This is a question I get asked a lot as I am not secretive about my name change. Most people who know me will know that I changed my name when I was 16.
Taking control of my identity and how I present myself to the world is something that has been important to me all the way from childhood. I was always very headstrong and confident to show my personality and assert who I was in the world.
From around the age of 15 I started to feel it was strange that something that is such a huge part of your identity and who you are – your name – is something you don’t get to choose. Your name is one of the first things people learn about you when you meet them and the way you introduce yourself in the world. You can change your appearance, your personality, how you choose to be seen by people. But your name is something that is fixed. Decided for you before you have developed a personality or really know yourself. Often before you were even born.
This thought had consumed me so much I decided that changing my name would be the perfect way to take control of my identity. Every aspect of who I am is within my control. We all get to choose the person we want to be and choosing your name is the perfect representation of that.
My mind and my body are the only things I own completely.