Even when I rarely heard it, I struggled to dislodge my old name from my mind - particularly on days when I felt concerned about how well I was ' passing '. Sometimes, when I introduced myself as Juliet, the old name sat on the tip of my tongue; I'd hesitate, and sound unsure of who I was. As for my friends and family, it became easier over time. For me, transitioning was about replacing an identity imposed at birth with one that suited me better, but I didn't want to rewrite the history symbolised by my old handle. Instead, I reconciled myself with it, deciding not to regret time 'wasted' but to relax and enjoy my transition. After all, nothing would be easier to change than my name.
• Juliet Jacques's column appears fortnightly. You are invited to post comments and questions for Juliet below, and are very welcome to share your own experiences.
The film adaptation of Silence of the Lambs was criticized by some gay rights groups for its portrayal of the psychopathic Gumb as bisexual and transgender .  A Johns Hopkins sex-reassignment surgeon, present in the book but not the film (his scene was deleted and is found in bonus materials on the DVD ), protests exactly the same thing. FBI Director Jack Crawford pacifies him by repeating that Gumb is not in fact transsexual, but merely believes himself to be. In the film, a similar scene is shown with Starling and Lecter in the same roles as the surgeon and Crawford, respectively. In the director's commentary for the 1991 film, director Jonathan Demme draws attention to various Polaroids taken of Buffalo Bill in the company of strippers; these are visible in Gumb's basement in the film.