I believe that everyone "finds themselves."
It can happen slowly over time or in a matter of months and it looks different for everyone. But everyone goes through a period of figuring themselves out and becoming their truest self. When you're born and as you grow up, so many things are decided for you. Who you'll be, what you'll wear, what you believe, and everything in between is out of your control. And this all starts from the moment your born-with your name.
Names are so special.
They are the you-est thing about you. People hear your name and suddenly they have a picture in their head of what they see of you. So much pride can be found in your name especially if your name has value before it was given to you, and most do. Parent's spend months (maybe years if they're planners) deciding your name. For the most part, a great deal of time and thought are put into names. Many people embrace their names but some aren't so lucky.
Sometimes your name doesn't feel like your own.
There are many reasons for this, most being trans* and nonbinary people, but when someone feels this way, the best solution is to change it. Rename yourself. Give yourself a name that is yours. This is such a courageous step in someone's life. So much liberation can be found when you change your name and forget about the old one. But when this happens, your old name becomes your dead name.
A dead name is a name given at birth that said person no longer uses and does not identify with.
This name can be hurtful, uncomfortable, or triggering to the person who changed it. They chose to kill it off and they did not make that decision lightly, I promise. So when you continue to use a person's dead name without trying to stop yourself, you can be doing more harm than you think.
Trans* and nonbinary people go through hell to become the person they are. Some have it easier than others, but no story is easy by any means. Transitioning and becoming the truest version of yourself is difficult, but it comes with so much happiness. Most of that happiness lies in the things that make you the real you-one of the biggest being your name. A lot of trans* individuals have dead names and they are dead for a reason.
Your name is everything and for trans* people, it is even more so because it is one thing they have complete control over. No one gets to decide this but them. It is 100% theirs. So when you use their dead name, you can be stripping them of their identity. You are choosing to see them as the person they were before. And that is not who they are.
Respect names. Respect dead names.
Respect the bravery it takes to completely change the biggest thing about you in order to find happiness in your truth. If someone in your life comes out to you and asks you to call them by a new name, Just. Fucking. Do. It. Forget the name and the old version of who they were before. Kill off their name just like they did. I promise you, it is not that hard and it will make the world of difference.