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Adult film star can change her name to ‘Candi Bimbo Doll,’ court says

A lower court’s ruling, said the trans woman, was a “miscarriage of justice that would have consigned me to eternal nominative mediocrity.”

a close-up of a blond woman with very large breasts
Mission District resident Candi Bimbo Doll has won the right to change her name, overcoming a lower court ruling that said it was offensive. | Source: Courtesy Candi Bimbo Doll/

A San Francisco transgender woman and adult film star has won her day in court over her right to change her name.

The name? Candi Bimbo Doll.

“I could not possibly be more thrilled,” she said in a statement issued by her attorney, Jim Reilly. “I'm unquestionably proud to be a bimbo, and now with this ruling I'm not just a bimbo—I'm a Bimbo Doll in a way that can never be stripped from me even beyond my death."

Thursday’s ruling by the state Court of Appeal overturned a 2023 decision by the Superior Court of San Francisco in which Judge Gail Dekreon had prohibited the 40-year-old performer and Mission District resident from legally using the aggressively hyperfeminine moniker.

“No person has a statutory right to officially change their name to a name universally recognized as being offensive,” Dekreon wrote.

The Court of Appeal disagreed, however. In overturning Dekreon’s ruling, it both claimed new terrain for self-determination on First Amendment grounds and brought a lengthy, complicated saga of self-identification to its end. Decades ago, as part of her gender transition, Bimbo Doll had already legally changed her name to “Samantha E. Wood.” Further, in a professional capacity as an adult film entertainer, she uses the name “Juliette Stray.” That will not change. 

“I’m not changing my stage name, which has a decade of branding behind it,” she said from Southern California, where she’s recuperating from complications from surgery. “I would have to be some kind of idiot to change my stage name. This is just for me.”

The “bimbofication” at the heart of Candi Bimbo Doll’s transition is a process by which she has transformed herself into a real-life erotic plaything, with highly exaggerated curves. As her bio on X reads, “Plastic makes perfect. Diligently replacing my factory parts with surgery and silicone.” 

Seen in that light, her petition to change her name wasn’t a political provocation or stunt, but a simple assertion of her identity. The lower court’s ruling, she said, was a “miscarriage of justice that would have consigned me to eternal nominative mediocrity.” 

She does not expect to have to fight an appeal to the Supreme Court of California.

Reilly noted that California already accepts the word “bimbo” as part of 17 commercial trademarks, most notably in the San Francisco venue Bimbo’s 365 and the multinational food manufacturer Bimbo Bakeries USA. The California Department of Motor Vehicles also allows “bimbo” on vanity license plates. 

In her decision against Bimbo Doll, Dekreon had cited a 1992 case, Lee v. Superior Court of Ventura County, in which a man sought to change his last name to what’s usually referred to as the N-word. That court determined that he had “no statutory right to court approval of a name that is a racial epithet.”

Reilly agreed that the 1992 decision rested on sound logic but said Thursday’s ruling was an important one. “It’s case law now, so it’s a citable case,” he said. “I think it’s going to broaden the scope of what’s permissible for what people can change their name to.”

Reilly believes the ruling broadens the scope for LGBTQ+ people or anyone who doesn’t feel connected to their birth name. At the same time, he couched his client’s battle as a victory over alleged censorship widely understood to emanate from the political left.

“There has to be some pushback against some wokeism,” Reilly said. “If you don’t push back, then life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are restrained.”

In spite of the reaction against LGBTQ+ rights and transgender visibility, Candi Bimbo Doll said she’s encountered little pushback from the trans community over her name or appearance.

“From other trans women? No, not really,” she said. “From the queer community, it depends. … The more I left the goth-industrial punk girl behind and became a little vacuous-looking Barbie princess, the more and more ostracized I got.”

Society appears to have caught up to her. The term “doll” is often used as shorthand for a feminine-presenting trans woman, particularly on TikTok or on Reddit threads. To some trans women in positions of public visibility, the term “bimbo” isn’t offensive; it’s merely quaint—harmless, even.

“I’ve never gone to the grocery store and been called a ‘bimbo,’” said Suzanne Ford, a trans woman who serves as the executive director of San Francisco Pride. Candi Bimbo Doll “absolutely should have the right to change her name.”