What It’s Like to Legally Change Your First Name

Stella Guan
5 min readNov 19, 2019

Please don’t congratulate me for getting married

As early as I could remember, I’ve hated my Chinese name. It was a completely masculine name. I felt my female identity was challenged.

Growing up, I constantly dealt with people’s surprised reaction toward my name. So much so I tried to apply for a name change with the local authority when I was 17 years old.

I was denied. The reason they gave me was that 17 is too old for a name change. Later, I found out that was not true at all. I may have…