“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594
Yes, it would smell the same no matter what we call it, though I personally don’t think calling a rose a “cactus” would be appropriate. Giving people and objects names is how we identify things. I’m sure that you agree that without names everyday conversation would start getting very confusing. Though sometimes we still have a nasty habit of doing it. “Did you see that thing with the thing when it went all… you know? With the stuff?” ;)
Now, when that same rose changes, so does its name. There are many different kinds of roses, as there are many different kinds of people. Even though they are all equal we change their name so we can more properly identify who (or what, in the event of a conversation about roses) we are talking about.
Right now I am in transition, I am changing who I am to the very deep rooted core of my identity. Though my genetics will not change, I will grow and flourish into a new form of myself; a new person. As this change progresses my old name of how I used to be identified should apply less and less to who I am becoming. In the end it would even be more natural to change names as to properly identify me. Eventually there will be people who will only know me from that new identity onward.
So, I will still be a rose, but there’s a more clarifying addition to it. It won’t be “cactus rose”, but something more suiting and proper. Just as you wouldn’t call your mother “Bob” or your father “Susan”, nor should you me.
I want to add to this story that I have decided, after very long deliberation, to hyphenate my last name. Though previously I chose to change it to my wife’s there is something to be said for legacy and identity. If my last name is akin to my “rose”, then I should keep it rather than change it completely. So while there will be an addition to it to show I am a different kind of rose, I am still a rose.