Yes, Davis is My First Name: An FAQ

There’s a conversation I need to have with the world if I’m going to keep writing publicly online.

It’s not that I shy away from this dialogue, necessarily. It’s just that I am already comfortable with my side of the story, and I forget that anything is weird or different or even actually correctable to anyone else. That is, until something goes awry and I realize more communication is in order.

So to clarify this matter: my name is Davis Erin Anderson. My first name is Davis. And I get that this is confusing, I really do. I thought an FAQ might help.

The following are questions, or variations thereof, that I have been asked in the past.

Q: What should I call you?

My first name is, simply, Davis. Even though Erin is the most obviously feminine element here, I don’t go (nor have I ever gone) by Erin. And I prefer not to be addressed that way, if it can be helped.

Q: Davis is a last name!

Q: Isn’t that a boy’s name?

Q: Where’d you get your name?

Q: Are you sure your parents didn’t want a boy?

Q: Are you Southern? I’ve heard giving girls their mother’s maiden name is really common in the South.

Q: Have you always included your middle name?

Q: So your initials are DEA then? That’s intense.

Q: Does your name have an anagram?*


Questions I wish I’d been asked go something like “hey, we’re publishing an article with your name in it! How would you like to be represented?” and “thank you for speaking at our event! How would you like to appear in our program?” and “thanks for registering for our conference. How would you like your name to appear on your badge?” Alas.

Most of the questions in the FAQ above are welcome. In fact, I very much appreciate it when people ask me these questions, instead of quietly wondering or making sweeping assumptions that end up butchering my name in a more public forum. I’ve even had “Davis” — and, more commonly, “Erin” — left out entirely.

So please. Please refer to the above. Or just ask! I promise to be kind (unless you are a jerk about it).

*Okay, no one has directly asked me this. I just think that’s a fun anagram.