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Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

Been given a name at birth should be just that, your birth name, with the idea that as people get older, if they feel another name suits them better, for whatever reason, it’s ok to change it. That caregivers/parents don’t own you and your name. It’s up to you, it’s your identity.

I say this because I believe it, and because yes, I’m cis and I have changed my name, both first and surname*. This was back in 1985, the day after I turned 18 (I couldn’t do it on the day because workmates took me out to lunch). It wasn’t the done thing, but it was incredibly important to me as it was part of me defining my identity that wasn’t based on other people decisions, rules, perceptions etc. And it really helped me forging my own path.

After all, lots of cis women changing their surname upon marriage has been around for some time and no-one is bothered about that. So why should it matter if you change your first and/or surname?

As others have said, it’s ok to change your name. Let’s normalise the shit out of this.

Normalising cis people changing their name 2/2 

Yes, I got deadnamed (we didn’t have that word in 1985) and I hated it. If someone used my previous name, my whole body would go into shock, I’d both freeze and shake all over on the inside. It was truly a dreadful and distressing experience, and I didn’t change my gender. I cannot begin to understand how much worse it must be for trans people, whose lives can be on the line. So yes, let’s normalise the shit out of this, and make deadnaming socially unacceptable.

Oh, and it’s NEVER ok to ask someone what their previous name was. If they don’t offer that info, they don’t want to, so don’t ask.

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Normalising cis people changing their name 2/2 

@GwenfarsGarden

Thanks for sharing, it sounds horrifying.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@GwenfarsGarden my mother changed her first and last names when she got married in 1974. Her sisters still call her by her birth name half the time...

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@brion that's really horrible that they do this. Can't they respect what she wants to be called? Sigh.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@GwenfarsGarden My mum's good friend did this. He didn't like his name, so he just went and changed it to somethinh he reckonef suited him better

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@GwenfarsGarden Thank you. (I wish it was easy to do it officially where I live, though. I have to use my wallet name for everything formal.)

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@irina I don't know if it was easier back then, or whether some countries do it differently and make it harder. It really should be made easier to do for anyone.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@GwenfarsGarden It's never been easy here (Netherlands); you need a lawyer and an approved reason (other than "this name doesn't fit me, I want another one") and a lot of money.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@irina @GwenfarsGarden In the US the legal part is fairly easy and not too expensive. But then you have to take the resulting paperwork to every institution (bank, utility, credit card, driver's license office) and update your records there. Then forever after when asked for a birth certificate you have to also have the name change paperwork to show why your name isn't matching.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@edebill @irina @GwenfarsGarden I looked into reverting to my maiden last name once (but still being married) because I made the mistake of hyphenating when I got married and computers do not like that. At the time, I calculated it was going to cost me about $600 and take a ton of my time. I eventually decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

It should be easier to change names! It was super easy to change my name when I got married.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@kiesa @edebill @GwenfarsGarden I actually had some trouble changing my name when I got married! I was asked "do you really want to be an extension of your husband instead of keeping your own name?" -- but of course my own name was also a man's name (my father's) because that's how it works, and my married name is a lot easier to spell and (for anyone not Dutch or Frisian) pronounce.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@GwenfarsGarden @TQ my wife and I both changed our surnames to a completely new one. It combined some aspects from both our families’ names. We wanted to have our own identity as a new family. Unfortunately this raised a lot of eyebrows. Still, it is a growing trend at least here in Finland. In Germany it’s near impossible to change your name. Basically only if you’ve suffered from abuse.

Normalising cis people changing their name 1/2 

@jokke @GwenfarsGarden Yes, my best friend has tried it multiple times and didn't succeed. Still, I think if it's possible, it's great!

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Rage.love

Generalist Hometown instance with a strong focus on community standards. No TERF, no SWERF, no Nazi, no Centrist.