My name

My name is Lu or Luke (either’s fine).

Lu is just a shortening of Luke. It’s the same as someone who’s called Alex and Alexander.

My real name

What does ‘real name’ mean?

Are you referring to:

Have a guess at what each one of those are. And then check your answers by reading on:

What I want to be called

We already went through this: Lu or Luke (either’s fine).

What people call me

One sounds more formal than the other. One sounds more masculine than the other. But either’s fine.

My birth name

My parents named me Luke. I like the name, and they do too. My middle name is Leonard, which is a recurring theme in my family. I like how unusual it is (for around here, at least).

Also I like how my initials are “double L, double U”.

In the united kingdom, the healthcare system is very bad for trans people.

I’m non-binary. And multiple times in my life, I’ve tried to get onto the right waiting list for a gender clinic. I wanted to get onto hormones. I’ve been taking them privately for a long time now, but I’m still trying to do it “by the books” in the background - so that I can stop paying so much money for it one day.

I’ve been trying for over a decade to get to an NHS gender clinic.

Each time that I’ve tried, there have been different hurdles and hoops to get through. These depend on the decade, but also the current biases and prejudices of my nearest doctor.

During one of these attempts, my doctor refused to do my paperwork because I still had a “boy’s name”.

Within a week, I legally changed my name to ‘Lu’. It was partly out of stubbornness, and partly out of desperation to get through the system. And it worked! I’m on the 7+ year-long waiting list again.

My nickname

I wasn’t planning to use ‘Lu’ as my name. I was going to continue with ‘Luke’.

‘Lu’ was my legal name, but ‘Luke’ was my nickname.

My favourite name

However, over time, ‘Lu’ grew on me. It was a fun story to tell people. I saw it like a badge of honour for my continual battle through the health system. So some people started calling me it, and I was fine with that.

When I met new people, I’d tell them my name is ‘Luke’. But then they’d get confused when someone else called me ‘Lu’. Out of pure practicality and convenience’s sake, and nothing more, I started saying that my name is ‘Lu or Luke’. As you might imagine, this completely backfired and people got even more confused.

People always asked me “no but, really, which one do you prefer?”

Truthfully, I like both, and I don’t have a favourite, so it’s hard to pick. I like them both equally. I used to come up with so many different ways to explain this. It felt awkward repeating the same thing again and again.

However, I started to see the humour and poetry in it after a while. By pure accident, and nothing more, I started says the words “either’s fine” tens or hundreds of times a day. It got pointed out to me.

I embraced it! And now I say the full “Lu or Luke, either’s fine” phrase. For me, it has a good mix of confusion and efficiency.

My dead name

I don’t have a dead name.

I always liked my double-named setup. I wasn’t expecting so much resistance. The resistance came in two forms:

It was no surprise to me that some people were against me changing my name at all. The usual hateful suspects.

They think they’re helping me. They say I should just “be myself” and “accept who I am”. None of this “Lu or Luke rubbish”. Sometimes they say this behind my back, and sometimes to my face.

It was more surprising to me that many allies and queer friends were against my name too. Even some trans and non-binary people.

They think they’re helping me. They say I should just “be myself” and “accept who I am”. None of this “Lu or Luke rubbish”. Sometimes they say this behind my back, and sometimes to my face.

Both groups of people don’t believe me. They don’t trust me.

I don’t have a dead name.

My name

Bank: Lu
License: Luke
Clinic: Lu
Doctor: Luke
Hospital: Lu
Passport: Luke
Work: Lu
Landlord: Luke

Parents: Luke or Lu
Partner: Lu or Luke

Luke: Lu
Lu: Luke
Lu: Lu
Luke: Luke
Lu or Luke: Luke or Lu
Luke or Lu: Lu or Luke
(either’s fine)

Go watch a video about this topic.

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