I already changed my name once. Back in summer 2017 when I first came out as non-binary and trans, I felt like in order to fully be out, I had to also choose a name and I had to do it as soon as possible. Once I decided I wanted to come out, I wanted to get everything done at once! New name, new pronouns, new everything.
When it came to choosing a name, I had a checklist. I wanted it to be monosyllabic, start with the same first letter as my old name, be three letters (like my old name), and be gender neutral. However, I was never in love with it. The name I really wanted was Julien, but it didn’t meet any of my criteria and I thought it would be too obviously masculine. I also wanted to change my last name, as I didn’t feel like Julien Baillie flowed very well. Plus, I had a co-worker whose son was named Julian, and whose daughter had my birthname, so it felt extra weird for me to pick Julien.
I had always thought about changing my last name to something from my matrilineage (is that even a word?). My mother’s maiden name or maybe even my grandmother’s maiden name. This was partly because I wanted to feel more connected to my mother’s side of the family but also because like… fuck the patriarchy?? If it’s good enough of a choice for Laura Jane Grace then it’s good enough for me!
Anyway, after living with my original new name (Lee Baillie) for a little over a year, it still didn’t really feel like me. Julien felt increasingly like the right name and I was still really in love with it. 2018 turned out to be a year of learning how to advocate for myself, put up appropriate boundaries, and not feel like I’m a burden just for existing as myself.
With 2019 approaching, I’ve decided this is the year where I finally live for myself, totally and completely. If I have to live with a name for the rest of my life, it should be one I absolutely love. I’ll be keeping my former last name (Baillie) as my middle name so I can still have a connection with my brother and so the people who have always called me “Baillie” can still call me “Baillie” without it being weird (I don’t have any dysphoria it so it doesn’t bother me to grandfather those people in). So, as of January 1st I will be known as Julien Baillie Fitzpatrick.
It’ll be extremely annoying to change my name a second time, but it’s a small price to pay for the joy of truly feeling at home in my own name. I’m still learning to stop feeling bad about asking people for things (like, say, learning a new name twice…) but I’m getting better every day!
Oh, and I’m starting at a new job! December 31st, 2018 was my last day at Tilde. As of January 28th, 2019 I’ll be working as a software engineer at Agrilyst! New year, new name, new job! I’m stoked and I hope you are too!
Happy new year, and I hope 2019 brings you everything you want and more!