Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Introducing Mr. and Ms. Parifax! {Creative Name Changing}

One of my coolest couples ever has come up with one of the most creative solutions to the "name change" issue. We've had lots of brides keep their name, plenty hyphenate both names and one create a new last name for both out of their existing last names. But the former Lia Mandaglio and Hudson Taylor have taken it a step further and created a new last name for both of them that is unrelated to their previous names. They are now Lia and Hudson Parifax!

Lia and Hudson are both ardent feminists and advocates for LGBT rights. Hudson is the founder of the gay-rights advocacy group Athlete Ally for athletes, and he speaks at colleges and schools throughout the country asking athletes to sign a pledge to end homophobia. Lia is a lawyer in New York who is equally progressive and fabulously cool.

This couple is so perfect for each other and I loved seeing how crazy for each other they were. I was lucky enough to get to work with them on their wedding because, at the time, DC allowed same-sex marriage while New York did not and it was important to the couple to be married in an inclusive state.

It was just as crucial to them that their name support their feminist beliefs. Hudson explained their reasoning for creating a new last name in this article for "Out Sports" Magazine:

"A lot of contemporary couples keep their own last names, which is great and something we are considering. But, we want to have the same name. We could hyphenate them. But, our surnames are our fathers' surnames, and their fathers' surnames, and their fathers' surnames etc.

Even if we decided to take our mother's maiden names, we'd still be operating in a patrilineal naming system. We find it pretty disturbing that male names have been "labeling" people for hundreds of years. Matrilineal surnames and non-sex-based surnames don't really exist. So, we decided to just pick our own -- fresh, equal, ours. That way, we can share a name that does not perpetuate patrilineage. My parents were upset in the beginning. But, I asked them: "Why is it that no one cares if my sisters abandon their surnames to adopt the names of their husbands, but everyone panics when I want to abandon my surname to adopt a new name with my spouse?" My parents understood, and as always, are very supportive."

Lia explained the meaning behind the name they chose: Parifax:

"We combined the latin words pari and fax. Pari has a clear English translation - it means the same or equivalent (i.e. "with the same" or "of the same" depending on the context). Fax is a little harder to describe. It's literal translation is flame or torch, but it refers to the fire or passion of life. It also refers to celestial bodies like comets as well as to ritual torches used in marriages and funerals. In sum the name Parifax translates to "with the same flame."

After getting to know Lia and Hudson while planning their wedding with them for 2 and 1/2 years, I can absolutely say that this is one couple that does live life with the same flame. Their passion for life, for each other and for creating a better world is powerful and you can't help but catch their enthusiasm when you are around them. I can't wait to see all the amazing things the new Lia and Hudson Parifax will do! 

Congratulations to a truly amazing couple!

Photos by Greg Gibson (more from their stunning wedding to come).