After expressing dismay over the obligation to state legal names on student IDs, potentially resulting in the everyday use of transgender students’ dead names, it is revealed that it is possible to change it, hidden under layers of bureaucracy.
On November 29th, Roar published a comment-article condemning KCL’s strict rules regarding the necessity of one’s legal name on student IDs, with several international trans students, who had not been allowed to change their legal names in their home countries, expressing unhappiness over having to use their dead name in everyday life.
However, further investigation finds that it is, in fact, possible, raising questions about why so many trans students did not know they had this option at all.
King’s inclusivity team says that “to change their ID students can contact the Registry Services. Once notification is provided, this is sufficient to arrange a change of details on all systems and documents, apart from official documents.”
Ted, a first-year English student, was able to change both his gender and preferred name in student records by emailing registry services. He also let his department know of his preferred name.
“I contacted my personal tutor who then sent an email to the department, but you can also contact your department directly,” Ted says.
“I think the information could be clearer and more easily available. My personal tutor was very helpful and offered to help me find the information I couldn’t find myself, but if I hadn’t had his help, as well as that of the trans people in the LGBTQ+ society, I would have been a bit lost,” Ted says.
Ted thinks that one of the reasons many trans students don’t know about this possibility is because of unclarities in the “trans toolkit” on the KCL website where it says that one’s name can be changed on “all systems and documents, except for official documents”.
Ted admits he did not understand what this meant before speaking to his personal tutor about it.
After contacting registry services and his department, Ted, who is an international student himself, was able to go to student services and request a new student ID with his preferred name free of charge.
“It’s an incredible relief to not have to show people my birth name every time I need to show someone my student ID. No matter if you’re passing as cis or not, it’s not a good feeling to have to see and show a name every day that you don’t identify with. Having my name on my student ID also means that I don’t have to explain why I’m introducing myself with another name than what is on my ID, which means that I don’t have to out myself, and that feels both safer and less awkward,” Ted says.