A Los Angeles-based woman named Sage Ye (@xy.chromosome) recently posted a video detailing the differences in her life after changing her first name.
Sage, whose birth name is Xinyaun, changed her name four months ago. Sage said she grew up in the United States and decided to change her name once it was time to enter the professional world.
“Most noticeable thing is that people actually say my name now,” she said. “When I used Xinyuan, I would go hours or even days without really hearing my name.”
Sage wasn’t alone with these issues, as several of her viewers had similar experiences.
“I noticed the same things too when I changed my name :/ it’s a shame,” replied @urlocalcatmum.
“I’ve struggled w this decision for 6 years..stick it to them & keep my real name or make my life easier & conform,” replied @4moodyfoodie.
On top of the interpersonal changes, she also found a massive difference in her professional life when she switched to Sage.
“The second thing is actually really sad and it shows you how real name discrimination is,” Sage said. “On LinkedIn, I get way more inquiries from people asking me to apply for their jobs.”
Sage still has a part of her old name on her profile, as the customizable URL still uses her ethnic name.
She explained how she believed people saw “Xinyuan” and assumed she was international and needed sponsorship.
Finally, Sage noted that she gets many more likes and matches on dating apps with her new name. She said she made a video in December asking what she was doing wrong on the apps because she had little matches. However, now she “can’t even keep up with all of them any more.”
The idea of people switching to an American name from their ethnic one can be a touchy subject. However, some people — including Sage — enjoy their new name.
“I definitely don’t regret changing my name,” Sage said. “ I feel like it really suits me and I’ve kind of already built an identity around it. It honestly made me a lot more confident because of how people are treating me now.”
It’s a bittersweet feeling for Sage, but she has accepted that doing so is a necessity for her.
“It’s honestly really sad now that I say it out loud, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
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