corgipotato
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Hi all,I'll be applying to grad schools soon and I really need some advice... about names.

I'm not trans, but I do have a preferred name, which is slightly different from my legal name. Let's say that my legal name is Jayne Wilson Jones and my preferred name is Jane Wilson Jones. I always go by Jane, and I absolutely hate Jayne. I find it gross and dehumanizing because it just doesn't feel like a name (no offence if your name is Jayne). Most people don't even know that I have a legal name and they just know me as Jane. My undergrad uni in Canada is super flexible about preferred names and stuff like that, so that was a relief.

However, two of my top choice grad schools (KCL & Birmingham) have pretty rigid policies when it comes to any name changes. They request actual documentation to update your name in student records, which I know I won't be able to provide. I can't legally change my name right now due to certain circumstances that I won't go into. And I wasn't born in the UK so I can't provide a deed poll or whatever it's called.I know that there's no legal requirement to publish under your legal name, so I can publish my research as Jane, but I will be known as Jayne at school... The thought of having everyone address me as Jayne is pretty horrifying. I know that my diplomas and any official documents will have to be issued to Jayne, which I'm okay with because I won't plaster them everywhere.

I really don't want to be known as Jayne until I'm able to change my name legally... Will I ruin my life if I go to those schools? Do I have any options? I don't have a middle name and going by my initials (J.W. Jones) is not an option.
Last edited by corgipotato; 1 month ago
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by corgipotato)
Hi all,I'll be applying to grad schools soon and I really need some advice... about names.

I'm not trans, but I do have a preferred name, which is slightly different from my legal name. Let's say that my legal name is Jayne Wilson Jones and my preferred name is Jane Wilson Jones. I always go by Jane, and I absolutely hate Jayne. I find it gross and dehumanizing because it just doesn't feel like a name (no offence if your name is Jayne). Most people don't even know that I have a legal name and they just know me as Jane. My undergrad uni in Canada is super flexible about preferred names and stuff like that, so that was a relief.

However, two of my top choice grad schools (KCL & Birmingham) have pretty rigid policies when it comes to any name changes. They request actual documentation to update your name in student records, which I know I won't be able to provide. I can't legally change my name right now due to certain circumstances that I won't go into. And I wasn't born in the UK so I can't provide a deed poll or whatever it's called.I know that there's no legal requirement to publish under your legal name, so I can publish my research as Jane, but I will be known as Jayne at school... The thought of having everyone address me as Jayne is pretty horrifying. I know that my diplomas and any official documents will have to be issued to Jayne, which I'm okay with because I won't plaster them everywhere.

I really don't want to be known as Jayne until I'm able to change my name legally... Will I ruin my life if I go to those schools? Do I have any options? I don't have a middle name and going by my initials (J.W. Jones) is not an option.
You can ask the lecturers to refer to you by a different name - one of my friends at university went by her middle name as she hates her first name, and I didn't find out what your real first name was until we graduated! She simply asked the lecturers to call her [middle name], and they were fine with it.

I know the example you've given isn't your actual name(s), but in the UK Jayne and Jane are pronounced exactly the same way, so no one would know if it's only spoken.
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corgipotato
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
You can ask the lecturers to refer to you by a different name - one of my friends at university went by her middle name as she hates her first name, and I didn't find out what your real first name was until we graduated! She simply asked the lecturers to call her [middle name], and they were fine with it.

I know the example you've given isn't your actual name(s), but in the UK Jayne and Jane are pronounced exactly the same way, so no one would know if it's only spoken.
Hmmm... I could try that. Yeah my preferred name is pronounced the same as my legal name, so it's the spelling that I have a problem with
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by corgipotato)
Hmmm... I could try that. Yeah my preferred name is pronounced the same as my legal name, so it's the spelling that I have a problem with
Some applications may even have a section for putting in preferred names. Many non-binary/trans individuals would need this option available to them.
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corgipotato
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
Some applications may even have a section for putting in preferred names. Many non-binary/trans individuals would need this option available to them.
Yeah, that would make sense! It looks like KCL and Birmingham require a deed pool even for non-binary or trans folks :'(
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gutenberg
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Are you sure there's no 'known as' option, to indicate what you'd prefer to be called? I have some experience in teaching at UK universities and on my class lists there were usually a handful of students listed as 'Jenny' when on Student Records they were Jennifer, for example, so keep an eye out for that. It's often used by Chinese students for example who want to use their English name in class, even if all their official documentation will have their Chinese name on it.
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