When I was born, I was named Patricia Louise Garry by my Uncle Jim, my dad’s brother, who died in Germany right at the end of World War II.? There were Louises all over the family, but no Patricias, so I was a first in that category. Though in my 8th grade class, there were 32 girls, 8 of them named Patricia – and all but me named Patricia Ann.
Growing up, I was called Patty all through grade school and high school.? On getting confirmed about 8th grade, I chose Elizabeth as my confirmation name – all the girls in my family have Elizabeth somewhere in their nomenclature.? I remained Patty to the world at large, but occasionally enjoyed introducing myself as Patricia Louise Elizabeth Garry (I still enjoy answering the phone that way every now and then).? After getting married at 20 and moving to Cincinnati, I determined on the ride down from Springfield that I was going to be Pat.
And thus I was for nearly 50 years – all during the time I was an activist who was also a philosopher.? Sometime around 2005, I realized that I had become a philosopher who was also an activist.? That realization led me to understand that my name was now Patricia.? For several years, I would just mention that to folk – but almost no one paid any attention.? So in the last two years or so, I’ve gotten more clear and direct.
And now most folk / friends call me Patricia, which feels just right to me.? So I am, as we are all born to be, a Happy Camper when called by my correct name.