AI: What’s your name? Who’s your family?
So the good news is I’m getting divorced! The bad news: I have my exhusband’s last name. You see, I decided to change my name when I got married due to pressure from him and his super traditional family. The argument my exhusband made at the time was that I should change my name so that we’ll be identifiable as a family. Like the Smiths or the Joneses. And of course, our son has his last name.
I know a lot of hetero couples who have handled marriage and name changes in different ways. My mother didn’t change her name when she married my father, but they decided to give the children my father’s last name. I have a friend whose parents also have different last names, but they decided to combine their last names into an entirely different name for their children. And then there are poly families with children. Most of those I know just give the children the last name of the biological mother or father.
So what about all of the nontraditional families out there? What do you do when you marry someone of the same sex? What about poly families? Do you hyphenate or combine names? And if there’s no name changing, what name do the kids (assuming there are going to be any) get? This is a really personal decision, and I’d like to know how you all handle it.
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.
Featured image is Untitled (Family), Keith Haring, 1984.