If you where to fall in love with a girl by the name of Kade and you found out she legally changed her name would it bother you? Let's say she was born with the name Meredith. She'd still be Kade right? After all a name is just given. It does not define who you are.
You can call a crayon a marker, but it is still a crayon. The same applies with hair. You can dye it, but in all reality your truly not changing it. Your altering it. Your hair still remains the same at the roots.
Its no different then a nick name. People tend to define people with names. Well at least my family, and the community I live in. A name is not you, its what you go by.
I'm completely changing my name to something that I'd much prefer. I don't have an ugly name, I'd just rather go by something else.
If you found this out would you think this is not you? Would you find them fake? Would you from then on go by their birth name? Or would they always be your Kade?
P.S. Kade was an example. I intend to change my name regardless of my communities view, I'm just curious.
If I knew you first as Meredith and then you changed to Kade I would be a little thrown off and I would probably think of you as Meredith for a long time just because that's what I knew you as. I wouldn't have any problem with the name change though and I think that you should be able to call yourself whatever you want.
Names are usually the first thing we learn about a person. You should be comfortable with your name, and if you currently don't like your name, you should change it. Certainly, if I found out you had changed your name, I would be curious as to why you made the decision, but I wouldn't think you were fake. There are some cultures where a person is not named until they are old enough to name themselves. You should choose a name that you feel fits you the best.
Do you already go by the name you have chosen to have it officially changed to? If not, I would definitely start there, and eventually change it legally.
I refer to people with the name they were introduced by. I guess I understand because I go by a nickname and not my full name. I personally would never legally change my name though because all of the paperwork that has to be done (changing your birth certificate, driver's license, and pretty much all other legal documents) would not be worth it, for me.