Our dreams are little role playing games we play with each other for all variety of purposes: entertainment, kink, therapy, internal decision making, team building exercises, practicing emergency procedures, touring our inworld communities, etc.
Every person, monster, or animal we meet in our dream is a system member.
The people who are fronting in the dream are a tiny percentage of our population, and it’s a different group every time. Our dream consciousness works the same way as our waking consciousness. It’s the same thing, and we call it the Bridge. There are one to eighteen of us co-conscious at a given time, and people can join the Bridge freely, and we can switch who is in the pilot seat without even noticing. The frontrunner is the one in the pilot seat, and they end up being the one to hold the clearest memories of what happens while they are there. But other Bridge Crew can often still remember that part of the dream, at least a few important details. And also, anyone who is in the dream but not on the Bridge will remember the dream from their perspective.
Everyone on the Bridge will experience having the same dream body. To have ones own dream body, one must leave the Bridge.
Most of that is irrelevant to last nights dream, but it gives important context to it and any future dream journaling we do.
Another important thing is that we are trans. We are, specifically, trigender, and none of those genders are the one we were assigned at birth. None of them even intersect with it. One of those genders is dragon, and we’ve effectively been living as a dragon amongst friends and family since we were 9 years old. It even got to the point where relatively new coworkers would eventually say things like, “of course you don’t feel like you fit in with either the men or the women, you’re a dragon.” We don’t know exactly how that worked, but we somehow exuded dragonhood for most of our adult life. But, still, for the most part, society kept mistaking us for a man.
Here’s the thing. The name we were first given as an infant isn’t our deadname. We don’t have a deadname. We will occasionally call it our deadname, to fit in with the rest of trans culture and to help train cis people to avoid using that name, ever, so that they remain in the habit of paying the same respect for others. But the system members who used that name for most of our life still identify by it.
In fact, we consider ourselves to have two given names, Jonathan and Anne. Jonathan is the name our parents legally gave us at birth. Anne is the name they gave us in spirit, that they chose for if we were to be assigned female by the doctor.
Given names are lesser than chosen names. Chosen names are sacrosanct. A person’s chosen name is their true name.
We are choosing to divulge both of these names so that they don’t have power over us. The rule is, however, family may call us Anne. But you may not use either name unless you are speaking of or to one of the headmates who has that name. And if you are referring to us as a system prior to our transition, you should still use “the Inmara” to do so, because we’ve been co-conscious for most of our life and many of us were involved in doing whatever we were doing.
Also, you should know that neither of these names are specifically attached to any one gender. Most of our Jonathans are dragons, a couple are girls or monsters. And the Annes are equally divided. None of them are boys or men.
Anyway, this is a relatively recent stance on our names for us. Before we came out as plural, we came out as trans, and we did go through a couple of years where Jonathan was our deadname. And we’re still in the habit of treating it that way amongst strangers, again for our safety and for the sake of other trans people.
So, last night as we dreamt about participating in various activities, our dream body and implied identity being the same as our outworld body and identity for the purposes of this dream, every person we ran into recognized us as “Jonathan,” even when we didn’t recognize them.
We have a kind of amnesia that works a lot like prosopagnosia. We often run into people in the outworld who know us but whom we don’t remember. Sometimes it’s even our own parents. So, this wasn’t unusual in the dream, and we rolled with it like we do in the outworld, just assuming the members who know these people aren’t awake yet. So we faked knowing them and were as polite as we could be.
Every time someone came up to us and addressed us as Jonathan in these dreams, we had a moment to think about how we wanted to treat that. Over and over. And after a bit, it felt like what we were trying to do was find a way to talk about it without using the word “deadname” while also not divulging that we’re plural. We are not always out as plural to people, but every should know we are trans at this point.
So our response ended up being, “I need you to know that’s not my name anymore. If you can stop using it for me, that would be best. My name is Inmara now.” Pretty easy, actually.
At one point, a person asked, “Why?”
To which we responded, “Because I figured out that I’m a girl.”
“Oh,” they said, “Thank you for telling me that, Inmara. And congratulations!”
We are not always polite to each other in our dreams. Sometimes the dream is not about weathering politeness. But damn, that was nice.
These dreams were also about how we feel about all of this. At least, for the group of us who were on the Bridge at the time. Everyone else may feel quite differently. A whole lot of differentlies, most likely. And I think, even seven years after we came out as trans, we are all still processing this. But it feels like we are on the right track with everything we’ve written in this post.