How did I choose Ian?
A question I have not be asked as much as I had thought, but one I often ask myself, is why Ian? I chose the name because it sounded similar to Erin, but it wasn't her. Too, it flowed with my middle name as I wished to keep it. I did not choose the name because I felt a connection to it because I did not know anyone by the name of Ian…so I thought. However, after I had chosen it, I realized I had a connection to the name as my hairstylist had a son named Ian. For those of you who do not know, my hairstylist is like another mom to me because she is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as her child is transgender. Thus, I never met her son as Ian because her "son" is solely her "child" and I only knew them by their preferred name, rather than their biological name, Ian.
While I had chosen the name and plastered it on social media, I had a hard time telling my hairstylist of my name. I actually did not tell her my new preferred name as I was unsure of her reaction as she once had chosen the name for her son. It brought up questions in my mind such as "would she be okay with me having that name?" and "how would she feel knowing she is calling me a name she had once given to her child at birth?", but as I was sitting in the hair salon, she brought up my name as she had seen it change on Facebook. She smiled, looked at me and told me she had chosen the name for her child as she had loved it and it only made her love it more knowing that I wanted to be called Ian. And from here on out she has called me Ian.
My hairdresser the day I told her to cut my long hair (November 2017) Ian Hodges
How does one forget their chosen name?
Choosing Ian as a name and remembering myself as Ian has been an emotional roller coaster as I have felt disconnected from my own name. I have even asked myself "what is my name?" or "is this who I really want to be addressed as?" because it is a change. I have felt disconnected from my name because I am reminded more of Erin than I realized. When I am not faced with multiple names, I am Ian, but when I am surrounded by Erin I am often frustrated, not by those that accidentally forget to call me by my preferred name, but because living two lives is emotionally frustrating.
I am surrounded by my biological name and it questions how I want to be addressed because I am being pulled in different directions. We as a society do not think about the documents, licenses, certificates, tagged pictures, etc that our name is printed on for employment, government, and medical use. Too, with the constant emails, appointment reminders, and even the college diploma I have hanging in my room, I am reminded of Erin. Although I am so proud of myself, I see my diploma and I am unsure of who graduated with dual bachelors as it was not Ian. So, forgetting I am Ian is easy because Ian is just beginning to make moves in society whereas Erin has been making moves for a lifetime. Thus, forgive me for my honesty, but I too have forgotten I am Ian.