Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


One of the most Frequently Asked FAQ's I receive since transition is, "Where does your name come from?" So, here's the answer:

I fell in love with a certain female name (which I won't mention here) way back in junior high, and throughout my life thought that if I were female, I'd like that name. So when I finally reached the point where I couldn't go forward any more with the Great Deception, I figured I'd adopt that name.

However, Kristin didn't like it, and with good reason. I'd acted out in ways that were really painful for her as I neared breakdown, and she associated that name with some very trying times. Having been with her sixteen years, being a co-parent with her, loving her, and sincerely wishing to cause her no more pain, I dumped that name into the trashbin of history.

Then came trying to find a new one, and this proved to be challenging. Whatever I liked, she didn't. And, the last sentence of the last paragraph remaining true, I figured the least I owed her was a name she liked – especially since it was I who violated our wedding vows, not her.

I should've asked my mom. Recently I asked her what she would have named me if I'd been born a genetic girl, and she suggested that it might have been "Laramie." I could live with that. (But I really like Seda.)

Kristin and I argued about it for awhile, and she finally suggested 'Sequoia.' Okay, not my favorite, but it was at least acceptable to me. I started using that name, and threw it out to my budding internet support group, adding 'Dawn' as a middle name since the two sounded good together.

It soon became clear that Sequoia Dawn wasn't going to work. Nearly everyone had trouble spelling the first. And the second sounds way too close to 'Don' for any woman who looks as masculine as I did (and still do).

That's when the internet support group came to the rescue. For simplicity, one of them wrote and conjuncted (is that a word) my name to SeDa. Both Kristin and I liked it, and my name was born. A nice feminine name for a middle – Jane – and I was on my way.

Since then, I found out that 'seda' means 'silk' in Spanish. I was also told, in playing chess online with a Turk, that 'Seda' is a female name in Turkish, meaning something like 'voice.' Hence my blogsite,

Now I don't have to tell the story again – I can just give out the website. Maybe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

niiiiiiiiiiice, yes that answers a lot of questions!

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our