I don't exactly know how I chose my female name, Rebecca, but it means everything to me. I was on the phone with the Howard Brown Health Clinic, a leading provider of LGBT healthcare here in Chicago. They asked me if I had a preferred name. My whole life, I've gone by a male nickname, so my unconscious reaction to that question was to give my male nickname. Then it hit me that they wanted to know if I had a preferred female name. In moment, Rebecca came to me, and that has stuck ever since.
Hearing my name when I am in female mode always cheers me up. I feel like the woman in me is a real person, with some value. Being called Rebecca makes me happy enough that I took the middle name "Joy." When you feel like you've been called the wrong thing your whole life, hearing the correct name is a luxury that you don't take for granted.
I had a difficult purge last week, immediately before leaving on a business trip. I've been in New York since Sunday. I spent three the past three days in guy mode, before my depression started to take over.
Tonight, I got dressed up as Rebecca, and went out. I couldn't find anything in particular to do, until I found myself at the makeup counter of a department store. I ended up talking briefly with the girl at the counter. During the course of the conversation, we exchanged names. As I left, she said, "You have a nice night, Rebecca!" That's all it took.