Today, I went to the service office and got a SIN number. Yay me! When I mentioned that I had a Canadian sweetheart, the guy behind the desk told me “Come back after you’re married so we can change the surname on your SIN card and citizenship ID.”
Pffff. As if I am changing my last name when I get married. That he just presumed I would peeved me slightly, but not enough to cause a fuss. He was nice enough to get me my SIN number in under 15 minutes after all.
Since Jaime and I are both women, there’s really no patriarchal stigma attached to either one of us adapting each other’s surname once we get married. But neither of us want to change our surname to the other’s, for the simple reasons that it seems to be a pain in the arse in terms of paperwork, we actually each like our surnames, and we would prefer an egalitarian gesture in both of us merged a little into each other’s families, rather than one completely assimilating into the other’s family, like a crumb getting devoured by a piece of mould.
We’ve considered creating a completely new surname for ourselves, and that’s honestly my favourite solution. It means our children would share a last name with us, it means that we’d share a family name. Today on a trip to Sooke we mused about whether we’d be known as “The (Jaime’s surname)s” or “The (My surnames)s” when people talked about us as a couple, like, “Oh, why don’t we go over to the (surname)’s place/ invite them over for dinner/?” Also, a new last name is our chance to further reinvent ourselves as our own couple, and possibly step out of the shadows of our families, if they are transphobic, homophobic, and unaccepting of us. I’ve suggested taking on one of our grandmother’s surnames, since my grandmother had an awesome maiden name, and we’re both fond of learning our family history and cherishing our roots.
Other queer couples, or individuals who don’t wish to take the surname of your spouse: What did you end up doing, and how did you work out any problems from other people’s reactions and the awkward semantics that sometimes come out of it?