Laura Patey, associate dean for Student Academic Resources, was featured in the newest book of the series, A Peace of My Mind: American Stories, by John Noltner, which details the stories of “58 people from diverse backgrounds, who share stories of hope, redemption, and forgiveness, paired with compelling color portraits.”
Dean Patey’s story highlights the peace she has finally found with embracing her own identity. She recalls the many tumultuous times in her life where she didn’t feel comfortable talking about her own identity with her family, to the point where she didn’t officially come out until her early 30s, or the fact that she had to practice statements and resolutions with her adopted son, Jesse, because kids on the football team would make fun of him for having two moms. But she has found peace now that she realizes “it’s not about having people tolerate or accept you, it’s about embracing your identity.”
“Peace is a state of mind,” she says, “It is a very personal thing.”
Patey has now been with her partner, Leigh, for 30 years, officially getting married in 2004. Together, they adopted two boys out of the foster care system who are now in their 20s.
An excerpt of Dean Patey’s story, along with her full audio interview was published on the website for the Peace of My Mind Project, and her story was highlighted in one of Noltner’s blog entries as a tool he was able to use to connect with a young student who was having her own trouble and felt isolated dealing with the reality of her own, but very similar family situation.