In the past year three gay friends of mine were married and took their husband's last name. I found this curious and pondered why they made such a decision. Rather than just ask them, I brought it up for discussion a few weeks ago while having cocktails (vodka gimlets) with some friends and we drew up a list of possible reasons, which you'll find below.
- I never liked my last name (especially true if it was Dick, Pansy or Swisher).
- Since we both refer to each other as "husband", by taking his name friends will know he's the "top" (or earns more money).
- I'm getting back at my homophobic, unsupportive family. (Could pose a problem if both feel this way; if so, a coin toss is recommended.)
- My family disowned me so I'm disowning their name.
- My homophobic family paid me $25,000 to take my partner's name.
- With my husband and I both having Polish last names, each with 15 letters and no vowels, we didn't want to inflict a hyphenated name like that on our friends.
- It was the only way Sal's Italian family from Bensonhurst would accept our marriage (and especially Nonna).
- As a Republican I wish for life the way it was back in the 1950s (except for the way homosexuals were treated) and this is my way of paying tribute.
- I don't want to make it difficult for debt collectors, old boyfriends or anyone from my high school days to be able to track me down.
- I believe I'm the reincarnation of Laura Petrie so there was never a question in my mind that I would take my husband's name.
- I like being the center of attention and my decision will always be a topic of conversation among family, friends and work associates (even if they roll their eyes when they talk about it - doesn't matter!)
- My partner told me to do it if I loved him. Otherwise he'd beat the crap out of me. (But he really loves me.) And consider going back to his ex. (He does.)
- By subsuming my identity I show solidarity with my mother.
- Although I'm from Iowa I always fantasized having a Brazilian last name. (So what if Paulo still hasn't found a job. Or that he just told me he has a wife and two kids down in Recife.)
- My husband promised to buy me a washer and drier.
Over dinner, after sobering up, we agreed that the most likely reasons were #1 and #3.