Joshua Gribschaw-Beck
Jun 17 · 2 min read

Thanks for sharing your story Ms. Katz. I find it touching that you chose your father’s original last name.

I’ve struggled with my last name over the years. I was Gribschaw ,my single mother’s last name on my birth certificate yet my father enrolled me as Beck in kindergarten….a power move ? Maybe. I learned my name as Beck and as a child liked it because it was easy to say and spell.

Then a few years later I told my mother I liked Beck and somehow she misinterpreted that to mean I wanted both last names….she put Gribschaw-Beck on my social security card which was the opposite of being easy to say and spell and that’s been my name ever since.

I hated over the years explaining it to people as many folks thought I hyphenated my last name as part of taking on a wife’s last name or constantly having to spell it for people.

As the internet grew, I figured no one would be able to find me online because they couldn’t spell it but it’s actually the opposite….over the years the name has grown on me a bit because I’m the only Gribschaw-Beck in the entire world….that feels special…I’ve never felt any allegiance to representing either side of my family by choosing one way or the other and frankly I’m not excited or proud of either name and for simplicity sake thought about fusing the two together somehow such as Schawbeck. I also thought of changing it entirely to give me some inspiration around a renewed or evolved identity….but I haven’t….for now it’s Gribschaw-Beck.

    Joshua Gribschaw-Beck

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