changes // my last post as @meredithsue

I've been thinking about names for a long time. For some reason I've always attached significance to names. As a kid, one of my favorite hobbies was reading my parents' baby naming book. I remember wishing my name could be Jamie because no one could tell whether it was a girl's or boy's name. I look back on this memory and smile because this fantasy certainly followed me into adulthood. I continued to dream about having a gender-neutral name. Within the past two years, I asked my close support system, colleagues at work, and new friends to shift from calling me my given name, Meredith, to Mere, and use they/them pronouns. When they refer to me in this way, I feel a kind of gender euphoria. I can compare it to wearing shoes (for nearly your whole life...) that are either too big or too small- constant discomfort, yet you know nothing different. Then imagine the feeling when you finally get a pair that fit just right- life changing! While the initial switch was and is still challenging for those close to me, their efforts to call me by Mere and use they/them pronouns have been an incredible source of support. Though it may seem like a small and superficial gesture to some, changing my Instagram name from @meredithsue to @meretheir is my way of taking another step to align and affirm my nonbinary gender.