What’s in a name & the birth of the word “Wusband”

After June 26, 2015, Gay Marriage became legal world wide. Thus started the “Great Name Debate”. Now that we could all marry – whose name do we chose? Should we choose surnames after creating careers for so long under our current ones? Unlike our straight counterparts, this wasn’t an issue that we’d faced before or even had an unwritten rule about it. Truthfully, it was new ground. The Lesbian Socialite herself, Robyn Vie-Carpenter, faced this head on and was interviewed about in the New York Times. Read the snippet below and learn why WUSBAND should be in the dictionary.

“The speaker and spiritual coach Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco calls her wife, Veronica Brisco, “my wusband.” Ms. Carpenter-Brisco explained: “She’s my wife, but she’s like a dude. She’s more like a husband than a wife, so: wusband.”

A loose approach to relationship titles — not to mention pronouns and proper names — has long existed within the gay and transgender communities; for example, calling a homosexual “mary” probably goes back to the 1920s. But the debate over what to call one’s same-sex spouse has become more pronounced since the legalization of gay marriage last year.

“Before, when you had a commitment ceremony,” Ms. Carpenter-Brisco said, “you didn’t change your name. But now your life is joined, so all of these considerations become a thing. What do you say at the end of the wedding ceremony?”

Before marrying in 2013, Ms. Carpenter-Brisco already had a hyphenated name, Vie-Carpenter, because her father had taken his wife’s maiden name. Her partner wanted Ms. Vie-Carpenter to take her last name, Brisco. But Ms. Vie-Carpenter was already known professionally by her maiden name; also, she loved that her name translated loosely to “life builder.” Moreover, she felt that, as a feminist, she shouldn’t have to change her name.

After contemplating a variety of options, she announced to her partner that the married name she would take would be a fabulous one: Robyn Vie Carpenter de la Brisco. (“I love being long and ridiculous,” she told me. “It was my Pippi Longstocking moment.”) But, alas, putting such a name on a marriage certificate would have required more legal maneuvering than she was prepared for, so she opted for the less fanciful Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco. Who has a wusband.”

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