A Name Represents Identity, A Deep Feeling And Holds Tremendous Significance To Its Owner

“A name represents identity, a deep feeling and holds tremendous significance yo its owner.”
-Rachel Ingber

Let me first apologize for taking so long to post again.  I went back to work on October 8, and it has been a zoo in real life since getting back to the office.  They definitely gave me no time to get “settled” into my routine on my return.  It was nine straight days, multiple committee meetings, conference calls most days…and a lot of questions to answer.  And while my light sensitivity is getting better, I am still struggling with that as well after so much time in front of the computer at work.  No day was short and, in all honesty, I have barely had time to log in after work…so now I find myself trying to play catch up with blogging.  I better brew some more coffee…

I will say that my return to work went FAR better than I could have ever dreamed and I will be sharing stories of what others have done to support me and welcome me back since I returned.  For those who are looking for stories to help you redeem your faith in humanity, I have some for you.  I have cried more times than even I expected due to the love and support I have received returning to work.  But…it hasn’t all been good and this one issue, I think it’s so important to put out there.

I always loathed the term “dead name.”  I always thought it was so wrong because despite those of us transitioning to be who we really are, I never believed that old part of us truly died.  I’ve always viewed my journey as only changing my outwardly appearance to match how I feel.  So many of my likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. are all still the same.  My biological family is the same.  Nothing has changed there.  I mean, yes, I am a lot more “girly” than I used to be…but deep down, I am the same person.  Because of that, I never used the term dead name when discussing my past name and my real name (as I call it).  In fact, I actually tried to discourage others from using the term.

That was until yesterday…

Before I went out for my surgery, I was told by Human Resources and Information Technology that once I had submitted my legal name change document from the court, they would be able to change my name on all of my files and the computer applications to Madison.  I was promised it would be easy, everything would be done on time.  I was promised that when I returned to work, everything I used would identify my as Madison, except my payroll files (until I was able to get everything changed with the bank).  The Monday following my surgery, I sent in my legal name change paperwork and again was promised everything would be good to go when I returned on October 8.  

What a lie that was.  As of close of business yesterday, yes, my email and computer log in has a “display name” of Madison…but nothing else has been changed.  

The day before I returned to work, I received an email from Human Resources telling me that HR and IT wouldn’t be able to update my name on anything other than a display name in two places until they received my new Social Security card.  I, of course, raised a huge stink and worked to escalate my concerns about things.  After returning to work and seeing my former name on every platform I use in my job, I was a wreck.  Sure, when I logged into my PC, I would see a message that said “Welcome, Madison.”  Sure, when I sent an email, it would show a display name of Madison.  But if you hover your mouse over my email address, it shows my former name since our email addresses are our first_name.last_name@organization.org.  Every system I logged into showed, “Welcome, Old Name.”  Budget platforms.  Performance platforms.  Safety platforms.  Human Resources platforms.  Every platform threw my old name in my face.

Along with just the frustration, anger and sadness at my organization for not changing my name as promised, all of this has raised a lot of questions with other departments.  I have fielded multiple phone calls from various departments, people who have no right or need to know about my transition questioning the difference in my email display name and the email address and/or the electronic signature on reports and such.  I mean, as I said to my boss the other day and in an email to HR again asking that they find a way to change my name, I know I cannot completely transition in silence due to the visibility of my job…but by forcing me to use an email with a CLEARLY male name and having my electronic signature on all of these reports show as a CLEARLY male name while my email signature and photos CLEARLY identify me as female…the organization is essentially outing me and dead naming me every time I send an email or sign a report.  It is a violation of my privacy as I have to explain to people who have no need to know my personal life just to ensure a report is processed.  And along with all of that, it’s just down right painful emotionally.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I used the term “dead name” for the first time.  I didn’t even realize I was using it.  It just came out as I cried to a friend about what was going on.  I had fought so long to get rid of that term and try to take a healthier approach, not just with myself but also in supporting others on this journey, regarding our former names.  But yesterday, as HR told me they had tried another fix for the name issue but still couldn’t do it without a new SSI card…I finally understood the anger and frustration that leads to people using the term dead name.  Yesterday, I got it.  As of yesterday, I will never criticize another person for using that term.

I think part of what has fueled my anger on this so much is the pure ambivalence from my organization regarding my name.  I have literally been told that it’s not a big deal, no one will care, etc., etc.  Yet, as I explained to HR AGAIN…our name represents so much of who we are, whether we realize it or not.  It’s not just how people identify us, but it’s also how we identify ourselves and relate to ourselves.  And, when transitioning genders, our name is a HUGE part of how we identify and relate to the world as we reintegrate ourselves with those we know and work with.  Being identified properly, by our new names is something huge.  

I am working to get everything straight to get my new SSI card.  Currently, I am still waiting on my new birth certificate with my updated gender marker to arrive in the mail.  At that point, I am going to try to submit both of those to SSI to get an updated card.  SSI is telling me I need my new drivers license too, which I won’t be able to get until January (thank you very much, Covid)…but I am going to see if I can push it through without the new license.  I’m not sure I can wait until January or February to have this done.  That is more a question of my own sanity and well being than anyone else’s. 

I haven’t given up fighting on this issue.  I plan to escalate my concerns up through the C Suite at work to try and get this changed.  To be honest, I can’t believe that others who came before me haven’t raised hell about this.  Or maybe they did and they just gave up due to the unwillingness of HR and IT to budge on their position.  But in this day and time, and especially considering I gave my employer three years to prepare for this…I think it is utterly appalling to know that not just myself, but others, are facing this within an organization that claims it is one of the top employers for the LGBTQ population in our state. 

Oh…and to add insult to injury…  I had to go get my latest round of labs drawn to test my estrogen levels yesterday after work.  I submitted my name change for my medical records a month ago.  Hasn’t happened.  My name change is “still pending.”  And, not only that, when they called me back, they called me by my dead name in a waiting room with 15 other people there.

I mean, I know I am pretty angry right now…but that doesn’t sound like, to me at least, that my hospital is putting the health and welfare of the LGBTQ population where it needs to be.

See it on Flickr.

What I’m Wearing
Cae – Rowan Earrings & Necklace [@ Uber]
Dead Doll – Ziggy Catsuit [@ Anthem]
Truth – Eternity

Body – Maitreya – Lara
Head – LeLutka – Nova Evolution Series
Shape – Custom
Skin – Glam Affair – Rhian Evolution Skin 008 & Rhian Freckles (B) 

Diversion – Head to Toe 2 {Left Wrist adjustment with Black Dragon Poser]

Fancy Decor
Hampton Fire Pit
Hampton Patio Chair
Hampton Patio Lights
Hampton Patio Sofa
Hampton Pergola

London Rooftop Scene

{what next}
Small Beer

YO-YO VideoProduct

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.