Alex Blaze

Portia did it, would you?

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 11, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living
Tags: Ellen DeGeneres, lesbian, marriage, names, portia de rossi

America's favorite lesbian power couple (sorry, Mary and Heather) is back in the news with this headline:

Portia de Rossi is now Portia Lee James DeGeneres

To each their own.

What about you? What do you think about last name changes in same-sex couples? What have you personally done, or would do, in such a situation? For my part, I know that nothing as trivial as a relationship would keep me from being a proud Blah-zay.


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My former partner and I thought we might exchange names, although I'm now very glad we didn't go through with that idea.

i'm of the opinion that the should have made an amalgam name: DeGenerossi. :P

That's the best solution I've seen yet. But if we did Jerame Davis and Bil Browning does that mean I'd become Bil Drowning? That doesn't sound very romantic at all!

LOL @Jason

I'm not particularly partial to my last name - it was my one link to my former self / family, and that family tie has since dissolved. But I suppose not everyone has that experience.

But in the end, it should be personal choice. Automatic surname changes still harken back to a day when women became property, and I'm of a mind that that should be voluntary only.

I agree with Mercedes' point about the origins of the "maiden name" change. This is also why you see women in opposite gender relationships opt against this ritual more often.

Most often, I've seen, is the hyphenated last name. Personally, I think it's whatever the participants desire, be it hyphenated, or one taking another, or something completely different.

Portia made her decision, and I applaud that all the same. Though, I will also note, that I first read about this on a non-LGBT gossip site, and damnit if I wasn't sick of the multitude of comments trashing both of them, especially the "doesn't that make Ellen the dude" comments. Just goes to show you the stream we swim upwards even in the name of human decency.

The first time my partner and I were guilty of attempted homo-marriage, we got an application from Multnomah County Oregon in 2004 which of course had "groom" and "bride" labels. She assumed she should put me down for groom, and I said I don't know that it matters. My Mom interjected that the difference is the wife takes the groom's last name, so I immediate said put me down for wife. This surprised everyone...followed by some "really?"

I'm assuming because I'm thought to be the more dominant one in our relationship people assumed I'd be the groom. But see, that's the problem right there...that the submissive one is automatically assumed to be in the wife role. We're both relatively butch, so this is a nuanced difference between us. I don't know if submissive is even really the right word...she's just more trusting and friendly.

I had always intended to take her last name. Her ancestry is important to her, while I don't care that much about mine. When I was younger I wished I could take my Mom's family's name. I don't necessarily dislike my Dad's side of the family, but they never really felt like my family. My partner's family feels more like family and that's why I'd like to take her family's name.

I think everyone's situation and reasoning might be different.

If my partner's last name is way cooler than mine, I am totally doing away with my maiden surname!

"Portia de Rossi" was born Amanda Lee Rogers. How much does it matter was stage name she uses? Call me cynical but I don't see this as a huge moment in same-sex coupledom.

My husband and I live in Ohio, but were married last year in Branford CT. I took his name legally when we returned to Ohio. We wanted to make it more difficult for people here to ignore the fact that we're married.

I didn't want a hyphen. If I need my given name to define who I am, then I'd better do some work on self-actualization. I didn't give up anything by changing my name, We only reinforced that fact that we're a family.

Ironically, we got great support for the name change from straight friends and both families, but much enthusiasm from gay friends. Curiously, only gay friends ascribed any top/bottom implication to the name change which I found disheartening.

I like it when I meet couples, regardless of sex, who keep their own names. What is taking someone else's name supposed to imply?