How to do gender with names
The name changes of trans individuals as performative speech acts
Most trans people change their name in accordance to their gender in the process of transitioning. The decision for a new name can take place at any stage during an individual’s exploration of their identity, typically coming into use when the individual comes out to others and asks to be addressed with this new name. Whether or not this new name is accepted and adopted by others is not only a matter of time, but correlates to the acceptance of the “new” gender and thus of a person’s right to change their name.
This article offers an analysis of trans name change announcements as performative speech acts and analyses the reactions to this name change, i.e. the acceptance or refusal of this new name, in relation to the speech act’s felicity conditions.
- 2.Linguistic, cultural and legal background
- 2.1Speech act theory, performativity and doing gender
- 2.2Name legislation as felicity conditions
- 3.Coming out as trans
- 4.Trans name changes as performative speech acts
- 4.2Trans name changes