February 8, 2008

The Name Thing

Posted in Identification, transgender at 11:05 pm by Michael

Ok, it’s starting to bug me. I haven’t accidentally referred to myself as Michael in about a month. I love my new name. It used to feel a little odd – but now when I answer the phone or sign me email, it comes out naturally. When somebody calls ‘Megan?”, I immediately turn around – its my name.

When people call me Mike or Michael, and aren’t making a mistake, but they just aren’t there yet, it’s beginning to bug me. I am starting to get a little more tenacious about correcting people when they call me “He” or “Sir”.

I don’t want to be crazy about it, or make people feel uncomfortable, but Hi, I’m Megan, and I really prefer to be referred to as “She” or “Her” or Megan – since that’s my name.

I was talking to one of my friends about this, and she sent me the following quote from Dr. Seuss… I loved it, and it really touched me as I think about how people move from thinking about how I transition from Michael to Megan:

They’re afraid to stay THERE.  They’re afraid to stay HERE.
They think THERE is too Far.  They think HERE is too NEAR.

Just as an aside, I am getting “Sir’ed” far less often, but interestingly, I don’t get “Ma’am’ed”. I have talked to a few women about this and they say “Yeah, that’s true – I don’t really get Ma’am’ed either!” It would be fascinating to do a study in a hotel lobby to see what the men/sir to women/ma’am ratio is. I’m willing to bet that the women/ma’am ratio is far lower.



  1. Kris said,

    Hmm, now that I think about it, I don’t get “ma’amed” myself either. The occasional “miss” but not too many ma’ams.

    Good luck with the name. You’ve been Megan since we started chatting. It’s a bit strange to think of you as Michael. Have a good one Megan!

  2. Kelly said,

    Yeah, i think the Ma’am thing is more of an age issue than a gender issue. I remember transitioning from being “Miss”ed all the time to getting “Ma’am”ed later, and oooh, it was kinda hard. 🙂 LOL.

    Some women think Ma’am generally means they appear more mature or aged, if women in general can really honestly take the whole aging thing THAT gracefully, BOTOX would not be invented. My friend would even admit she would rather be “Miss”ed, or just not addressed at all.

    As a result, many people in service industry just want to avoid addressing women all together. Ask the guy by the doors at the W, he would tell you if he saw two ladies of slight age difference walking next to each other, Miss one and Madam the other won’t necessarily earn you a smile on one, but most likely a look from the other.

    The only times I remember clearly being MA-AM’ed is at SeaTac airport not taking off shoes or leaving more than 4 oz of liquid in a purse. Try that next time and you will hear it loud and clear 😛

    Keep on writing cuz we’ll keep on readin’~

  3. Violet said,

    Hmmm…. I usually only get called ma’am by young men who are 10+ years younger than I am. I’ve always associated “ma’am” with, say, my grandma – so I actually feel somewhat irritated when I get called that.

    I’ve also tried to get people to use the phrase “young nymph” – as it’s a *great* ego booster – but it hasn’t caught on.

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