Choosing a new name can be part of transition for nonbinary people who feel their birth name does not correctly or entirely reflect their gender and/or gender expression. Many nonbinary people choose a name that is not coded specifically as male or female—a neutral name—to avoid being labeled as one or the other based on their name. However, a gender neutral name is not a necessity; the same goes for choosing a new name in general. Some nonbinary people choose names with feminine or masculine connotations or choose to keep their birth name. Some nonbinary people choose to go by both a feminine and a masculine name: for example Jonathan Rachel Clynch, Meg-John Barker, Cyrus Grace Dunham, Justin Vivian Bond, and James-Beth Merritt. Another gender-neutral option is to go by initials, like such people as B. Scott, CN Lester, JD Samson, H. Melt, and G.R. Gritt.
Choosing a Name[edit | edit source]
| Christmas |
is a random gender neutral name. another one!
The process of choosing a new name, if one should so desire to do so, can be a process of trial and error. For some, the process may be relatively short, while others may test out many different names before deciding on one, and some may stay with one name for a long time before realizing another suits them better.
There are some questions that are important when finding the right name:
- Is the name compatible with my cultural or ethnic background? Avoid cultural appropriation.
- Do I want a name that was typical around the time I was born? Do I want a vintage feel to the new name? Or would I rather it be uncommon?
- Is the name I'm considering potentially a nickname for other names or is it a name that will easily get me nicknamed? Am I okay with this?
- Am I looking for any specific sentiment or meaning for my name to have?
- Do I want to legally change my name, and if so, is it a name I can legally obtain within my country? Some countries have laws and regulations about names and name changes.
Legal Name Changes[edit | edit source]
United States[edit | edit source]
In the United States, the specifics for obtaining a legal name change can vary depending on the state. Because of this, it is best to research the specifics for the state. The National Center for Transgender Equality maintains a useful web portal called the ID Documents Center.
England and Wales[edit | edit source]
In England and Wales, a name can be changed by obtaining a Change of Name Deed, commonly known as a Deed Poll.
Canada[edit | edit source]
In Canada, legal name changes are handled by the province in which you are resident. In most cases, you will need parental consent if you are under the age of majority. In most cases you will also need to pay a fee for the name change, and additional fees to update ID such as your driver's license and passport.
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
|See also a blog post about this topic on our Tumblr.|
- This quote is a snippet from an answer to the survey conducted in the year 2018. Note for editors: the text of the quote, as well as the name, age and gender identity of its author shouldn't be changed.