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Why I Chose My Own Last Name

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The right to change one’s name in the United States for any reason, by court order, isn’t something that we usually think about. We remember monumental court cases around civil rights, and nearly everyone can point to Roe v. Wade. But changing your last name? Sure, Prince changed his name—but he’s a celebrity, and for them, it’s commonplace. Why would I change mine?

At the age of 30, after my divorce had been finalized for six months, I legally changed my last name by court order. My brief marriage was one of those that left a woman wondering, “Will I ever remarry?” So keeping my ex-husband’s last name was out of the question. I could not wait until I remarried—if I ever did—to change my name. 

However, I did not want to go back to my maiden name. My maiden name is difficult to pronounce and even more challenging to spell.. It’s also one of those names that, when you hear it, you have no idea of its origin.

In short, I wanted a last name that was beautiful and that suited me, and that I was content to keep for the rest of my life. Keep reading…

This piece appeared in America’s Future on July 19, 2021. Read the full article at America’s Future.

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