‘I tested my new name at the coffee shop’

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01/31/2020

“Choosing my name was a pretty long journey,” says Sonja Howells. “When I first said my name to the barista, it felt so liberating. It was so freeing. To say, this is who I am, this is my new name! I couldn’t believe it.” Sonja, a student from the West Midlands, came out as a transgender female at 14. “After coming out, I transitioned fairly quickly. Initially my dad tolerated it, but then the relationship broke down,” she told the BBC. “My mum was surprised and hesitant. I remember she said, ‘But what are we going to call you now?'” Sonja had the idea for her name after watching a gaming live-stream, but her mother suggested she take on the name which her parents would have given her if she was “assigned female at birth”.

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