Some transgender people are able to obtain a legal name change from a court. However, many transgender people cannot feabie afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to legally change their name. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who uses a name other than their birth name (e.g., Lady Gaga, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg). When writing about a transgender person’s chosen name, do not say “she wants to be called,” “she calls herself,” “she goes by Marisol,” or other phrases that cast doubt on a transgender person’s gender. Do not put quotation e (or the pronoun) that reflects that person’s gender identity.
We all use pronouns, and pronouns convey gender information
Disclosing birth names. When a transgender person’s birth name is used in a story, the implication is almost always that it is the person’s “real name.” But in fact, a transgender person’s chosen name is their real name, whether or not they are able to obtain a court-ordered name change, which can be expensive and involves complex bureaucratic obstacles. Some transgender people call it “deadnaming” when a trans person’s birth name is revealed without their permission, but the term is not universally accepted as it implies a trans person “dies” when they transition. If the person is not able to answer questions about their birth name, err on the side of caution and do not report it.
Ask for the pronoun a person uses, and use it. If you say “He went to the store” and “She went to work,” your audience understands you to say that a man went to the store and a woman went to work.