It’s all but official now: Jón Gnarr will – as of Tuesday – be formally and legally Jón Gnarr, thanks to the District Court of Houston, Texas.
Sharing the news on Facebook, Jón announced:
Next Tuesday I will go to the District Court here in Houston and have a hearing before a judge. After that I have finished the process of legally changing my name. Thank you all who have helped me with advice and support. God bless America!
In a lengthier post intended for an Icelandic-speaking audience, Jón described the name-changing process as “not complicated, backwards, humiliating and silly like it is back home”, adding:
Names like Hand Lotion, Adolf Hitler, Nissan Primera or Motherfucker Johnson meet systemic barriers and it is unlikely that a judge would accept them. Few put in the work and money that comes with applying [for a name change]. There are also warnings against taking up a name that could cause confusion, such as taking the name of a famous person. Otherwise it’s open. … I expect that after the weekend I will receive the justice that I must, according to all that is fair and reasonable. I don’t know how the Icelandic government will respond. It would be natural if they refused it.
Here Jón refers to his criticism of and frustrations with Iceland’s Naming Committee. In particular, because his though his “legal” name is Jón Gnarr Kristinsson, he has been known to the general public as Jón Gnarr for decades.
Despite this, Icelandic authorities have stood in his way of legally changing his name, prompting him to have it changed in the US instead.