Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"K" is for my last name

My last name starts with a "K." I have such mixed feelings about this.

There are positives:
1) My last name is easy to spell. It is a male's name; everyone knows how to spell it. My maiden name was butchered more ways than you can imagine.
2) It is the last name of my children. I hesitate to change it for that very reason. I want a connection with my girls.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to share J's last name. She said that her dad might have been okay with me having it, and I plan to change it to hers when my children are married and take on their husbands' surnames. When this will happen, I have no idea. I find myself extremely impatient for that.

"K" is my current identity. Hopefully, I can change it in a few years. It is like a monkey on my back. I just don't think I will be able to wait much longer. When I change my surname to "B", I think my coming out will be complete and I will see us as completely married.

Which brings me to my next issue: I don't think that marriage will be legal for us in our lifetime (Texas), so I hope in the near future that we will just bite the bullet and just do the whole name change thing. It may not seem important to most people, but to me it will be the final push. Taking J's surname means the world to me. Now that I am known by my first name at the school I am teaching at, even though I don't think it is respectful, the kids are not going to notice the change in my surname. I could lie and say it is my maiden name. My kids will only know if they see my driver's license. Is it worth the risk of my daughters feeling upset? Their father and I are divorced. Would it be any more difference than if I went back to my maiden name?

For those of you who have not been following our blog, the school I am teaching at is gay friendly. In our faculty directory, under each teacher's name, there is a place that reads "spouse/partner." Today I noticed that only one teacher out of about 30 has a partner listed. I want to be the second. This teacher is in the hospital with cancer right now, and the entire faculty is supporting her. It just doesn't seem to matter at all. Today everyone was sending cards, flowers and fruit baskets to the hospital. She is truly missed and appreciated. Our teacher handbook reads that no teacher shall be discrimintated against regardless of gender or sexual orientation. How many of you have changed your surname to that of your partner? Does it matter to you? It matters to me. I want to be connected to J in that way, forever. Comments here are greatly appreciated.


e said...

My partner and I tried combining our last names to make something unique to us. But, it didn't stick. Well, we didn't make it stick ~ we didn't change our names legally. We use our maiden names and that is ok.

DaniKel said...

Kel and I have been together 9 years this November. We have had 2 kids together, with me carrying them both, and they both have Kel's last name. We are getting married next June, and I will change my last name to hers/theirs.

It does mean a lot to me. In so many ways. Since I carried our 2 kids, it meant a lot to me for them to have her last name. So that people would see them as her kids. And I have wanted to change my name since we had them, but was stubborn and said I wouldn't do it til we got married. :) But it also means a lot to me to share her name. So not only will we be seen more as a family, but so that her and I will be seen more as a married couple.

We have 2 older kids. I was married to our oldest son's dad. When we divorced I went back to my maiden name. So there is no name connection there. Our 2nd oldest son, Kel had with her previous partner, and his name is hyphenated of their 2 last names.

It of course is your decision when you want to do this. But I say just think about it hard. You waited a very long time to reunite with J. To be yourself. Your daughters will most likely marry and take the name of their husbands. That could happen soon, or that could happen many years down the road. Remember that life is too short to be put on hold.