What’s in a name?
by Shane Foster
Reading time approx: 8 mins
In the world of crossdressing there are many important factors to who we become, from the way we dress or the style we portray, to the wig and make-up we wear, or even the footwear and other accessories we use that finalise the look we are creating. But there is one more important (indeed crucial) factor that needs to be considered – what is the name of our alter-ego?
The name we choose for our crossdressing other self cannot just be picked at random from a hat, it has to have context, it has to have meaning. Of course, the name we choose will be formed based on what drives our desire to cross-dress. Therefore, it is more than just a name, it is a symbol – the icing on the cake, you may say!
Because our desire to cross-dress comes from different sources, then the way we choose the name for our crossdressing character will also differ. For some, the need to cross-dress is simply an escape from reality, or just something for the weekend, and so the name we choose may not need to have such deep-seated meaning. However, for many our desire for crossdressing has much more meaning, and so will our name choice too.
So, how do we choose our name? Remember, this isn’t something you can choose lightly, it is something that will be a key part of you (and possibly even your life) for a very long time. And of course, this time we get to do the choosing – rather than having a name given to you! This is extremely important for those whose choice to cross-dress comes from desire to be the real you – the you that you were meant to be from birth.
When it comes to choosing your perfect name, there are many ways that this can come about. Firstly, there is the obvious alter-ego name – a spin on your current name. For example, I have met some fabulous people over the years who have simply changed their male name to the female variant, i.e. Stephen is easy to change to Steph, or Simon becomes Simone, you get the idea. There are other extensions of this type of name change, which make it much easier for the person to switch between identities, such as Dave becoming Daphne, or Michael becoming Michaela, the list is endless.
But of course, for many cross-dressers out there the name to be picked has to have much more meaning than a simple play on words. This is the chance to give some real depth and meaning to the character we become, especially where our other self is more than just a hobby, but the chance to become who we were meant to be. And this is even more important for those who choose to live their lives like this full-time.
In this case, the name we choose must reflect the real feelings we have inside. We have to question ourselves to really understand why we choose the name we do. What are our innermost desires, and do they have a female context? Do we even know (subconsciously) what our name really is, have we been carrying our alternative title around with us all this time?
It is surprising to learn that for many people who I have met who cross-dress full-time, or who use crossdressing to become the person they were always meant to be, they all had one thing in common – they already knew who they were meant to be. It was almost as if they had already lived out their alternative life before, and in most cases it was true – it’s just that they had only lived it in their minds until now.
Another method often used to choose a name, is those who choose their names simply based on the character they become. This is particularly effective for those who have a specific theme for their alter-ego, and the choice is nothing more than just simply a ‘stage name’. For those who feel the need to be flamboyant about their other self, then why not choose a flamboyant name to go with the look. After all, when Paul O’Grady chose to call his female character ‘Lilly Savage’, he didn’t choose the name because his alter-ego was a frail old woman – the name needed to fit the look.
The final method used to make this crucial choice, is those who have a need to honour a name in some way. It could be a name that is special to them, perhaps a name that gives them some particular purpose. Or it could be a name that is symbolic to a person who has meant so much to them, such as a close relative, a teacher, a star, or even an old friend. Of course, in some cases it may require a subtle change to be made to the name, particularly if the person they admire most is known to them. But whatever the reason for this name choice, the character they become in this instance will need to fit the name, rather than the other way around.
Just remember, whatever name you choose, make sure you choose the right one for you. After all, this is fundamental in completing your overall look. It’s not just as simple as picking the right outfit to suit the occasion. This choice is just as crucial as the first time you decide to let out the real you. So what’s in a name? The answer is very simple – it’s you, and whoever you decide to become!