Contemporary Expression

VanReece Day
September 17, 2008, 12:21 pm
Filed under: branding, change, Coming Out, Equality, grace, LGBT History, mission statement, Nancy VanReece

Yesterday, September 16, 2008 marked the fourth anniversary of my name change. I have met many people in the last four years and most don’t even know that VanReece is a made up name. There are some people I knew before than simply think they had the name wrong somehow before, maybe? I secretly enjoy the confusion on their face.
After 16 years together, Joan and I, unable to marry legally, decided to combine our last names into one name as a symbol of forming a new family out of two separate ones. I think the definition may be “marriage“. We took VanBuhler and Reece and became the VanReece’s. We did do an Internet search to make sure we weren’t taking on some other family first. Registration was a hundred bucks each and we were given a court date. When we came up on the docket in Judge Randy Kennedy’s probate court, we weren’t sure who would have to go before him first. Judge Kennedy saw that this was a very important act for us and asked if we’d like to stand next to each other and swear together and separately not that we would love and cherish and care for each other as long as we both lived but rather, that we were not changing our name to hide from creditors. It didn’t matter. The act of kindness to let us stand together before a judge and change our names at the same time is an act we will never forget. We then spent the day in line at the social security office and at the DMV and gave employers documentation, banks, mortgage holders etc. We spent the entire day getting our named changed on everything. It was VanReece day. Some of the VanBuler side understood the gesture, most on the Reece side did not and it took several months, almost a year for the reality to settle in that our name change was a symbol in 2004 of a commitment that that had taken place in 1988. In many many ways we are still waiting patiently for reality to catch up with denial. Now, four years later and in our 20th anniversary year together as a couple we enjoying being known as “The VanReece’s”.

Watercolor Postcard by Nancy VanReece painted 7.7.08, “Walking on a Communication Hi-wire”


1 Comment so far
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Beautiful. What a special story and I am glad you shared it. What a great way to end my day!

Comment by CFFighter

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