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Naming Ceremony for a Transgender Person
A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person. Most of us may have had the experience where somebody has called us the wrong name... think about how that felt.... now imagine that people are calling you by a name you feel no identity with and perhaps feel negative emotions about, especially when you've specifically asked them not to use it.
When children are born their parents choose names for a number of reasons:
- they like the sound of it
- it comes from a socially accepted gender list
- the name belonged to a family member or close friend
- the name meant something that they wished for their child ie: Oscar which means 'divine strength'
Some children grow up not liking their given names...
- perhaps they were named after a person that they don't like?
- maybe their name rhymed with something that was easy to bully in school?
- they could have had a speech impediment and couldn't properly pronounce it?
When a transgender person decides that they want to be known by a different name it's not necessarily because they don't like their name, it's because they don't identify with that name anymore - and maybe they never did. If a transgender man's birth name was Emily they may feel that moniker no longer fits their identity, so a new name is chosen that feels right.
Check out this youtube video of a Starbucks advertisement showing in 30 seconds the importance of a name - https://youtu.be/7TEg6q1a3DE
You may associate Naming Ceremonies with babies or small children. They're held as an alternative to a religious ceremony, welcoming the child into their extended family and celebrating their chosen name, but what a wonderful way to celebrate people of any age wanting to present themselves to their family and social circle with a new name and a new identity. It's a great way to tell a big group of people in your life that from that point on you'd like to be known by your new chosen name and your preferred pronouns.
You might have chosen a name that is more gender neutral or more in keeping with the gender you are transitioning to... either way in a Naming Ceremony you and your new name are celebrated.
This ceremony marks a very important transition in your life, leaving behind the old and looking forward to a more comfortable, confident, authentic future.
Speak to one of our celebrants at The Celebrants Network about a Transitioning Naming Ceremony.
What a great way for parents, partners or friends to demonstrate their support for a transgender person by taking part in a ceremony to celebrate a new name and a new future