Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Queer Naming Practices

Last naming decision can be an important and meaningful decision for queer couples. In the absence of traditional naming conventions that heterosexual couples have, there is a very wide variation of last naming options and decisions. Our research has found that there is no one single, effective choice but that it is highly dependent on the individual context of each couple’s situation. Some common factors that influenced naming decision for the queer couples in our research were the desire to create a unified family unit, the desire for both mothers in lesbian partnerships to be legally and socially recognized, consideration of children, support or disapproval of extended family, attachment to name, convenience, and more. Last naming can be a means of making social statements about an only recently recognized family form, emphasizing the legitimacy of queer parent families. Although some influencing factors are specific to queer couples, many also apply to heterosexual couples like aesthetics, attachment to name, and convenience. Click Here to read through interviews to get a better understanding of the situational, diverse, and complex last naming decisions of our interviewees.

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