When I was born I was given a name by my parents, the name I was given is one that I have grown to not identify with. In case you don't know a dead name is one that you no longer use; it's most likely your birth name and you have since changed your name to reflect who you feel you are. Luckily the name that I was given at birth came with a nickname. I happen to like my nickname and I still use it and it is still in my new name.

It's common for people who change their name in situations like myself to refer to their birth name as their "dead name". However, I don't feel that term fits me yet. Most of my family and even some of my friends are unaware that I have a new name and don't go by my birth name. My social media says "Cas" which is my nickname, so most people assume that I still go by my birth name. Announcing a new name is honestly terrifying, all these people have known you as this name for years and you suddenly tell them "that's not me" even though you've known that for awhile.

My birth name is not my dead name because it's not dead. I hear my birth name several times throughout the day. My mom, grandma, grandpa, and several others still call me by my birth name. All of these people also call me Cas, but none of them call me by my new name. Granted, some of them don't know my new name because I'm not comfortable telling them or explaining to them why I have chosen a new name. I don't feel that my birth name is a dead name because it is so commonly used. In my mind, it can only be a dead name if it's not used or if I hear my real name more than my birth name.

Sure, it bothers me to constantly hear a name that I don't identify with. There are times when I don't want to answer to it or ignore people when they call for me by my birth name because that's not my name anymore. However, my family raised me to be too respectful at times and this would result in some severe consequences. It hurts having a name that doesn't fit you anymore. And it hurts having to pick out a new name because you never really know what to pick. The process of picking out my new name was difficult and it took me a little over two months to do. Even telling people my new name hurts, I feel like I'm going to be judged or not accepted because I changed my name to fit me. However, nothing feels as good as hearing people say my real name.