By Any Other Name


I have a confession to make. I am using a pen name and I have changed the names of my family and friends. There are a few reasons why I am choosing to do this. As you may or may not know, my son is transgender. Family and close friends know. Co-workers know. Classmates know. That might seem like a large group, but it isn’t. Not really. Almost three years later, there are many who do not know. In time I’m sure some of those people will also know. Some will never know, depending on their importance in our lives or the frequency with which we see them.


As K began his transition, it was (and remains always) extremely important that he’s accepted as a guy. People who meet him now know him only as male. It is his choice whether or not he shares his history with friends or coworkers in his life now. So, out of respect for his privacy I use a pen name.


The other, less important, reason I’m undercover is because I’m shy. I’m terrified of sharing my writing with anyone, although my husband would kill to read something I wrote. I used to write stories and read them to my sisters and they loved them- but boy, were they bad!!!


On a side note, only names have been changed. Everything else is 100% me, straight from my heart. And I am Kat. Truth be told, if I could have picked my name, I would have chosen Katherine. I wanted one of my kids to have the name but a boy named Kat? Talk about gender confusion!




11 thoughts on “By Any Other Name

  1. There’s something about a blog, I think, that attracts us soft-spoken folk. Out in the world we get talked over a lot. And society seems to favor the extraverts. So, we’re naturally attracted to environments where we can’t be interrupted. It’s soothing.

    I’m so glad K has you and your family for support. I volunteered at a GLBTQ youth group for many years, and knew so many kids that had to start from scratch on top of the stress of the medical necessities. Your post warmed my heart.


    1. Thank you and I believe you are correct. I do a lot of listening out in the world and not so much talking.

      I’m doing the best I can with K. It breaks my heart to think of other kids out there who are like K but don’t have family or friends to support them.


  2. Writing under a pen name makes you mysterious right? Although I agree you don’t have to justify why you do I think it’s amazing that you have so much respect for your child/family. I look forward to reading your blog 🙂


    1. I never really thought about it as being mysterious. (I’m the least mysterious person I know!) Seriously, it’s important for my son to be able to carve out his own life without being outed by Mom all over the place. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All our names are pen names too. I could count on one hand the number of people who know about Jeremy in real life and still have fingers left over. None of them are family members. A handful more people know about the blog but, once again, none of them are family members and most are online friends.

    Some secrets just aren’t ours to share. And shyness seems like a pretty good reason too.


    1. Letting people know is a very individual to each family thing. In our case, I told my parents, siblings and close friends, my husband told his, and K told his close friends. My parents and siblings thought K should have told them but he was going through too much at that time. It is a very sensitive subject and it’s always changing.


  4. I change all of my friends’ and family’s names too, so it seems fairly normal to me. Not because anyone has secrets they’d like to hide (although I suppose if Honorary Housemate’s employers knew about his attitude outside of work, he might get fewer jobs), but just for the sake of allowing them a bit of privacy.
    I think Kat would make a good name for a guy, but then if I had children (which I don’t plan to), there’s a dangerous possibility that I would name my child Christopher and nickname him Kit, for Marlowe. And… that’s why after his first day of school, my son would never speak to me again. 😀


  5. Well, ‘welcome aboard’ I say! I’m one who writes under a pen name as well. I hope that people have figured that out though. I like to think I made it pretty clear in my About Me page.
    I can certainly understand why you would do so given the reasons you stated above. My reasons seems rather trivial compared to yours. I just hope to maintain a little anonymity.


    1. Let me be totally honest- long before I knew I had a transgender child, I planned on writing under a pen name. I didn’t have any great reason other than overwhelming shyness. 🙂


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