My name… as it causes confusion!
Believe it or not, I wasn’t given the name Tee Jay at the point of my birth. I changed my name by deed poll, something that is very easy to do in the UK (approx £35ish), the hard part is to notify HMRC, DWP, your GP, bank, employers and of course letting all your family, friends and relatives know that you have changed your name.
Once you have gone through that ‘transition’, and it is because there is a part of the process that more people know you by your old name rather than your new in the early part of the process. I’m not devaluing trans people here, remember, my brother is trans.
There was one time where I was at the opticians who refused to believe that I was an NHS patient, then realised they knew me from school, then ACTUALLY said, ‘that is not a real name Mr XXXXXXXX’ (I’m keeping my birth name private, so to keep my family’s privacy – PLEASE RESPECT THIS) – and promptly then used my old name. Yes, it hurt, and yes I have boycotted that opticians – there are still relatives today using my old name – and yet are using my brother’s new name – I changed my name first! I’m NOT devaluing my brother’s transition – I have even joked about this with my parents, who until recently have got used to using Tee Jay on a regular basis.
Originally I wanted my name to be just TJ. No surname, no middle name, just TJ. But I found out that, under UK law, you have to have at least a first name and surname. OK, so I went with T as my first name and Jay as my surname. This is where it became fun.
DWP, HMRC, well any Government department allowed my name to be T Jay. When I got to my GP, their computer system couldn’t handle a one-letter first name, so under my GP, I am called T. Jay. Yes, my first name at my doctor’s surgery had to have a full stop so that the computer system could ‘handle’ my new name. OK, that was simple enough.
I was on Facebook as my old name, and could you imagine my horror when I realised I couldn’t change it to have a one-letter first name or a name with a period at the end of it – I had to phonetically spell my name just to have a Facebook account – YES, you got it, my name is spelt the way it is because that meant I could use Facebook, to be fair, there are a lot of web services that won’t allow one or two-letter names, but Facebook was the first one I found this out!
Now people have used THAT spelling, and because I lost my original deed poll document – I retroactively changed it to Tee Jay on a new one. Yes, the only reason why it is spelt this way is down to tricking a computer database – the spelling of my name has been chosen by modern technology – and thanks to Facebook, everyone thinks that is how it is spelt.
Officially I want to be called T-Jay (the hyphen is silent!) – however, just by having a first name is not what we have agreed on in western culture, so here we are with a name that has been spelt out phonetically – I sign using the spelling this way (i.e T-Jay), and at university any official stuff they did use T-Jay. I use T-Jay at work – which then makes you wonder why I haven’t done it here – because I have a funny feeling Equity wants me to also have a first and last name – so I am keeping it like that – especially now that all my social media accounts have that spelling!
It does bring its own fun things though, I have been called Tee on the phone many times, I have told them to use T-Jay though, I have had my name spelt TJ, Tee J, T Jay, Tee Jay or T-Jay, plus people still think it’s not a real name. IT IS – HMRC, Companies House, DWP, my bank and my GP all recognise that I am called Tee Jay (or some variation) – so by that account, my legal name IS Tee Jay!
When I was volunteering, apparently one member of staff asked what my surname was, the reply was, ‘Jay’ – then they asked the following question, ‘so what’s his first name?’ – The reply was ‘Tee’. They then said, ‘So we are calling him by his full name?’ – YES, YES YOU ARE!
My first name is Tee.
My surname is Jay.
People call me TJ, or T.J. or Tee Jay, or T-Jay. to me, the spelling doesn’t matter. So long as it is phonetically sound I don’t care.
I would prefer T-Jay, I still like using it, but as time has gone on, I have got used to Tee Jay – I like my name, of course, I do, I spent money on it.
BUT DON’T CALL ME TEEG!
BLIMEY, HOW LAZY MUST YOU BE TO USE ONE LESS SYLLABLE IN A TWO-SYLLABLE NAME!
— To get why I don’t care why I don’t get heated by the spelling – just read this out aloud – I did, and you will see what I mean by it doesn’t matter so long as it sounds like ‘TeeJ’ or some variation – I did!