"Hi, my Name is___, and this is my New Identity": An Analysis of Name Change for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals
Name change is an important aspect of gender affirmation and identity formation for transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals. This study examined the process that TGNC individuals undergo when changing their names, socially or legally. Qualitative interviews with open-ended questions were conducted to achieve this goal. The total sample included 28 individuals (6 nonbinary, 6 transmasculine, 5 transfeminine, 4 agender, 4 female, 2 male, and 1 transfemme/nonbinary). Four overarching themes resulted from an inductive thematic analysis: 1) meaningfulness of a name, 2) overcoming challenges during the name change process, 3) utilizing supports to help with the name change process, and 4) rebirthing identity. Name change brought about feelings of gender euphoria and helped participants affirm their gender, and identity transition. This research can help formulate resources for clinicians, TGNC people, and their loved ones to help support them through the process. Future directions for TGNC name change literature are discussed.