If I’m leaving the house, I’m wearing my “Griffin” necklace. For the nine years that I went by Griffin before legally changing my name last summer, this accessory was a quintessential part of validating my nonbinary-ness, announcing to me and to the world that I was Griffin, regardless of what my license or electric bill said.
While all my legal paperwork and work forms now say “Griffin,” I still cherish and adore any and all fun life items bearing the name. Keychains, stationary, jewelry: I want it all.
Holding physical items with my chosen name or initials is a pinch-me moment. These things ensure that I get to greet the world as Griffin every day; I’m not just dreaming about having a new name anymore. They also help heal leftover childhood pain from never liking my “dead” name (the name a trans person was given at birth) and never wanting to broadcast it. A gift with my chosen name is a gift to younger me. It’s a signal saying “Finally, you get to be yourself, and more, you get to be celebrated for it.”
Without being totally on the nose, when you’re a trans, nonbinary and/or gender-nonconforming person who has changed their name, there is indeed a great sense of pride in getting to wear or use items displaying your new title. June being Pride Month, it’s a natural time to think about ways to celebrate your own name change or the name change of queer and trans people in your life.
If a friend, family member, co-worker or otherwise close person has recently changed their name, giving them a personalized gift can be a thoughtful way to show your support and excitement. And if you’ve recently changed your name, been through the hellscape that is a legal name change or just want to explore what it feels like to use a different name, getting yourself a little treat with the new name can be a sweet way to honor your own journey.
To help you pick some fun name gifts, I rounded up my favorite options for celebrating yourself or a loved one. Some are more practical and some are just fun, but all are meant as a toast to a name that feels better.
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A classic L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bag that you can customize
One of my all-time favorite presents was an L.L. Bean canvas bag with "GRIFFIN" on it in pink capital letters. My friend also found really cute and niche patches for me and put them on it — seriously, I cry. These bags last forever, are pretty gender-neutral and are great for travel or going to the beach or lake. They're a timeless piece that someone will never outgrow and I can attest that they make for a great present.
BlackWhiteCustomize on Etsy
A high-quality nameplate necklace in bunch of different fonts
I have quite a few name and word necklaces from a few stores and shops, and consider myself a bit of an expert. My favorite store for something on the more affordable side, but still high quality, is definitely BlackWhiteCustomize on Etsy. I have a necklace with their box chain that I love and one with the Cuban chain that's super cute. (I will say, sometimes the Gothic font letters are a bit hard to read, especially if your name is on the longer side. If legibility is important to you, opt for a more block font.)
JoyfulTidingsBridal at Etsy
A personalized laptop bag to show your new name at work and school
Name change can feel particularly challenging in a work or school setting. Something like a monogrammed computer bag can let you feel out your new initials or full-on celebrate your new name in a "work appropriate" way that's pretty mellow.
An engraved leather journal for notes and thoughts
Perhaps it's the writer in me, but who doesn't love a leather notebook? Use it as a journal, for grocery lists or just doodling during the day. This one allows you to display your new name in a variety of fonts, while still being pretty minimalist.
A funky 3D-printed name for your desk or office
A name tag come to life, this 3D-printed name plate comes in so many colors and fonts and allows you to express yourself and your new name. Put it on a shelf, on your desk, in a window or anywhere else to celebrate the new name.
A set of personalized stationary for letters and correspondence
Walking the line between strictly practical and fancy and fun, new stationary can be a great gift after a name change. Whether sending thank-you notes, a letter to a friend or work correspondence, having new stationary or paper with a new letterhead can make it all the more official. Crane is a luxury stationary line that has endless options for personalized cards and letters. We love this style featuring a breezy hammock.
GracePersonalized on Etsy
A dainty ring you can wear everyday
After I saw a friend's, I bought this exact ring featuring my last name, and have thought about getting a "Griffin" one many times. It's super lightweight and easy to wear, doesn't turn your finger green and can be a great option for someone who isn't fully out or is only using their new name in specific spaces, as it's not as visible as a necklace or keychain. Because the letters are pretty small, you can get away wearing it without anyone really seeing it unless they are very close to you and staring at your hand.
A whimsical beaded name necklace you'll never take off
While I don't have a name necklace from this store, I do have this fun one with cherries and an eight ball
and can attest to this seller's quality and speed. It's a fun beaded piece, sure, but there's an elegance and chicness to it that I can't recreate (trust me, I've tried.) I'm planning on getting one for my future sister-in-law, who is changing her last name for marriage reasons, not gender reasons, but nonetheless deserves a celebration.
A block letter wall hook that will dress up your room
Even though I am not a kid or a parent, I found this wall peg set on Pottery Barn Kids a few years ago and have been eyeing it ever since. I love the block letters and all the poppy colors it comes in, and think it would be such a cute addition to your bedroom or hallway.
LittleEnglandGifts on Etsy
A fun toiletry bag you'll want to take everywhere
Fill it with makeup, jewelry, phone chargers or anything else; this personalized mini zipper bag is so cute. The bright colors are so exciting and the varsity-style letters will feel like a pack of cheerleaders are yelling your new name every time you use it.
A new return address stamp, for any and all snail mail
On the more practical side, this personalized name stamp will save you time and hand cramps if you're ever sending out holiday cards, invitations, bills or any other snail mail that demands a return address. Add in your own name and address and enjoy the simple one-stamp magic.
A colorful Airpods case to keep you in tune
A personalized Aipods case can help you keep track of your buds, know which ones are yours and celebrate your new name. Sounds like a pretty good trifecta! This case comes in a ton of different colors, so you can shout it out or opt for something a little more neutral.
Or a bright phone case to let everyone see your name
Similarly, this phone case will allow you to show off your name whenever you're taking mirror selfies or placing your phone screen-down on a table for privacy. It's a cute item that you will see more than other people, and it can make you feel really good.
A new luggage tag for exciting adventures
Again, a mix of practical and fun. If you changed your name and travel a lot, you're going to need a new luggage tag. These high-quality leather tags come in 10 different colors with the option to display your initials or your name.
leftcoastoriginal on Etsy
Or a leather keychain you'll love wearing around
If you're familiar with lesbian internet culture and Alison Bechdel,
a key ring
may be a natural choice for a queer person's name change present. "Ring of Keys" aside, this leather keychain is sharp-looking and practical, giving the recipient a little boost that's still under the radar.
WeddingsDecorandMore on Etsy
A professional name plaque for the office
Again, changing your name in a work setting can be hard. This wooden plaque can announce to your workspace, clients or others you see in a professional setting that you're using a new name.