Yay! I am officially me! That is, i am Jane Fae. Miss! But i’m getting that changed, too (to Ms). And all it took was one phone call.
So what’s up? Those who know me well will be aware of one small bee that keeps buzzing around my bonnet. It has to do with name changes and identity – something that always irritated me long before i began to transition.
Because, in english law, the simple fact is: your name is what you are called. If i happened to go around calling myself Lady Sutch – and so long as i wasn’t doing so for pecuniary gain or fraudulent purposes – then i am allowed to. And if i call myself that long enough and am known by that name to enough people, that IS my name.
Oh, but hang on. What about money laundering? What about banks and boring finance people? Well, they need to know my identity: but i am not at all clear that identity and name are at all the same thing.
Proof of identity is proof that i am me. Huh? Well, proof that i am the person who is entitled to all the things, including benefits, insurance cover, pension, etc. that i – who am currently called Jane Fae – am entitled to. Likewise, that i am entitled to access certain private information when i phone the bank and that i can move money and pay cheques and all that razzamatazz.
I prove that every time i phone my bank…allegedly by quoting my date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and secret information. Hey presto! I am me, and they are happy to do business. But not, apparently, to recognise that i am still me if i should dare ask to be called by another name.
Oh: then the excuses come out! Duty of care. Security. Protecting my interests. What a load of poppycock. If the info i give to them is good enough to trade under, then it is good enough to change name by – and i am not going to go to the bother of getting deed polls, statutory declarations or any other document to prove it.
And today: proof that i am me is good enough for the Inland Revenue. One short call: my name is changed forever (if i wish). And irony of ironies: my bank, that cannot possibly comprehend changing the name on my account without all the aforementioned fuss and documentation would be more than happy to take me on as a NEW customer if i turn up with a current tax document bearing my name.
Now over to my serious column to see what else i am going to be doing about this!