Nighttime in the Middle East: Wall-to-Wall, Horny Young Men
When They Were Young: Gay Heartthrobs From the Past

Why Do Some Gay Men Take Their Husband's Last Name?



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.



Maury Schott

Oh, we are determined to piss off the Poles, Italians and Brazilians, aren't we?
And now that I look at the list, I think bullets 1, 3, 4 and 5 are all just different flavors of the same family-aimed 'screw you'.


Well, I wouldn't say I was "determined" ...

Andy Marber

Scott and I are loving your blog. Especially "My partner told me to do it, otherwise he'd beat the crap out of me." Can't stop laughing. Better than anything I've read by Paul Rudnick or David Sedaris

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)