As we have already mentioned in our article on how to support your trans child, changing your first name can be an important step in the life of a trans person. We still remind you that changing your first name is not at all obligatory, and that there are many trans people who have not changed their first name. It depends on the person themselves, and they are no less legitimate as a trans person if they decide not to have changed it.

Why change your first name? 

From birth, the first name is imposed on us by our parents. There are many reasons to want a new one, especially as a trans person. We nevertheless note that people who request a change of first name do so after a thoughtful process, most often dating back to their childhood and that this corresponds to the culmination of an awareness of a reality which is imposed on them. In the vast majority of cases, this is not at all done on a whim.

He doesn't match my type 

Your first name may be too or not masculine/feminine enough for you, or even too neutral, and therefore does not match your gender identity. For this reason, you can choose a first name that suits you more so that you can be gendered correctly. 

It brings back bad memories 

The first name can unfortunately be a tool of harassment coming from strangers, classmates at school, or even loved ones. So you would like to get rid of your past and change it. 

“I just don’t like my name.”

It's also absolutely legitimate to want to change your first name because you don't like it, even if it matches your gender. In the end, it's a name that our parents imposed on us. It's not their fault, but your name just can't please you. 

What if I want to keep my first name? 

You can do it ! There is no obligation to change your first name if it doesn't bother you.  

How to choose your new first name? 

The simplest choice (which many make) is to simply masculine/feminize your first name (Example: Mathieu who becomes Mathilde or Jane who becomes Jean). But this method of change is not suitable for everyone.

If you don't have any ideas in mind, you can start by making a list of names by looking at baby name websites. You can then see the ones that interest you and eliminate the ones that suit you less. Don't hesitate to say these names out loud to see how it sounds! You can also look at and be inspired by the names of other trans people, you don't have to choose a completely original name either. 

If it is possible for you, you can do it with a member of your family or a close friend of yours. It can help you to get a second opinion on your choices. You can also ask this person to use that first name with you. 

You fix your choice and your meaning on this first name, whatever it is, no one will blame you. And if over time you find that you don't like this choice, you can always try another! Don't hesitate to try several. You don't have to stick to one name, even if it's the one you chose. The main thing is to find the name that you like, and with which you are comfortable enough to continue your life wearing it.

How to change your first name in the civil status? 

Even if the process of changing your first name has been simplified a little over the years, it remains a fairly impactful and difficult process for trans people, and many do not feel justified in doing so. We will write a more complete blog article on this subject, but if you are interested, we advise you to go see this Wikitrans article.

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