The practice of deadnaming is wrong

Jordan Harvey, Reporter

Deadnaming is a term most commonly used by those in the LGBT+ community, specifically those who are trans, genderfluid, or nonbinary. It means to refer to someone who has changed their name by their previous name. This being said, it can be detrimental to an individual’s mental and emotional health.

Ken Fuentes, a Junior at Taylorsville, states, “Its humiliating and disrespectful to deadname someone, its showing that you don’t see them as the person they are and only see what’s in their pants.”

Georgina Lucas (real name withheld), says, “I feel like if they call you by your deadname, it’s taking away that part of yourself you chose. I feel like it can hurt people’s feeling by discounting a choice they made themselves.” Lucas also mentioned that it’s similar to calling someone who goes by their middle name by their first name. It would be just as disrespectful to do that as it would be to deadname someone.

A Huffington Post article on the subject of being deadnamed [in reference to Mesha Caldwell’s murder], says, “Hearing or seeing one’s old name can induce a visceral sense of terror.” It goes on to explain that it is a violation of a deeply personal boundary, and reinforces the single most harmful misconception about those who are transgender or nonbinary, which is that the gender and name which they chose, their very identity, doesn’t mean anything unless it is what they were assigned at birth. To put it quite simply, it’s degrading.

When you’re being deadnamed, there is a sense of panic that you feel, a sense that everyone has questions that they don’t dare ask you when you hear your deadname. There’s the second moment of panic when they finally approach you and you know that they can never see you the same way. When someone learns your deadname, they say that they could only ever see that person as who they are now, but they don’t quite realize that that is both invasive, and disrespectful to ask for a dead name from someone else, or to ask why someone has changed their name, because they know that the dead name will forever be in the back of their mind.

From personal experience, it can take an incredible toll on someone. Being misgendered and deadnamed is not just something to joke about, or to take lightly. It can have an incredible effect on the person being deadnamed or misgendered. Being deadnamed is humiliating because it’s a part of them that has been exposed to those who were never meant to hear it. People can use it against them and trauma could be linked to the name from past experiences or current ones. For those who may not understand or not like the term, here is a more personal definition. A deadname is dead because it’s something they need to move on from. Of course, there are memories attached to it, whether they be good or bad, but they call it a dead name not because it’s dead to them, but rather just something they need to move on from, both for the sake of their mental health and for the sake of personal growth. It is something that they chose, and something that they want respected, just as everyone else would.