And no, I don’t know if I’ll smell as sweet.

One thing that is starting to take up some brainspace for me is changing my name. As in, when would I do such a thing, assuming I start hormone replacement therapy the way I want to. Because at some point I’m going to start looking female to basically everyone, and that means that my given name isn’t going to cut it anymore.

First, though, I’ve been trying to decide if changing my last name would be disrespectful to my parents. I have an uncommon last name, and I don’t want them thinking I’m trying to run away from them. In fact, my new last name (Buell) holds some family meaning as well, so I hope I can convince them of that.

Some people close to me are already calling me Evi, though about half of them pronounce it wrong. Hint: I’m not a Pokemon. But that does ease the transition a bit, having those closest to you already comfortable using it. Their use can spread outward to other friends, then.

Professionally is a good question, considering my credentials are all in my given name. I’m not the type of professor to frame my degrees and hang them on the wall. I do have them at work, but only because I don’t want to have to put up with them at home. Not big on that brand of symbolism. But that is a day that does scare me, considering then I’m going to have to tell all of my colleagues. I can imagine the confusion otherwise, and even still, when an email or whatever goes out, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the water cooler conversations that would follow.

Then there is all of the official business. Birth certificate, passport, drivers license, credit cards, loans, lease, etc. There is a LOT out there that has a name, you know? And the ones that have a gender for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, those are the ones I definitely need to keep an eye on.

I think the biggest question, though, is when I start using it myself. To introduce myself or what have you. I’m going to a conference in a couple of weeks, and I’m very tempted to use it there and see how it feels. Then, later this summer, I can see what I think. It might be a nice thing to be a bit more comfortable with for when I have the inevitable talk with my family about all of this.

Who would have guessed that entirely changing who you are could be such a challenge?