First off, Happy New Year! It means a lot to some people. To me, it’s just a marker, a useful footnote that says “remember not to write 2019 any more”. I was considering writing a ROUNDUP TO 2019 post but I’m not sure I will – short version: kicked depression, got a new job, moved into my own place for the first time.

Now on to the good stuff: that Shakespeare quote in the title. I always liked Romeo and Juliet. Not for the tragedy but for the fun bits. Mercutio’s a bit of a dick and he makes me laugh, all that charismatic bullshit is quite fun until (spoiler alert) he gets bumped off trying to stop a fight. But again, this isn’t what we’re here for. We’re talking about names.

Anyone who knows me in real life will know me as Xander, because that’s the name I’ve used for about 15 years to varying degrees. This was before coming out as transgender. Now the particular thing about coming out as transgender I’m going to highlight is that you’ll find it a bit tricky getting people to use your correct pronouns or accepting this “new” reality if they don’t have a name to call you that fits; and the problem with me coming out is that I didn’t have one. Well now I do!

So now we come to Henry. Henry is a wonderful human being who I’ve known for many years through the community of steampunk. At a festival he invited several of us back to listen to Tom Waits and eat Chinese food; it’s hard to say no to an offer like that, so off we went. We had a great time and became firm friends. A couple of years later he gave me an old dress which I wore to go out, enjoyed it so much I started crossdressing, and started my journey of gender discovery (but that’s another story). Fast forward about ten years and my friend comes out as transgender, eventually settling on the name Henry.

So after showering my dear friend in congratulations and love, I sent a message asking if I can have his old name, and he said he would love to see me using it; which is the main point of this post – I have a new name, Hazel Wood. Best Christmas present ever!

I’ll be using the name Hazel from now on, and renouncing my old name; I haven’t submitted any documentation for this just yet but I will be doing so in the near future. I’ll be writing another post documenting this process when I do it (and there’ll be information on doing it yourself for free if that’s of interest to anyone) so keep an eye out for that post – easiest way would be to follow me on twitter – @dreamhazard

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