Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mr. & Mr. Bert-Ernie?

Now that the Supreme Court has finally gotten with the times and put an end to Prop 8 and DOMA, I've been wondering something: Will/Do same-sex couples change their last names? Who might take whose surname? Or, would most same-sex couples scoff at such an archaic tradition? Or, might they make new rules by hyphenating both partners' last names, like Mr. and Mr. Bert-Ernie (what are their last names, anyway?!)? My curiosity led me to Google, which had me clicking on this interesting article in The Atlantic. According to the author, same-sex couples are taking their partners' names and tend to have a conversation to decide which partner will change their name. She goes on to describe that gay and lesbian couples have definitely chosen to uphold this old tradition but for very new reasons. Fascinating, no?

Personal factoid: I always imagined I'd take my husband's last name, but had a strict stipulation. Even after countless courses in women's studies and degrees in sociology and repeated indoctrination from academics that wifedom means coverture, and that taking your husband's last name signifies women as property, I was still over the moon to become Mrs. Castillo. I'm more than sure my sociology colleagues raised an eyebrow at my choice to change my name. However, I see sharing a last name as a symbol that Flavio and I are a team. But here's the stipulation: Ever since elementary school, I knew I had to marry someone whose last name started with the letters A, B, or C as being at the front of the alphabet is strangely important to me. Often, assigned classroom seating, your place in the graduation line, etc., is based on your surname and I always saw anything below C as an unacceptable step down. So, when I met Flavio, I was relieved he was Ca-, a step up from my maiden name which starts Cl-. Fate! And I get to keep my monogram, which I like. Plus, it's a sexy last name. If he was Smith, I'd think twice.  (I realize I am totally Crazy.)

Related: According to this HuffPo article, the majority of US women still change their last names after marriage.

Would/Will/Did you change your name? Why/not?

{Photo: The best New Yorker cover ever.}

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