Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Recently I cut my hair shorter than I ever have before. Although I keep my hair long most of the time, I have regularly cut it quite short (usually in the spring) and let it grow back out again throughout my life. But this time was different. This time I went to the shop with pictures, explained what I wanted and when I got home and the next morning still felt like they hadn’t listened, I returned and asked them to cut off those extra few inches they left on top. Now my hair is 2-3 inches long and I love it. LOVE IT.

Here’s the thing. I don’t say this to brag, but I have stunningly beautiful hair. Like, Disney princess beautiful. It’s thick, luscious, and when it’s long, my locks are the color of spun gold that strangers can’t resist touching. But it wasn’t working for me.

See, after a heart-shattering breakup this last winter I finally decided I was ready to venture out of my lonely grieving and start dating again. So I went out to what seemed the most logical of places: the local gay bar. Unfortunately, as seems to be my sorry lot in life, my first few attempts at lady wooing turned up nothing but drunk, straight men who stared at my breasts and offered to buy me drinks. In short: it sucked.

I felt like I was screaming for a woman to notice me on the inside, but that on the outside I just looked like another Mormon girl looking for her post-missionary husband. I decided that if I’m going to start attracting women in this region of the world, I needed to do something to make myself more obvious as a dyke.

I wouldn’t exactly call my new pixie cut butch, nor do I look even a little androgynous in my typical skirt and bosom-flattering tee, however, I am ten days into this haircut and I feel a sense of freedom like I have never felt before. For the first time in my life I feel like I’m invisible to some men. And, better still, I feel like some women are nicer to me, smile at me more, and even flirt with me when I least expect it. I don’t know what it is about Deseret that makes women with short hair “automatically” lesbians, but I’ve started working with the system instead of against it and things are looking up.

What about you, dear reader? Do you think people treat you differently depending on your haircut? Do you have short hair or long? Why do you prefer one or the other?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Let's Talk Glee!

First, let me say that I consider myself a Gleek.
Second, I was disturbed by the direction of last night's depiction of domestic violence.

I think Alyssa Rosenberg writes very intelligently and provocatively about this and other issues with the show's depiction of characters in crisis in her recent article, ‘Glee’ Is an Immoral Television Show and It’s Time to Stop Watching It. I know it is easier to critique the things we don't like, but I believe it is often most important to interrogate what we do. Murphy is doing a lot of really interesting, really positive things with this show, but he and his writers are not perfect. We shouldn't gloss over their shortcomings just because we are all so excited to see two cheerleaders making out.

I'm really curious about what you all think of the show. And, in particular, I am curious about your reactions to the Coach Bieste storyline. Does Glee exploit the oppressed? Is it distracting and manipulating us with its portrayal of trauma?

Share your thoughts, readers! Let's talk Glee.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day 2012

May Day 2012

Although I can’t be certain that the students who tossed homemade explosives from their dorm windows last night were actually partaking in ancient pagan tradition, I’d like to think that they were and that this event had nothing to do with the growing tensions on our campus. It’s May Day and when I first started conceiving this entry I thought it might be a more joyous affair, a celebratory epistle to the blogosphere of my emergence from the dark, lonely coldness of winter into the warm sun of spring flowers and bird song. And, in preparation, I revisited Geoffrey Chaucer’s description of May festivities in The Court of Love (1561):

And furth goth all the Court, both most and lest,
To feche the floures fressh, and braunche and blome;
And namly, hawthorn brought both page and grome.
With fressh garland√ęs, in partie blewe and white,
And thaim rejoysen in their greet delyt. (1431-35)

I love the way these lines emphasize the communal experience and the congregation and unity of those great and small, “most and lest.” As the remnants of winter melted away to reveal a green, living, blossoming landscape, Chaucer portrays a court that has laid aside difference and gathered to celebrate in shared delight.

However, one can’t dwell in idealism. There is more to May Day than flower garlands and festive dance. Alongside the fertility and beginning of the planting season that the festival marks, are also the associated aspects of purging and cleansing. In the Celtic Beltane Fire Festival, the rites of lighting sacred fires at the beginning of May served as a precaution against sinister forces, like witchcraft, that were thought to be particularly rampant at the beginning of summer. Similarly, during the Germanic Walpurgis Night, celebrated on the Eve of May Day, branches were tied to cattle and houses to keep witches away and fires were lit at the dawn to burn them out.

I imagine our merry pranksters were probably lighting things on fire in an effort to purge the demons of stress and the pressure witches that fight so fiercely by semester’s end. But let’s not forget that this could have been more. Let’s not forget that the tensions on campus between administrators and faculty are not just felt by them. Let’s not forget that bigotry and prejudice against those outside the religious, racial, political, or sexual majority affects us all. Our community is weakened when we dwell in difference. Let’s light the fires that burn out discrimination. Let’s annihilate the sinister force of hate with our fires of love.

This May, let’s commune together. Let’s gather to celebrate life and to purge darkness.

Works Cited & Consulted
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Vol. 7. Ed. Rev. Walter W. Skeat 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899. Print.
James, E.O. Seasonal Feasts and Festivals. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961. Print.