Life’s full of exciting milestones – passing your driving test, getting your first job, your first house, your first love. Defining little moments that help you grow into the person you want to be.
Changing your name can be one of those moments. Maybe you’ve never felt connected to your name; maybe it doesn’t represent who you are anymore. Maybe you just think another name suits you better. Whatever your reasons, it can feel really liberating to finally, officially, change your name.
And that’s lovely, and that’s why we sell Deed Polls at Vital Certificates. We know how much of an impact changing your name can have, and we want the option to do so to be accessible to everyone. It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think to change your name – have a read of the guide I wrote on name changes here.
So we also give Deed Polls away occasionally on Tiktok (where you should definitely follow us, by the way). It’s just nice to give something back sometimes, isn’t it? We always try to give our Deed Polls to people who deserve ’em, and people who we think it’ll have a positive effect on their lives.
Let me introduce Ezra. When we were picking a winner for the Deed Poll competition, Ezra stood out straight away. Ezra’s a trans male. He never felt comfortable with his dead name, and he always knew that he wanted to change it. It just wasn’t him.
So, we picked Ezra as our worthy winner and sent him a Deed Poll! We knew it could make a genuine, positive impact on his life, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do for someone.
Once we’d sent him his Deed Poll, I reached out and asked him if he wouldn’t mind answering a few questions for me – stuff about his journey, and about the impact a Deed Poll might have on his day to day life. He was more than happy to oblige, ‘cos he wanted to help people that might be in the same situation as he was a couple of years ago. What a guy!
1. At what point did you decide to change your name?
‘I’ve always wanted to change my name, even before I realised I was trans. I always felt a disconnect from it. I knew I wanted to change my name, but only my surname – I had my dad’s surname and I went no contact 3 years ago. It was too feminine and didn’t really reflect myself well. In addition, my dead name would always be spelt wrong or pronounced incorrectly.’
2. Had you ever looked into it before? If so, why didn’t you do it?
‘I did look into it before when looking at changing my surname, but it was super confusing. I had to get my mom’s permission as I was under age. Frankly, I was dealing with my exams and mental health issues.’
3. Is it difficult living with your dead name? Does it affect your day-to-day life?
‘Yes. I frequently get asked for ID when buying alcohol. I have medical issues so I have to use my old name often. It’s the reason why I don’t go to the GP as often as I should.‘
4. It’s one thing going by a new name, but how important is it to you to make the name change official?
‘It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. It felt like a huge step in my transition and it feels amazing to abandon my dead name and finally use a name that feels like me.’
5. How did you feel when you found out you’d won?
‘Honestly amazing. It’s something I’d been meaning to get done but it just kept falling to the bottom of my to do list. It looks so professional and I can’t wait to get my witnesses to sign it and make it official.’
6. What are you most looking forward to about officially being known by your chosen name?
‘I’m getting things in place to learn to drive. So I’m really excited to get my provisional license with my actual name on it. With my deed poll my university degree will have my name on it too. It’s 3 years away, but to have something I would have worked very hard for to have my name on it is thrilling!’
8. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself 2 years ago, what would you say? What advice would you give?
‘2 years ago I was a very different person. I had no diagnosis of my autism or my ADHD, and I was struggling with depression. I was in the closet as trans and just starting 6th form. I’d say to myself: Keep going and it’ll all work out and be ok. You’ll get where you want to do eventually.’
Changing your name is a pretty simple step that we can help you take, and it can have such a positive impact on your life. Just have a re-read of Ezra’s answers and see how much a name change means to him – it can make a world of difference.
Genuinely, it can. Changing your name legally is pretty much the first ‘official’ step you can take in the transitioning process, especially if you’re wanting a Gender Recognition Certificate. If you don’t know, they’re a way to legally change gender – you can find out more about them here. A Deed Poll can go a long way in helping you get one.
Imagine handing your ID over to a bouncer and proudly saying, ‘Yep, that’s me’. Imagine sitting in the doctor’s waiting room without dreading the moment they call out your dead name. Imagine all the most important documents in your life – your passport, your driving licence, your qualifications – being in your name. Just imagine.
Right, I’ll stop talking like John Lennon and you can stop imagining – let’s make it a reality. All you need to do is get a Deed Poll. You can get one by clicking the button below, or, if you follow us on Tiktok, keep your eyes out for our Deed Polls giveaways! It could change your life – just ask Ezra.