08/10/2012 10:58 am ET Updated Sep 11, 2016

Whose Name Do You Take?

As my partner Ilana and I prepare to get married, we have wrestled with the question of what to do with our last names after we tie the knot. Although this is the same decision that straight couples make, I am struck by how uncomfortable people are with the lack of traditional script to follow. Their discomfort often reveals how they view our relationship and the ways in which patriarchal assumptions still inform the values of even proudly self-proclaimed feminists.

Despite being a same-sex couple that challenges gender conventionality in many ways, Ilana and I are surprisingly traditional when it comes to marriage and families. We look forward to raising children together and envision a family that shares a last name. This is not a judgment on how families are "supposed to" be, just the way we picture doing things ourselves. Furthermore, with all the challenges same-sex couples face, sharing a last name is a way that we feel we are more legible as a couple and, one day, as parents to our children.

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