I did post a little while back about the claim on the direct.gov website that there was such a thing as a “legal name”. According to their site:
The name on your passport should always match your legal name.
er, no. I spoke to the Home Office, reminded them that there is no such thing and was flabbergasted to receive an assurance, by return, that they would change the wording.
Well, other things have occupied my mind since. But today I checked out the site once more and yes, they HAVE changed it. Now the entry reads:
The name on your passport should be the name you use for all official purposes.
One small step and all that. But it is an important step and one that everyone who’d rather not be pushed around unnecessarily by large organisations can take heart from. All together now: there is no such thing as a “legal name”.
Your name is what you are known by – and anyone trying to tell you otherwise does not understand the law. Large organisations MAY – at present – make it a condition of having you as client that you present various documentation, but the more I talk to lawyers about this, the more convinced I am that this is discriminatory. Not just for trans persons, but for women too.
So if you have a story, let me know. Meanwhile, here’s an interesting little out-take from NHS guidelines on the treatment of trans individuals. Annex E in case you’re interested. It states:
Trans people should be accommodated according to their presentation: the way they dress, and the name and pronouns that they currently use.
It goes on:
It does not depend upon their having a gender recognition certificate (GRC) or legal name change
It doesn’t explicitly say so…but it does rather feel as though it is saying that they should be happy to use your current name whether you’ve bothered with deed polls or not. Perhaps someone should mention this to the GIC’s.