Caitlyn Jenner Files Petition to Legally Change Her Name and Gender

by Emily Krauser 2:10 PM PDT, September 16, 2015
Photo: E!

Caitlyn Jenner's new name is almost official!

The former Olympian filed a petition to legally change her name and gender in the L.A. County Superior Court on Tuesday. According to the papers, Jenner has requested the name change in order "to better match my identity."

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The I Am Cait star was born William Bruce Jenner and was listed as a male on her birth certificate. She has requested to legally have her name become Caitlyn Marie Jenner and her gender changed from male to female.

Jenner, 65, will also be required to show the court a documented declaration of the gender change, which includes clinically-approved treatments.

She has also filed a motion to seal portions of the petition in order to protect her privacy, as well as a request for a private hearing. In the filing, Jenner's lawyer, John Krieger, explained that the "Petitioner is transgender, making her privacy and safety of particular concern."

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"California lawmakers recently acknowledged the heightened need for protecting the change," Krieger continued. "The public nature of the name and gender change process exposes transgender individuals to potential discrimination, harassment or even violence because of being transgender."

The concern for privacy is clear for Jenner, and not only because she is in the public eye. The reality star has also witnessed first-hand the awkward responses she's faced as she publicly lives as a transgender woman. Recently, she admitted to Today show co-anchor Matt Lauer that she initially had a "massive panic attack" after her surgery to transition to a woman but now has "no regrets whatsoever."

For all intents and purposes, Jenner’s name is Caitlyn. On last Sunday's I Am Cait finale, she took part in a renaming ceremony at her Malibu, California, home. A transgender pastor, Allyson Dylan Robinson, led the service, which was performed in front of Jenner's close friends and later shared in a blog post on Medium

"We, your friends and family  --  your community  -- do indeed affirm that you are Caitlyn Marie Jenner, from this day forward," Robinson said at the end of the ceremony. "Bear this name in the Name of Christ. Share it in the name of Mercy. Offer it in the name of Justice and in the name of Love."

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Jenner told Vanity Fair that it took two years to pick her new moniker. "It's one of the hardest things in life -- choosing your own name," she admitted. She came up with ideas by watching the Miss America pageant, and after musing on other possibilities like Heather and Cathy, the coincidence of her assistant independently suggesting Caitlyn was what ultimately helped Jenner make the decision.

But why a "C" instead of the famous Kardashian "K"? Jenner decided it was time to break tradition and its media associations.

It's clear that no matter what, Jenner is taking all the steps forward that she needs to be comfortable in her own skin and, as she said in the I Am Cait finale, "help people in my community."