The unique argument in this situation is what to do about my name. Now, if you're a straight couple in America, chances are that this is less of a debate for you. The husband's name is what becomes the family name. It's a patriarchal tradition that is slowly starting to lose it's grip on the younger generation. Young women these days want to keep their name, or couples hyphenate their name, or they come up with some new name.
But, now there's gay marriage.
And I have no idea what the new tradition is supposed to be.
I don't think there is one.
I think I'm supposed to make a decision that feels right.
The problem is one I never really thought about before: I think I like my name just the way it is. Funny, because I always thought my name was boring. It's fairly common, though not as common as a Smith or a Brown, but still fairly common. While it's not as beautiful as some of the more exotic names out there, it's the one I've had for almost 28 years. I'm used to it, and I don't really know that I want that to change.
Also, the more I've thought about it, the more I like my name because nobody else in my family has it. My grandmother has had more husbands than Elizabeth Taylor, and she didn't have any repeats. Because of that my father's last name was actually the name of the man she was married to when he was in 6th grade. He went home from one school year with one last name and came back in the fall with a new last name.
So, other than my father, my mother, my uncle, my aunt (uncle's wife), and my brother...there is nobody else in my family with that last name. Should my brother not have children, and my name changes, there is nobody to pass that name on.
But, then, there's fairness to Partner. Any children that we have will be his children, too. His last name is actually shared by his very large extended family. It has a history and a power and a right to be passed on just as mine is.
I always assumed, I guess, that we'd keep our names and then our children would just have two last names. No hyphenation. Just two last names.
For those of you in same sex relationships, or for those of you who've made non-traditional naming choices, how did you rectify your internal name debate? If you're not married yet, what do you think about the last name exchange/change? Are you for it? Where do you lie? Keep your name, hyphenate, or create a new name?
Love and Lyte,