How to Change A NameA short guide to finding what suits.

How to Change A NameA short guide to finding what suits.

  • Words Tal Janner-Klausner
  • Photograph Corey Olsen

At the start of life, a name is a shot in the dark. Our official moniker says more about who our parents were than who we might become. Sometimes they make a lucky guess and the name sticks; sometimes it doesn’t.

I dropped the letter “i” from my birthname, Tali, six years ago. Tal is a gender-neutral name, in sync with my nonbinary self. I haven’t yet legally changed it and there are still people who use the old one. Often I remind them, sometimes I let it be. It’s an ongoing journey.

Name changing is not necessarily a neat, linear process and each person has different considerations. You might already have chosen your new name—a variation on your old one, a long-held nickname, or a secret you’ve kept to yourself. Or you might feel overwhelmed by the possibilities; your o...

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