Married Lesbian Name Changes

A while ago I posted a blog about some random survey done in some far away land, that said people think differently of women that take their partner’s name after marriage. And by differently, I mean they think we’re stupid. Nice, but stupid. OK, maybe I’m paraphrasing but that was what I got from it.

Well I just wanted to put my two cents in on why I am choosing to take Remi’s name. Actually, I’m going to hyphenate it.

It’s really quite simple actually. I feel like it’s one way we can show the world, straight and gay, that we’re really a family unit. Since it’s tradition for a woman to take her husband’s name after marriage, doing so helps a lot of straight people to put our relationship in the same arena as any other marriage in their minds: “Mrs. and Mrs. Remi Smith” “The Smiths” ….. nothing says you’re married quite as easily and non fussable as having the same last name.

I know I shouldn’t care what others think about our relationship, but I do to a certain extent. I want the same respect given to our commitment as any other married couple and I feel that having her last name is one little step closer to that.

Also, on a personal note … I just really love her and couldn’t think of any better way to show the world that I’m hers than to have her name. Sort of like a tattoo but without the pain and cliche attached.

OK so that’s my reasoning behind it. But wait, I’m hyphenating my name. Why would I do that if I have so many uber-romantic reasons to take her name to begin with? That’s super easy too. First of all, Sasha Lotrian is not my real name. My real name is some hard to pronounce (according to spelling), Persian name with an equally hard to pronounce Samoan surname. My entire life growing up, I hated my name because people couldn’t pronounce it and I got called every unflattering version people could muster. But somewhere along the line, I grew into my name and figured out how to tell people to say my name correctly. And *voila* like magic people started complementing something they used to ridicule me for. What used to be something I was embarrassed of, became something I took pride in. My unique name that told a story about where I came from.

Then we also have the fact that even though Remi’s real last name isn’t Smith, it’s something equally all-American. I like the way that hyphenating our last names makes it obvious that I’ve married into that name. My name tells the story of my life. My first name is from my mother’s side. My father’s family name tells the world I’m half Samoan and the new addition at the end, shows that I married someone I love very much and added their name to show the whole world that we have now formed our own little family.

And luckily, under the current domestic partnership laws of California, you can legally change your name to your partners just like any other married couple. 🙂 So there you have it, my two cents.

This article has 11 comments

  1. Jazmenha

    A name is a VERY personal thing. You connecting your life story with Remi’s through your names is a beautiful concept. Do what the two of you want, what you feel comfortable and what is the most meaningful to both of you. Others will judge us no matter what we do but that is on them not us. 🙂 Your chosen name will be beautiful because it will be the connecting story of your 2 lives and that is what matters.

  2. Natalie

    Love all your reasons, and the fact that your hyphenated name tells the story of your life! And totally agreed on names giving us one more way to show the world our marriages are just as sacred as straight marriages. Sing it loud and proud, you big-ol-about-to-be-married-lesbo. 😉

  3. Justa Notha-Motha

    You could always come up to Boston and do it for real!

  4. WWG

    Love it! My name is also kind of out there. My first name sounds a lot like a couple of different common names, but it’s not. You have no idea how many people get confused by that. My last name is also unusual. I look at it all as a great way to suss out the telemarketers!

    I have no idea if I’d take my beloved’s name if I got married. I’m not there yet. I absolutely understand your reasons for doing so though and thing they’re great. So far though, for me, I can’t imagine doing it because I’ve always been [insert my name] and it’s just me. Also, call me cynical, but I so don’t want the hell that comes with having to change one’s name if ever we broke up/got divorced.

    My mom refused to change her name. Actually, she’s old enough that when she got married, the government automatically changed it for her. Seriously! That used to happen. She was really upset by this until my dad said “let me handle this.” And in the papers received, it said something like “have you changed your name recently?” and they checked yes, and voila! changed it back to her maiden name. Pretty cool, no?

  5. WWG

    Oh and I hated my name when I was a kid too. I grew into it eventually.

  6. squeak

    I love reading about queer couples + weddings! The hyphenation is a great idea, and I agree on it being a show of a family unit to others. A little something to make people take notice and actually think about your commitment and relationship. Congrats, again. 🙂

    I’m definitely taking my partner’s name when matrimony happens. But that’s because I have a highly tease-able last name. I’m not doing this to future kids. 🙂

  7. Jazmenha

    No one can pronounce my last name or even come close. LOL All 3 of my brothers and I pronounce it differently. LOL So yeah personally, I would definitely take on the new married last name.

  8. Ryan

    In my little ideal world I LOVE the idea of my parter and I creating a new last name and changing both our names. That has all the symbolic meaning of a “new family” while meeting both of our stubborn sides who don’t want to give up our own name. She hasn’t COMPLETELY agreed to it yet.. but I think I’ll win her over with my charm in the end 😉

  9. violet m

    I love that you’re taking your wifey’s name. I had toyed with hylenating before changing my name but went the route of dropping itand becoming mrs m.

  10. Shelly

    My wife and I were married in Washington D.C. in November. I took her name. Having been previously married to a man (gasp, I know) and having had a child with him, I’d kept that name. Nobody could pronounce my maiden name anyway.

    My son is 16 and has plenty of friends with parents who’ve had multiple marriages and name changes. He was fine with me changing to my wife’s name and my ex-husband is relieved I won’t be advocating for LGBT equality rights using his name any longer while married to a woman…he’s supportive but not THAT supportive.

    As an aside, the Social Security Administration changed my name, no questions asked, upon the production of my official marriage certificate. No court name change process needed! To add a cherry to the top of the cake, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for the State of Ohio tried to balk but, since the SSA had already made the change, they HAD to comply. Try it on the SSA ladies. It worked for me. It might work for you!

  11. closet

    would there be a chance that you can actually tell us your real name? first name? never? ok. just curious.

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