call me by my name

Aiden, Charlie, or Nico? The only guide you’ll need for transgender boy names

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You’ve realized who you really are deep inside, but you don’t have a name that reflects it. 

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. 

Many MTF (male to female) and FTM (female to male) transgender people go through the same thing, so they change their name before, during, or after they transition into their true gender. Sometimes it’s because their previous name is too masculine, feminine, binary, or it simply doesn’t fit them in the first place. 

But how does one choose what trans guy names to transition to? 

Having a new nickname is easy, but changing to a male name on legal documents is a serious commitment – a decision you don’t want to make in haste. Moreover, you might want to change your surname, too, not just your given name. It’s not necessary to get it legally changed, but doing so is significant in affirming your gender identity. 

In other words, it represents the person you were always meant to become.

So, here is a guide to help you choose among many transgender boy names. You’ll see lists of popular FTM names, uncommon FTM names, and other considerations to see which name is the one for you.

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RELATED: GOP Rep. wants to ban trans people from legally changing gender

Choose Which Names To Change

Most individuals only change their given name and leave their surname as is. But the reality is that you can change both your given and family name for a whole new identity. It’s really up to your discretion, situation, and goal.

Let’s look at your options.

Changing Your Given Name

There are many benefits to changing your given name:

  • Rebrand yourself, deviating from the person others knew before.
  • Enjoy people calling you by a name that matches who you are inside.
  • Stray away from the name your parents gave you – whatever the reason.

You probably already have a shortlist of the trans male names you like.  However, more than picking the one you unconsciously gravitate towards, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Is the name easy to say and spell? You don’t want to go through the hassle of correcting people all the time. Not only will you stress out your Starbucks barista, but your family members and friends might mispronounce or misspell your name, too. 
  • Does the name have a good meaning behind it? You can have a cool-sounding name, but is the meaning behind just as cool? Ensure that you’re happy with the origin and meaning of your chosen name.
  • Does it come with negative baggage? Maybe someone you dislike has the same name, or the name carries an unfavorable memory in your community. Either way, you don’t want to be associated with a name that has negative undertones.
  • Does it sound natural and appropriate for your age? Names come in and out of style, so it’s best to choose one that matches your age. You can start by thinking of other cisgender male and trans boy names within your circle of friends, or check your old yearbook to see which names were popular for your age group.
  • Who else has that name? Run a search to see if there are any celebrities or known individuals with the name you’re eyeing. Check what they are known for and if you’ll be okay with sharing the same name.

You don’t have to strictly follow the considerations above. But the point is to ensure that you’re comfortable with your chosen name and are fully aware of any societal challenges that may come with it.

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Change Your Last Name

There are a couple of reasons why many choose to keep their surname. See if you resonate with these:

  • You want to stay connected to your family and loved ones.
  • You don’t want to go through the hassle of explaining why you have a different surname than your family.
  • Your family name will benefit your profession (e.g., you’re the son of a well-known doctor).
  • You just want a new last name to live with.

In contrast, there are several reasons why you may want to get rid of your current surname:

  • You want to stray away from the past and break free from bad memories.
  • You want to have a clearer split between your past self and the new one.
  • You want to have a better-sounding surname.

If you realize that you want to change your last name, you have a couple of options to do so:

  • Use Your First Name: While it’s less common, you can use your current birth name as your new surname if it fits well. For example, if your old name is Kelly, you can change your name to Timothy Kelly.

Use a Different Surname: The more common route is to take on a different existing surname. Here are a few common and rare surnames in the United States to consider:

Chart of common and uncommon namesChart of common and uncommon names (continued)

  • Create Your Own Surname: Lastly, you can create your own surname. You can go multiple ways with this, such as creating a surname that can fit your profession (like how the classically-trained pianist and singer Alicia Cook went with Alicia Keys for her stage name) or creating a surname that fits with your personality.

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List Down Your Options

Now that you know which names you want to change, what FTM names do you change them to?

Sure, you can just scroll through common boys’ baby names online, but there are limited sources specifically for transgender names FTM. Probably because there are technically no “trans guys names” – they don’t have different names than cis-gendered people.

Still, there are certain names that are more commonly chosen by FTM transgender individuals that might be more appealing and comfortable for you. Let’s check them out.

Popular FTM Names

Someone tweeted that trans male names come in five types: normie, dog or cat, Twilight vampire, Irish soft boy, and fictional character. It’s all in good fun, but it’s also kinda true. There are certain categories and types that most gravitate towards when choosing trans boy names.

Check out these popular FTM names and see which ones you resonate with most:

Chart of popular FTM namesChart of popular FTM names (continued)

Alternatively, you can also just use the shortened version of your birth name, if it works. For example, if your name is Alexandra, just change it to Alex and call it a day. You can also “man up” names like changing Danielle to Daniel.

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Uncommon FTM Names

Are the names above too “normal” for you? You can opt for unique FTM names instead to stand out. 

Just be careful that you don’t get too creative with it, or you might end up facing backlashes like Elon Musk and Grimes’s kid X Æ A-12 or these two Mommy influencers with kids named “Baby.” People might not take you seriously, and you’ll have a hard time convincing them of your new name.

So, browse through these quirky trans male names to see which one sounds right:

Chart of unique FTM namesUnique FTM names (continued)

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Try Your New Name Out To Finalize

There are many ways for you to test out your new name. Some people try to use it as a nickname first, some will practice introducing themselves to the mirror, and some will simply ask their friends and family for their opinion. Whichever routes you decide to take, the main goal is to ensure that you’re comfortable with your new name.

Ask yourself: Does it feel right? Does it feel like home? Does it give you a sense of peace?

Slowly shorten your list until you land on the perfect one. Once you have it figured out, you can begin the tedious process of changing your name legally. The rules vary across US states, but generally, they require you to visit bureaucratic institutions, pay court fees, and have a lot of emotional willpower to undergo the process.

It can be frustrating and time-consuming. But once it’s done, you’ll feel amazing with your birth record, passport, and driver’s license all reflecting your new name.

Handsome transgender teenager tearing the word Female into MALE

Closing Thoughts

Considering that changing your name is usually the first thing most trans men will do, it’s certainly not the easiest thing to decide on. There are a lot of transgender names FTM out there, there’s no clear path to find your perfect name, and any name change requires a social transition.

Nevertheless, this is your personal journey of self-exploration and growth. So enjoy it!

Take your time, be easy on yourself, and don’t forget the person you want to be when choosing your new name. Finding the perfect name will encapsulate everything you want to be and everything that you are inside – something you’ll definitely be proud of for life.

Got a few tips to share with the Queerty community? Drop them in the comments! Choosing a name may be scary, but it’ll certainly be easier with supportive friends around.

RELATED: Three transgender women sue Pennsylvania to have their names changed