A friend of mine recently asked me “So how did you pick out the name Liz Summers?” upon which I searched back for the blog post where I explained it.
Well, it turns out I never did.
Which brings up a good point – why even have a female name? I’m not female, I have no underlying, burning desire to be female. When I’m dressed up at work, I expect (and say, when asked) that people call me by my male name. So why even have a female one?
First and foremost, I didn’t really have one for a long time. Back then it felt like a step too far, as if coming up with a name meant that I was suddenly ready to leave my maleness behind (spoiler alert: that didn’t happen). I wasn’t as comfortable with my identity back then, and every step further into the lake of femininity felt like a step too far. As time went on and online communities for crossdressing became more established, it kind of felt as if you had to choose a female name, like there was a societal pressure to fit in. So I came up with a name – LaChristina.
My god, what an awful name. I can throw that name firmly into the pile labelled “Trying too hard”. “Christina” would’ve been fine, but the “La” made it sound french and sexy. Like some kind of Moulin Rouge showgirl, can-canning all over the place, frilly knickers on display, and legs about to kick someone’s head off like a stripping ninja. Really what it signified was an overt desperation to be thought of as female.
I abandoned that name reasonably quickly and replaced it, for a long time, with nothing.
But people kept asking. “What’s your girl name?” or “Do you have a name for this?”. One question I got a lot was “What’s your drag name?” which… is a bit weird, given that when I did dress up, I wasn’t near approaching even the lower echelons of drag makeup. Drag was not, and remains not, my goal.
Eventually someone referred to me as “Queen Elizabeth” one time while I was dressed up, which stuck in my mind for some reason. Probably because I’m British. I’m not a monarchist by any stretch of the imagination, but you gotta respect the Queen at least a bit. I quickly decided that “Elizabeth” as a name was a bit of a mouthful, and I replaced it with the linguistically lazy “Liz”.
At some point I decided that maybe I should make a Facebook profile just for Liz. This was back when the social-media-sewer had started enforcing their real name policy, and I was hesitant to add my actual last name after “Liz”. I tried “Liz Something” but it declined to accept that as an agreeable moniker, so I spent a day trying to figure out a good last name. Conversations with the ol’ wife followed, and after some poking around at the DVD shelf to reference awesome women characters, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” slid right into view. For those not in the know, her full name was Buffy Anne Summers, and stealing that, I reached my final form of “Liz Summers”. It felt like a natural name. Not forced, not trying to be anything, just a regular name that sounded nice. I like it. It fits, and manages to grant me a sliver of internet anonymity.
It’s an integral part of the outfit. Like the cat-eye glasses! :D
Now of course, given that we live in a world with gender expectations, there’s pressure to exist in accordance with them. Would I have felt like I needed to pick a female name if everyone was OK with dressing up however they wanted? Probably not, which is an interesting thought experiment to explore…. later.
What’s the story of your female name? Do you even have one? I would love to know!
FWIW, I think Liz really suits you. Certainly more so than the other name. But hey, lessons learned :-)
Pre antisocial media when web chat was a thing, I used to use ‘Linn’. It was short, nothing like my bloke name, and I thought it was sort of here nor there in terms of gender.
Skip on a few years and I settled on Lynn. Occasionally people write it as Lyn or Lynne, but there’s bigger stuff to worry about :-)
I like Lynn :D It’s just a regular ol’ name :D I guess that’s the point :D
I have never had a female name. I just wear women’s clothes as a man. Early on, I thought I had to present female in order to be allowed to wear women’s wear. I started taking morning walks in a skirt before work when I lived far from anyone I knew. After several of these walks, and encountering other walkers, I realized that I didn’t have to be a girl to wear a skirt. I never went back! I don’t think I ever presented female in any way since then, ~15 years ago.
My anonymous online identity is Joey.
Jessie is much more of a pen name for me than a femme name. It came about from my middle name being Jesse and I had tried other names but none really worked, I looked into it and Jessie is the traditional spelling of the female version of Jesse going back centuries. So Jessie stuck but it is still very much a pen name.
I love it! :D I think I had toyed with “Jessica” as a name at some point, definitely one of my favourites!
About 15 years ago I went out one time and decided on the name Allison, who was the first girl I had a crush on (way back in 8th grade). But I never went one and never “felt” the name was me.
In October 2016 I had my coming out (nails, makeover, shopping, etc) and began interacting with a couple of Nordstrom sales Angel’s, whom I would visit from time to time. They just knew me by my male name.
So during the summer of 2017 Nordstrom is having their anniversary sale and my friendly sales Angel Falon sets up a room for my appointment. The SAs wrote the first names of the customers on their respective dressing room doors. As Falon only knew me by my male name (which is all I had), she wrote the first initial of my male name and my last name.
I then decided I needed a girl name and the simplest answer was to use my male initial, and that’s why I chose the name Dee (it helped my wife had a friend named Diane but everyone called her Dee).
Yes, those Nordstrom angels! I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Nordstrom! <3
Interesting points you raised Liz and I gotta say the one that gets me thinking the most is the gender expectations and would we need to make up names in the first place.
But anyway enough thinking, My female name is Maggie Williams. Maggie is a nickname I had for a good portion of my life. My last name starts with a Mc, but people always pronounced the Mc as Mag. Americans! So my name turned into Maggie for short. My middle name is William.
It just seemed natural and right. Thanks for asking and interesting stories from many people.
Hi Liz, my Mom gave me the name Krista before she passed away five years ago. And when she told me, I immediately loved it. Mom always wanted a daughter (she was sure I’d be born a girl so had a name picked out) but ended up with two sons. I’m sure if she was still here, she’d be okay with me crossdressing. Mom and I always had a connection (I never really got along with my very traditional authoritarian and abusive father). When I was in elementary school (late 1950s/early 1960s), she and I would take the bus to the big city on Saturday and spend the day shopping, going to a restaurant for lunch, then catching a movie. I definitely enjoyed our “girls” days out together. Mom was definitely the parent who influenced me the most and I really miss her. Stay safe, stay healthy, All the Best, Hugs, Krista.
This is a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing, Krista! <3 You were very lucky to have a mum that loved you so much <3
Hello Liz and blog readers
I just discovered your blog today in a list of Top 10 crossdressing blogs. Congrats for making that list.
By way of background, my name is Jules and Sophia. I have a somewhat similar experience to Liz and others on this blog. I am a man who’s been highly successful in business, in particular all sorts of technology related businesses, having taken a company public and sold several more.
I was crossdressing secrely for years. Both when I was married, and then especially the last 10 years being deliberately single.
I started telling people about 3 years ago. I was very surprised at the reactions of people. Women were totally cool with it, and girlfriends generally embraced it. I’ve had sex with a few men, but predominantly women. Some of my girlfriends even really enjoyed dressing up together and being “sisters” and “girlfriends”.
I must add, the women were sexually turned on because of 2 reasons. One, they got to act out their lesbian fantasies and desires, and two, we often role played.
My current girlfriend is not only into my dressing but also let’s me express my Feminine side. She loves calling me Sophia.
I chose that name quickly for several reasons. Im Italian, it was the alternative name for my daughters and I find it sexy as a reference to Sophia Loren and others.
Thanks Liz for your blog. Its both informative and entertaining. I hope to be a regular reader and commenter.
My name is Nick. My gurl name is Nikki Morningstarr but I still answer to Nick as a gurl. I feel that adopting a female name is a bit disingenuous becausd yes I am presenting as a gurl but I am simply a boy that loves to feel pretty.. and get attention from men… and give said men attention back… sigh so yeah Nikki
Thanks for sharing, but I think crossdressers need a female name
Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.