The difficulties of picking a name for transgender people

Taran Harrsion

For a 25-year-old Preston student, trying to pick a new name came with a lot of arguments.

Many transgender people often choose new names as their ‘dead name’ (given to a person at birth) is too masculine or feminine, too binary, or just doesn’t fit them anymore.

Taran Harrsion was aged 22 when he came out three years ago. He said: “Picking a name was traumatising, but we got there in the end.

“My mum didn’t like the names I liked, so in the end my sister chose it for me. I liked Taran as it means thunder, and I’m quite a loud person.”

Transgender people often change their names when they reach a stage in their transition where they are living full-time as the gender which matches their gender identity.

Taran decided to come out in a text message: “It didn’t go down well. It was just poor timing; it was never going to be a good time. It took my mum a couple of months to get on board with it all, the names, the pronouns, but everyone else was fine, my sister was really supportive and so was everyone else.”

The Government Equalities Office say they estimate that there are approximately 200,000-500,000 trans people in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics is also researching whether and how to develop a population estimate for Transgender people in the UK.

Taran Harrison urged people to take their time, and make sure people take their time in doing what they want and what is right for them.

He said: “Don’t take anyone’s nonsense. Just be yourself and make yourself happy, that’s all that really matters. Live and prosper.”