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I so often get asked why I chose the name Oliver when I came out as trans.
There is a story behind it and why I chose Oliver, so I thought I would share.
My birth name (as in the name I was given when I was born. Some trans people use the term dead name. I do not use that term, as I do not like it and personally find it offensive)
So my birth name originates from a Shakespeare play, it was rather uncommon when I was born, but I hear it slightly more now. I always loved the fact it originates from a Shakespeare play, so the first place I thought to get ideas from for new names was Shakespeare. I looked through lists of male characters from his play to try and see if something was suitable. However everything was very pompous sounding, or just didn’t feel right. So I left that idea.
I knew my name needed to be an old name, I knew I wouldn’t suit or like a modern name for myself. For others they really suit modern names, or modern sounding names and this isn’t an attack on modern names. I personally just wanted an old name, I love history and the names from it.
So I started to think and three names came to mind straight away ‘William’ ‘Henry’ and ‘Edward’ I especially liked William and Henry, only problem was my teddy who I cuddle every night and who I have had since a baby is called William and my French horn is called Henry. So I discarded those names and although I like the name Edward, for some reason it just didn’t feel right.
I started to feel stuck and was also struggling with losing a name I loved, many trans people want to distance themselves from their birth name, but I loved my old name and did feel a sense of loss.
So I went on baby naming websites, essentially just lists and lists and lists of names under each letter. I spent several days just going through, coming across names and thinking they were ok, but. It right. One night I clicked on the letter ‘O’ and saw the name Oliver and virtually immediately it felt right. I can’t explain how or why, I just knew it was right.
So that is how I chose the name Oliver. I love the name Oliver, it feels so right to me. Although I get fucked off when people call me Oli, when I’ve said my name is Oliver.
Yes although there was a sense of loss with not being called my birth name when I first changed my name (and even now I still turn round if I hear it) I love the name Oliver and I’ve been called Oliver, over 7 years now.
So no, I won’t be telling you my birth name, there is no reason for you to no what it is. Occasionally there might be a reason I mention it, but not for the purpose of telling someone my birth name. My birth name isn’t something you need to know.
My name is Oliver and I genuinely love my name.