An east Georgia judge has refused to change the name of a transgender man, saying his choice was too masculine and could be misleading and potentially dangerous.
Attorneys for Rowan Feldhaus this week filed a brief with the Georgia Court of Appeals saying that Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper had overstepped his authority by refusing Feldhaus’ petition to change his name from Rebeccah Elizabeth to Rowan Elijah.
Feldhaus, 24, of Grovetown, was born female but identifies as male. Judge Roper heard the petition for a name change in February and issued an order in March turning it down. He took particular issue with Feldhaus’ choice of Elijah as a middle name.
“I don’t know anybody named Elijah who’s female,” Roper said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “I’m not going to do that. I’ve never heard of that. And I know who Elijah was, one of the greatest men that ever lived.”