Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Joseph Loyaconobustos

Joseph Loyaconobustos has a combined last name of his mother and father’s surnames. Both of his parents kept their last names at marriage. He discusses his mother’s thoughts on keeping her own last name, “I know my mother personally chose to [keep her natal name] because I think she had a very intimate relationship with feminism her entire life, and so it is very much a conscious decision on her behalf to both keep her last name as well as taking both her last name and my father’s last name and put them together and give it to both me and my sister.”

When asked if any problems arose with his combined last name, he answered, “The only inconvenience that [my last name] caused seems to be that it was quite a bit longer than those common last names. But it is a minor inconvenience compared to what I think is a great aspect of consolidation… between both my parents and in a larger spectrum, between female and male solidarity within the marriage structure.” He believes that naming practices should come down to personal choice and not any sort of lineal structure. He plans to have a conversation with a potential partner in the future and he is very willing to combine his last name with his partner’s.

His mother’s side of the family was very supportive but he felt that his father’s side of the family had a harder time adjusting to the change, although it did get better with time.

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