Announcement: I’ve changed my name to Alex Bayley

I’m not sure how to post this in a way that’s not awkward, so here it is: as of last week, I have legally changed my name to “Alex Bayley”.

The recent Google+ names debacle was the catalyst, but not the underlying reason, for this change. When Google insisted that I use my previous wallet name, “Kirrily Robert”, on its services, it made me realise how much I didn’t want to. I’m not strongly attached to “Kirrily” as a name. Among other problems, it’s hard to spell, hard to pronounce, and an all-round nuisance when working internationally and in the public sphere as I do. And more importantly, I don’t feel like it’s me — whatever that means.

Throughout my life I’ve chosen and used a variety of other names, of which Skud is the best known and longest lasting. In relation to Google+, a lot of people asked me, “Why don’t you just change your legal name to Skud?” The problem is, Skud isn’t an easy name to use offline. Like Kirrily, it needs to be repeated and spelled and explained each time I use it, and there are many offline circumstances where I simply wouldn’t be comfortable using it. Even online, I’ve come to realise that being legally mononymous can be rather fraught (just ask Sai or Stilgherrian). So, “Skud” is not the solution.

As I worked through this problem, I realised that my return to Australia, going back to school, and picking up a new career would mean introducing myself to hundreds of new people. I didn’t want to introduce myself as “Kirrily”, nor as “Skud”. The whole situation started to get me down, until I realised that I could choose something else to appear on my legal paperwork, school enrolment, and so forth, while keeping “Skud” as my name online and in the tech community.

To cut a long story short, for a range of reasons I chose the name “Alex” as my new given name. As there are already a range of Alex or Alec Robert or Roberts in the music and technology industries, I switched my surname to Bayley, a name belonging to an uncle, aunt, and cousins to whom I’m quite close. And, just for good measure, “Skud” is now my legal middle name. I figured it might come in handy.

I expect that most of my friends will continue to call me “Skud”, so it should be business as usual for many/most of you. Almost all my online contact details remain the same, however if for some reason you have my old gmail address you should know that I’m retiring it; please use instead (should work fine for sharing docs, chat, etc). When meeting me face to face, please feel free to call me either Skud or Alex, not Kirrily.

Addendum for those who are interested: to change your name legally in the state of Victoria, Australia, where I was born and now reside, you simply submit a form and payment to the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. You are issued with an amended birth certificate showing your name change within 20 working days, or 5 working days if you pay the priority processing fee (which I did).

23 thoughts on “Announcement: I’ve changed my name to Alex Bayley

  • Suw

    Congratulations! I’m really happy for you that you’ve found a name that properly represents you. I know how important names are, and the way we feel about our names is not always obvious to those who don’t know us well or haven’t known us long. I’ve done battle with my own name, and still have a big decision to make about what my new legal name should be and time for that is running out, along with my passport, but that’s another story.

    Good luck in your new life and your new name, Alex!!

  • Yatima

    If I weren’t happy for all the other reasons, I’d be happy for this alone: Alex Bayley totally sounds like a Patrick O’Brien character.

  • Anthony

    Enjoy! Though I’m wondering how soon we’re going to hear the followup rant about folk who spell it “Bailey”.

  • David H. Adler

    In a world where people are often changing things about themselves just to fit in somewhere or just for the sake of change, I’m very happy to hear you did this for reasons that mean something to you.

    But you are probably going to have to tell people the spelling of your surname constantly. Of course, I’m constantly having to remind people that mine isn’t Alder, so this is somewhat of a widespread problem. :-)

    Good luck with the new name – I hope you enjoy it!

  • Thomas P.

    I can find two Alex Bayley on Google+, but unless you also got a gender change – then neither is you. Ehhh?

  • Miso Susanowa

    Congratulations! I have also had plans in the works for awhile to change my name legally to Miso Susanowa. For various reasons, no one’s used my “wallet name” for many years except banks and the tax man. I have not been called that by friends for over 20 years. I like Miso; it’s interesting, easy to remember and much more myself.

    Of course, I’ll still have the handle I have had on the nets since 1987, and a few more only a little less old :)

  • TCBarrett

    That’s pretty cool. I think it says something about you that you can come out of the experience with something so positive. It is great that you have found something that you are happy with *8-)

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