussions with me and is just a cool person to be around. During those times, I'm not sad at all.  I love my kid. 

It's somewhat of a mourning process, I guess. And at the same time, it's a relief to take steps to help my kid feel like his true self. One positive part of this is his middle name. I'm not sharing real names on this blog, but what I can say is that we all decided to modify his female first name into the male form of that name for his new middle name. I felt a little better - as if a small part of my naming him at birth will carry on. Oh and if I accidentally use the nickname of his female name, he can tell people I'm just using his middle name!  Win/win!

Once we get the approval from the county court system then we can change his social security info and driver's license. Those are the 2 key items to enable him to start his senior year in high school and apply to colleges with his new name. Of course, there's like 50 other things to change but those aren't as urgent. 

I'll have to write another post when we get the approval (hoping just a few weeks) and take the next steps. 


  1. Hello. I am also a mom of a cis son 12 and a trans son 16. F came out last August. Somewhere in the emotional storm that followed I subscribed to your blog, and am just now sitting down long enough to recognize I have this fabulous article to read! Thank you!
    I'll look forward to hearing more. I was on a few different list serves, but it seemed to me run by a sm group who were very familiar with each other and lived in the same area of the country. I am in Oregon.
    I also need to start the name change process. Thanks for your post!!

    1. Hey there! I'm glad it's helpful. By the way, if you are on Facebook, there's a large "Parents of Transgender Children" group you can join. There is also a "Moms of Trans Teen Sons" group.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am concerned about some legal ramifications that no one including Lambda legal seems to have guidance--what do we need to do about beneficiaries on our life insurance, trust, wills, etc.? What if we forget to change something, and then because our child changes social security and birth certificate, can't prove his former female identity and name? Is there any kind of a 'blanket' legal document that can be created that says "hey, i am Y and I used to be X, and anything my parents have written that says Y gets $ is intended to go to X "??

    1. Hey there! So when you get the court order approving the name change, that is the official document your kid needs to keep FOREVER. That shows who they used to be and who they are now. I mean, it's similar to when someone gets married. I changed my last name and that would not impact what was in my parents' will, for example. But as long as he has that name change court order, he can always present that if there are any issues.
      Good luck with everything! :-)

  3. So today is my 23 year old daughters birthday. She has been slowly transitioning towards male. First she cut off all of her beautiful long ringlets of hair, the kind of hair that many women wish they had. Next she started using a binder to hold down her breasts and morph her gorgeous figure into a more manly, shapeless figure. She now wears mens clothing and has asked me to call her by her new gender neutral name of choice. I love my daughter more than anything, but I still find myself confused. When she was little, she was a typical little girl. She took dance and gymnastics classes and loved to play with dolls. She never showed any interest in "boys toys" or "boys sports". By her senior year in high school, she still hadn't had a boyfriend and was always very close with just one female friend. After high school, she came out as a lesbian and dated a girl for a year. After that relationship fell apart she tried dating a few other girls and then met another girl who had just come out to her family. Her family wasn't supportive and the farther away she got from her family emotionally, the more she started transitioning to male. She now takes hormone shots and lives a s a male. It's just seems like my daughter was happy being a lesbian until she met this person. Am I wrong to feel this way? Is it possible that this friend's actions are influencing her? I have been a super supportive mom and I go to the Pride events and parades with her. I'm extremely open-minded, so why am I feeling so sad and confused?

    1. Hi Jade,
      Thatnks for visiting and posting!
      Well I don't know the answer for you. It could be influence or it could be a final realization.
      Either way, if suggest taking a deep breath and simply take it one day at a time. Don't argue or push back. Just watch, wait, and most importantly, love.
      Be there.
      Perhaps you could hang out and ask some questions about how she finalize hit thst realization and how she feels. But not inquisition-style. :-)
      I am definitely no expert but I'm sure it can be shocking and confusing.
      Take care of yourself also. :-)

  4. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog. I'm mom to an almost 15-year old FtM son. he came out to us about a month ago, previously having come out as a lesbian. Thank you for sharing your experience. We have so much to learn!

  5. Hi Rachel,
    So glad you found my blog and that it's helpful!
    It's definitely a journey and there is a lot to learn. Sometimes it can be very overwhelming so make sure you are taking care of yourself too! :-)
    Take care!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I LOVE her, and yes I am proud, happy to see her happy... and then I see a photo, I remember something and I cry and then I'm happy again and don't know why I cried and then I see her and everything is perfect. Does this make sense?
    I will describe myself, ourselves, me and my husband as long time mates that profoundly love our two kids and have raised our eldest, now daughter, to be an amazing person. That's it! She will never seize to amaze me. She is a seeker of good, happiness and truth. This is her truth!! She is my life and I will miss him even though she is him a million times more intense and beautiful. Thank you.

    1. Hi Isabel, That makes total sense - there is definitely some mourning that occurs since you've had a daughter for so long and now "she" is gone. But I'm glad you can see how much more positive he is now that he can be he. Good job, mom! :-)