Cole Taylor identifies as trans and non-binary and they regularly share details about their transition on their TikTok account, hoping to encourage others who are struggling with their identity to see what each step can be like.
In March, Taylor recorded their legal name change hearing, an event that they had been building up to with excitement on the platform. While not all trans and nonbinary folks will change their name, for many it’s one of the early steps of self-actualization.
The hearing would ensure that Taylor’s chosen name matched their legal documents and it was so emotional. Not only was the moment very significant, but Taylor also hadn’t anticipated the judge to say anything out of the ordinary.
Instead, judge Scott Houde at the York County Probate Court in Maine, reaffirmed that Taylor’s decision is an important and crucial one.
“Before we do this can I just tell you why what you’re doing is so completely awesome,” the judge said. “First off, you’re doing it decisively and boldly. You know who you are. You know who you want to be. There are folks who go an entire lifetime not knowing that. And you do. So let me be the first to congratulate you as you are officially Cole Raine Taylor.”
Taylor was left in tears by the time the judge finished speaking to them.
“I didn’t expect this level of validation and support from the judge,” Taylor said in the caption. “I’m eternally grateful for his time. Thank you for your care and support as I take on this life officially as Cole Raine Taylor.”
Taylor’s video received over 500,000 views on TikTok.
The comments section was flooded with congratulations as Taylor, with their fiancé and family by their side, finally got the legal recognition they deserved.
“Thank you for sharing this special moment,” one person said.
“This literally brought tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps,” another added. “Congratulations, Cole!”
“You are seen, you are supported!” a commenter wrote.
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If you enjoyed reading this interview, check out In The Know’s conversation with singer Mila Jam and how she embraced her identity through a genderless shopping experience.
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