Name change: impersonal relationships

About half of the people in my life are aware of the fact that I socially changed my name.  I came out to friends, about half of my exended family, and I’m working on work.  But what about those other isolated areas we run into from time to time?  The pharmacy.  The bank.  The library.  The car mechanic.  The eye doctor.  The chiropractor.  Places that have your legal name on file or places you have to use cards that have your legal name on them.  Personally, in these cases, I’ve done nothing – just gone with the default.  I guess it’s because the hassle of explaining isn’t worth the infrequency of the encounters and the impersonal nature of the relationship anyway.  But more than that, it’s about the frustration I would feel if I did explain and then they reverted to my legal name the next time I was there, anyway.  In my mind. that seems highly likely.  Partially based on times I have asserted a different name and/or gender, and it wasn’t observed.

Yesterday, I went to the dentist.  That’s an example of one of these places.  I’ve gone to the same place since I was a kid, so they use an even older version of a nickname that is long gone almost everywhere else in my life.  It’s almost cringe-worthy.  But I still had decided it wasn’t worth the effort.  However, this time, when I walked in, the receptionist greeted me and immediately said that when she had called (the day before, appointment reminder), she had noticed that I have a different name on my voice mail.  She had some forms in her hand and asked if I’d legally changed it?  I said no not yet, so she kind of said, well, we’ll save these forms, but go ahead and put it in parentheses on this form that you need to update so we know what your preferred name is.  We will be sure to use it here.  She then proceeded to ask me how I spell it, said she liked that spelling, and chatted about how much it costs to legally change your name and was I going to do it soon, etc.?  I took the form and delighted in leaving the GENDER:  CHECK ONE:  M[]  F[] blank.  I wish I could do that all day long:  fill out forms and blatantly leave that blank.  (Well, maybe for one day – all day every day would get super tedious and I would totally want to quit that job if that were a job.)

The dental hygienist opened the door and announced, “Kameron.”  That was me!  At no point had the hygienist and the receptionist talked while I was there, so there must have been a conversation before I got there.  I followed her to a room to get my teeth cleaned, and it was the best teeth cleaning ever.

Unfortunately, it all went south from there:  When I went to pay, and the receptionist said, “Alright lady!  Let’s get you scheduled for your 6 month appointment.”  What is with the “lady?”  Seriously.  I get lady-ed and ladies-ed ALL the time.

13 Comments on “Name change: impersonal relationships”

  1. tcausten says:

    Omg I hate that. You have a perfect moment and then some little shit bag comes along and spoils it.
    Well done though for going out there and trying to get your name sorted.


  2. witlessX says:

    Yeah, man, those little bubble bursters are a bitch! Sounds like she wants to get it right tho. and, for what it’s worth, both your name and it’s spelling seem to fit the you I glean from your pics and prose (: be well be safe

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alex Black says:

    It’s so awesome when people actually go out of their way to get your name right, and it’s too bad we can’t just take for granted that people will do that.


  4. Hart says:

    It’s almost like being slapped in the face with a wet noodle when you get the ‘lady’ treatment. I get it at school sometimes, and I’m not sure if it’s because I so obviously don’t follow the traditional gender guidelines, and so thus make people feel uncomfortable so they attempt to reconcile it the only way they know how which is aggressively gendering me, or if it’s always been that way. I’ve been getting the word Miss put in front of my girl name alot lately which has been equally annoying.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Luka says:

    Ah yes! Got this “lady” last time I had a MRI done. I was like wtf?! Being in “man clothes” and wearing mohawk and the nurse said “lady” 😔 But on other side, I never had problem with getting called the right name at doctors offices. They were all really cool here in Germany😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gosh, can I relate to this one! Try being the parent in the situation and having to then explain why you supported your kid doing it. Over and over and over again. It’s getting better (and fortunately O doesn’t look anything like a girl anymore) but there’s still things I have to brace myself for. I haven’t told some distant relatives because it doesn’t seem worth the bother. For some reason, I keep putting off the dentist one too. Why? I don’t know. It will probably be fine – it’s just that somehow I’m bracing myself for that pause before they say, ‘OK’.
    Still, I figure I’m making everything much easier for O in the future. One day he may even thank me . . .
    Anyway, good on you Kameron 😉


  7. micah says:

    For me, it is definitely not worth the effort either, perhaps we are all shy introverts at heart.

    The dentist! I laughed because I’ve been in a similar pickle for years, and my appointment is next week. I’ve even updated my insurance, which has my legal name as Micah, yet somehow they kept my old “preferred” name. Oh well, it’s close enough that I don’t bother.


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