AJ McLean is totally behind his kids.
Speaking with People, the Backstreet Boys singer opened up about his 9-year-old daughter’s decision to change her name from Ava to Elliott.
“When my daughter asked to change her name to Elliott, initially, I didn’t know if it was a transgender thing, which it is not, but it is a personal choice,” he explained. “And it is her body, it’s her name, it’s her everything. And she’s still Ava. She’ll always be Ava to me.”
He continued, “But at the same time, whatever reasoning it is, that’s hers, and I’m going to support it a million per cent, my wife will [too].”
McLean recalled his daughter coming to him one day over a year ago and telling him, “Dad, I just feel like my name is not that unique and not that original, and there’s a lot of Avas at dance and a lot of Avas at school.”
As for how she picked the name Elliott, McLean said it was all thanks to a movie.
“She just finished watching ‘Pete’s Dragon’, and she loved the name Elliot, but with two Ts,” he said. “Now it just rolls off the tongue. Now she’s Elliott.”
Finally, McLean added, “Whatever journey both my girls have, I will be in their corner a million per cent, my wife will be in their corner and support them, whatever their path is and whatever their journey is. That’s just the family that we are.”
McLean’s wife Rochelle first let slip that their daughter had changed her name in a post on Instagram, and later addressed the issue for her followers.
“For those asking … not that it’s anyone’s business but Elliott’s name change is not a gender thing,” she explained. “She wanted something unique that no one else had (There are so many Ava’s). I didn’t really see the harm in respecting her desire to be unique.”
The couple also share 5-year-old daughter Lyric.