Well, why Allison? Why lil’ ol’ me? Well, like many of you may be, I am a crossdresser who’s supportive and open-minded. I may be somewhat shy, but I am fabulously friendly when displaying my femme persona. I love giving out support and even some advice, and….
Oh, you mean the name “Allison”? Why did I choose it?
Well, that’s a good question, deciding on my feminine name and all. The name “Allison” is one I have grown into like a beautiful, form-fitting dress, but a set name was never a top priority when I first started dressing up. Even in my teen years when I became more acclimated to dressing up (on the sly, of course), a set femme name wasn’t too much on my mind. Heck, I don’t recall any instance back then when I just picked a female name off the top of my head, looked at my all-dressed-up self in the mirror, and said, “Say, [insert female name here], you look totally awesome.”
But when did I start referring to myself with a woman’s name? I think it was in my early 20s, when I was (for a while) living on my own and had enough money in the bank account to build my own feminine wardrobe and, when Halloween rolled around, purchase a wig from the seasonal costume outlet. Even then, “Allison” wasn’t the first name on my mind, but rather “Andrea.” Remember the Frank & Moon Unit Zappa song “Valley Girl” and the early 80s Val-speak trend (or sociolect, or fad, or whatever) it brought into prominence? About 3 minutes into the song, Moon utters the name “Andrea.” She draws out that first syllable a little bit (“Aunnnnn-drea”), doing so in a cute yet voluptuous manner. I got a kick out of that, and to this day, thanks to Moon Zappa and “Valley Girl,” I equate Andrea (oops, excuse me… Aunnnnn-drea) to “cute vixen.”
But “Andrea” as a feminine name for me? As cute and sexy as it is, the name always seemed like an ill fit on me. Perhaps it was the influence of the simple/functional wardrobe I accumulated and/or “borrowed” from my sister while we were living together that made me start to think of a more appropriate female name for me. Not too long after I had moved back in with my sister (this was the mid 1990s), we were discussing some of her high school friends. The discussion triggered in my mind someone else from high school who made quite an impression on me. This particular girl was two full grades ahead of me and three full grades ahead of my sister, meaning we didn’t cross paths or interact very often. When I did encounter her, however, she came across as one who was nice and alluring yet down to earth and unassuming; wild and bubbly yet responsible; smart yet not perfect (she wasn’t valedictorian, if that’s what your asking); an outgoing person who never demanded the spotlight. You might say I had a little bit of a crush on her, and, yeah, I did. Too bad she had a boyfriend, though (always a crush killer in my book).
And, yes, this girl’s name was Allison.
That conversation with my sister didn’t quite make me realize that “Allison” would be the perfect name for my feminine side, but the thought did germinate in my mind. Perhaps the point when it was “Allison and nothing else” for a name came when I arranged time with an *ahem* adult fantasy service that also provided feminine transformations (that’s a story for another post). When I made my appointment, I was asked what I wanted to be referred as during the appointment… and I just said, “You can call me Allison.” Being referred to as Allison during that appointment felt real good, and from then on, my feminine side’s name wasn’t Andrea or Stacy or Sandra or anything else… but Allison.
Like I said above, the name Allison seems to fit me perfectly. Just like the girl who inspired it, I’m a person who’s unassuming, responsible (well, somewhat responsible), definitely not perfect, and not one to hog the spotlight too much. Perhaps there’s one main difference between my male and female sides: We may have some of the same traits, but I seem to me more secure and outgoing as female than as male (I can be a wallflower and a nervous wreck sometimes in male mode). Actually, that leads me to a 2nd difference between male and female: Outside of the use of one consonant, the name “Allison” bears no resemblance to my male name. Perhaps I may have been making a conscientious decision about my name all those years ago, even without yet deciding on a name: Just like an actor playing a character, I wanted the two sides of me to have their own identity.
Oh, the girl from high school who inspired that name? Well, naturally, since we were in separate grades, I don’t hear much of Allison anymore and I don’t know what she’s doing now, although I want to think she’s married and living in California or somewhere. Would I want to thank Allison for indirectly helping to inspire my feminine side if we were to get together again? Likely not, because I’d probably still be admiring her for the person I remember her being, and the person I still hope she is today.
So, that’s my “female name” story. If you’re a crosssdresser or a trans person, did you have any inspiration for the name you identify as? Feel free to share in the comments section if you wish. Thanks!