An online space for queer, questioning, lesbian, bi, trans and everything else in between women at Yale

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ally Workshop


Join the LGBTQ Coop for one of the first events of Yale's annual Pride Month: a workshop led by the Queer Peers on how to be an ally to LGBT people. Expect fun activities and thought-provoking dialogue in this highly interactive workshop.
This is a great way to get involved with Pride Month and support Yale's LGBT community!

The workshop will be held twice:

April 1st at 4pm
WLH 309

April 23 at 4pm
Women's Center

For more information on this event, email queer.peers@yale.edu.
For more information about Pride Month 2010 at Yale, email lgbt@yale.edu or visit http://www.facebook.com/prideatyale

Invite all your friends straight and queer! 

Sapphic love,

[Sappho.Blog] Administration

can we have interactive posts?

1) what is your most awkward/funniest hook up story?

2) and if that is too embarrassing, then what is the best date you've ever had?

answer one, both, neither....whatever. This is out of curiosity and boredom as I sit in lab waiting for a subject to finish. In need of some giggles.

with sapphic love,


In Retrospect

Every time I start a post i seem to postpone actually posting it, and it has ended in approx. four drafts about four different things on the blog server...i fail.

So I decided today was the day to post.. After having efficiently procrastinated work, watching harry potter 6 and fast forwarding the parts that freak me out, I find myself sitting in front of the computer, still pondering what a good blog post would be...who knows.

Here goes anyway.

Earlier today I met with a friend that is at the moment coming into her "gay identity",beginning to come to terms with the fact that she is actually interested in women as opposed to men. It all got me thinking of what a really interesting processes that is.... I´ve had many conversations with people about their coming out experiences, at least coming out to themselves and there is one phrase that always comes up in the story..

"Now that I know....looking back things make much more sense..."

And things actually do seem to make much more sense.

Like my insane crush on my second grade teacher, the fact that all of my "early childhood sexual explorations" of playing games of doctor and the predecessor of "are you nervous" were only with girls. How I got jealous when my best friend in the 5th grade talked to me about a boy she liked.. How I was deathly afraid that I would accidentally kiss a girl I thought was really pretty in the 6th grade, so much that I actually stopped hanging out with her.

In retrospect things do seem to make sense. but I wonder, how come I wasn't necessarily aware of my "gay identity" back then? Was it simply that I did not have a language for it? did I not want to see it? was it never an option in my head? I am simply giving more meaning to these things now, because now I do in fact sleep with women, date them, and so on...?

Who knows....

I wonder what things make sense to you...in retrospect.

Picture: In Retrospect by Bojana Randall

And some jokes (all taken from a website for Australian lesbians, "lemonkind.com")

Q: What do you call a lesbian dinosaur?
A: The lickalotopuss

Q: How can you tell if a lesbian is butch?
A: She kick starts her vibrator and rolls her own tampons.

Q: What do you call a lesbian with 1,000 semiautomatic rifles?
A: Militia Etheridge.

Q: What you do call a room full of 50 politicians and 50 lesbians?
A: 100 people who don't do dick

Q: How many lesbians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Five. One to change it, two to organise the potluck, one to write a folk song about the empowering experience and one to set up the support group.

Q: Why do lesbians like whales so much?
A: Because they have 50 foot tongues and breathe out of the top of their heads!

Q: What kind of humour do lesbians like?
A: Tongue in cheek.

Q: What do you call a lesbian with long fingernails?
A: Single.

Q. What's the new politically correct name for a lesbian?
A. A vagitarian.

A woman walks into her doctor’s office and says “Doctor, I have this terrible rash.” She lifts up her sweater to reveal a large ‘M’ shaped rash.

The doctor replies, “Now that is the strangest rash I’ve ever seen.” The woman explains, “Well my boyfriend goes to Michigan and refuses to take off his letter sweater when we make love.” The doctor shrugs her shoulders, prescribes some lotion and sends the woman on her way.

The next day another woman comes in with a very similar rash. “How did you get that?” the doctor asks. “My boyfriend goes to MIT and he refuses to take his letter sweater off when we make love,” she says. The doctor prescribes some lotion and sends the young lady on her way.

The third day another young woman comes into the doctor’s office and she too has a big rash in the shape of an ‘M’ on her chest.

“Let me guess,” the doctor says. “Your boyfriend goes to Maryland?” “No,” the patient replies, “My girlfriend goes to Wellesley.”

Some slang for you to throw around during Gaypril

I actually haven't heard of a lot of these, so this was wildly entertaining for me in class today. The only (funny) lesbian slang I really know of is "u-hauling"...and I thought there had to be more than that, right? Well thanks to UrbanDictionary.com, I have some wonderful slang terms for you.

lesbeaux: (n) a gay guy that loves hanging out with lesbians and/or identifies with lesbians. (i.e, Stevieee)

lesbro: (n); 1) a straight guy that loves hanging out with lesbians; the male equivalent of "fag hag." 2) a masculine lesbian that likes to "bro out" with her male friends or other masculine lesbians.

spaghetti girl: (n) a girl that is straight... until you get her wet ;)

Silver Star Lesbian: (n) a woman who has only had sexual intercourse with one man in her life (in this experience she either discovered or confirmed that she was indeed a lesbian)

lesbosaurus: (n) a very, very old lesbian

barsexual: (n) a girl that makes out with girls only at bars, usually for the attention of men

safaux/safauxsexual: (n) a girl that that says that she is bisexual or gay for the attention or because she thinks that it's "trendy"

Gay-OK: (adj) when a straight person is queer-friendly

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jobs, Life Purpose, Etc.

So today at lunch a group of my friends were talking about what they want to do when they leave college (more of a thoughtful, what's-possible kind of conversation since we're freshmen). Such a big question, right? I definitely would love to work with the LGBT community in some way -- I think about gay issues all the time, that's where my passion is. The hard part is in what capacity, though? There seem to be two paths - advocacy and working to create equal rights and better situations for people, and more of the counseling and directly working with people in those tough situations. I feel like for me personally, the most enjoyable thing in the world is listening to people's problems and helping them sort things out. I love the incredible calm that comes with pausing from my own chaotic life and just taking a journey with someone, connecting to what they're feeling at that specific moment. While I am interested in lending my voice to the equal rights movement and volunteering my time, I am not drawn to organize, to delegate tasks, to lead. I am much more interested in working with people one on one. I feel like at Yale and in a world that's competitive in general there can sometimes be pressure to be the leader, the one in charge.. but I think there is significance in other kinds of work, too. Really helping someone accept themselves as queer and become a healthier, more confident person is so important, and a worthwhile way to spend one's life I think. I like what one of my friends said at lunch today about each approach being important - one can affect an immense amount of people to a smaller extent, the other affects fewer people on a deeper level. It's just whatever you are more attracted to specifically.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hell Week with a Happy Ending

This week was crazy; easily the worst week of my semester. Right after Spring Break I had two papers due and a midterm. I pulled an all-nigher from Tuesday to Wednesday, and then another one from Wednesday to Thursday. But I survived. Surprisingly, I did not ask for an extension, and I did not hand in anything late. Granted, my papers weren't perfect, but they were good, or decent at least.

This week taught me a lesson of breathing myself through things. On Monday at around 4pm, after running errands all day and not having started my many assignments, I was freaking out. I don't want to be overly dramatic, but I really felt almost a sense of despair, and was worried about not finishing all that I had to do. But I realized that the assignments would still be there, regardless if I was freaking out or calm. And so I breathed deeply. At first I thought I only had two papers due this week. Then, as I went to my discussion section on Monday, I realized that I also had a midterm on Thursday--panic attack. And again, BREATHE DEEPLY, BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE. There were a series of events all throughout this week for which my first instinct was to panic, but I had to practice taking two steps back, and breathing. It's like that phrase "Lord, grant me patience...but hurry!" and then what happens is that you get really nerve-racking situations, and become patient by practicing patience. It's quite Aristotelian in its habit-forming character.

Anyway, I survived. And I just wanted to share that with you. I've surprised myself. And now, after three weeks, I will finally get to see my girlfriend again today. It's the best thing I could have asked for, my light at the end of the tunnel. She's my light.

And finally, for your hearing pleasure, a song that helped me stay calm this week. It just reminds, when I need to be reminded the most, how great life is.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love Grey's

I love Grey's Anatomy. I know, its terrible. I should spend my time watching things like Lost, or something...I don't know. Anyway, I love Grey's, especially now that Callie and Arizona are the show's best couple. They could have made that shower scene a little hotter/longer, but its ABC, so what do you expect.

Grey's is a Thursday night ritual for me. Back when I lived in a suite, it would be one of the only times I saw all the girls in my suite. I mean, I watch TV constantly. But on Thursday nights at 9 I would shot GREY'S IS ON, and suddenly the people would appear. We would chat during commercial breaks about the absurdity of the show and all the fun drama of our own lives.

One Thursday, while I was sitting on the bus waiting to leave practice I got a text from one of my suitemates, "two words: Grey's Anatomy. It's time for some crying". I don't always cry during Grey's. Sometimes I shout, and sometimes I laugh, and sometimes I shake my head and actively judge fictional characters. But sometimes I cry. Grey's has a nasty habit of killing children. That makes me cry.

Grey's is like an hour of therapy for the whole country. Let it all out! Ah shucks. Literally as I type this a woman is committing physician-assisted suicide which is a real provision in Washington and Oregon. Who knew? Oh the tears. *pause* callzona moment. I swear to God Grey's if you ruin Callie and Arizona I will destroy you! Jesus, can no one on this show be happy?

Anyhow, for all of its flaws, Grey's is also one of the most gay-friendly shows on network tv. In addition to Callie and Arizona, and the short lived Callie and Erica before them, there have also been a number of cute gay couples in the hospital. Not that you want to see people in the hospital, but the existence of characters is always good.

alright. private practice is now on and that is just toooooo much soap opera for me.


1 of da guyz.

Since I came to Yale, I've noticed the amount of straight male friends I have has rapidly increased.

Strange, right? I know, I wasn't expecting it either. Even so, I'm happy to be able to bond with people who also like women but who are not also women. It's what I called "not-into-males bonding."

I realize that sexuality and gender don't work so simply, and the fact that a lovely lady may enjoy other lovely ladies doesn't mean that she wants to crack open a beer and then watch a football game. Sometimes I do, however, like being decidedly unfeminine. Maybe it my mom making me wear all pink when I was a baby. Or perhaps some deep seated Freudian penis envy. But few things please me more than cursing inappropriately, threatening to "punch people in the dick" as they say, and sitting around with my legs wide open. Except when I'm wearing a skirt because then I hafta look cute.

There's been a few slips of the tongue that may show what side I identify more with, at least in terms of sexuality. Once, while watching television with my friends, a Justin Bieber video came on. We discussed the fact that he would make such an adorable lesbian. I, forgetting that I was in a "mixed-group" of people (I wasn't out to everyone in the room) and perhaps a few other things, said "If I were a girl, I wouldn't think he was attractive." Only my friend sitting right next to me who knows of my orientation heard, and she guffawed, drawing attention to
a. Us, from everyone in the room, who wanted to know what was so funny.
b. what I just said, to me. My face flushed redder that a firetruck, or Justin Bieber's lips.

Why certain things are considered unfeminine is strange, and I would rather disagree with the concept itself but that's something for a WGSS major to harp about. I honestly just wanna rap Biggie and 'chill with the guys' or something.

I find that a lot of "not-into-males" bonding focuses on discussing women. Predictable, yes, but it is quite a lot of fun. When 'chillin' with one of my 'bros' and looking for something to do, my friend jumped up and squealed "Oh, wait! I forgot I could do this with you!" while rushing to his computer. It was cute.

I tried to create another moment of this special type of bonding the other night, with two of my bros.

"Let's talk about porn," I proffered.
"Oh, I don't really watch it."
"Me neither." The third person.
"I don't either, actually." I realized.

And then we watched the game. But if I were hanging out with girls, we would have watched America's Next Top Model instead. Obviously.

The eternal hair struggle

In my time honored tradition of posting about fairly meaningless questions that are simultaneously very troubling to me, I bring you today's topic: My hair. My hair has always been trouble for me. For most of my life my hair and I have held a tenuous peace. My general philosphy has always been, "you do your thing, I'll do my thing and we'll see how things work out." It's led to some interesting looks for me. Here is a complete list of haircuts I have rocked over the years:
1. the "your mother gave you a french braid for elementary school"
2. the "you can do your own ponytails now. sort of"
3. the "cute shorter hair in 6th grade"
4. the "stupid french man gave you an asymmetrical bob in 7th grade"
5. the "I've been so traumatized i'm never cutting my hair again"
6. the "I have to look at least marginally hygenic for highschool"
7. the "ok it can a little bit shorter, as long as it still fits in a ponytail"

This brings us back to the present. I have worn my hair essentially the same for about 17 of my total 20 years. the first thing I do every morning is put my hair into a ponytail. It's a reflex, like some people put on their glasses. My hair tie sleeps on my desk next to me. I don't leave my room without one, even if I'm going somewhere fancy and it's one of the rare instances where I decided to wear my hair down. And here's my problem: I want a change.

I love my ponytail, but I'm tired of it. My mother, who is almost always right about everything in my life, told me the other day that she thinks I should get, "the rachel maddow", and while I don't exactly agree, I think she's right in principal. I think it's time for me to get gay hair. Which isn't to say that my "she's just athletic" ponytail doesn't come with some pretty gay subtext, but I think I'm finally at the point when I can no longer deny my need for blatantly gay, obvious to a mormon grandmother, short hair. I'm not talking a mohawk (although that would be awesome). I think I just need to start inching it up shorter than a ponytail and find something that works. I don't think I'll go straight to a lesbian fohawk, just something impish and messy. I don't have an exact idea yet, it's a work in progress, but I'll keep on looking at pictures of (mostly male) movie starts until I find someone whose hair is as thick as mine, and then we're in business.

Sapphicly yours

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's a Girl Supposed to Do?

In honor of South By Southwest last week, there are a few all-girl bands that I think you should be listening to. Dum Dum Girls, Pearl Harbor and Best Coast are hailed as LA’s new lo-fi scene darlings.

Best Coast
Pearl Harbor

Dum Dum Girls

They make pop equal parts sweet and sour, referencing the mid-sixties girl group heyday with a little bit of bubblegum punk and some reverb thrown in for good measure. Their recordings are a bit drowsy but I can always hear a concise pop song buried in the layers of feedback. Best Coast has a sound that’s raw and minimalist – most of the songs feature only singer Bethany Constantino and her guitar. Dum Dum Girls are more fleshed out because they feature a full band but each song has restraint that withholds the emotional release of a full-on punk rock song, to great effect. Pearl Harbor are a little different that the other two – they use electronics and their droning love songs sound a little like the Cure on record. They proved at SXSW last week that they really can let loose and created cacophony in the way you would expect a garage band to, but with sweet edge.

Songs to listen to: “Moody” by Best Coast, “Luv Goon” by Pearl Harbor, and “Catholicked” by Dum Dum Girls

This post will undoubtedly scare my girlfriend

So I know marraige is not something one everyone's radar...especially in college...and maybe ever. Some people argue it's a horrible institution that perpetuates heteronormative power dynamics. Much of the queer community however continues to fight for same-sex marraige as an equal right--no matter whether or not it is a worthy institution.

I personally look forward to getting married, whether to a man or a woman. And I of course want it to be easy either way. I grew up imagining my wedding as being married to a groom. That's all I grew up knowing as possible. When I realized the possibility that I may very well want to spend the rest of my life with a woman, I started day dreaming about what my wedding would look like. Would we both wear gowns? Would she wear a suit? Would we have only bridesmaids--or men in the wedding as well?

I love daydreaming about my wedding--and this new online magazine has made it even more exciting to daydream about same-sex weddings. :) It's called "Equally Wed Magazine."


Read about engagement stories, weddings, honeymoons, fashion/style, and all other kinds of fun things. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Looking" Gay

People tell me I look straight a lot, which to be honest, is something I think that is both part of me and something that I have aimed for. It may have started as a mechanism to hide who I was when I was in the closet.. avoiding baggy T-shirts, and anything that seemed un-feminine to me. But I also know that before I came out, I loved ballet and sitting around my house wearing short pink dresses just because they were cute. I loved cute feminine girls, and wanted to be one myself.

I'm not sure if I've ended up the same person I would have without societal influences, because I know when I was little I definitely had periods where I hated everything girly, spurned dolls, and loved playing outside. But then again, a lot of girls go through phases like that. Do I just wonder if I should have stayed a tomboy because I'm a lesbian? Lesbians don't have to be tomboys! This is the great thing about the queer women world I'm just starting to figure out. Nothing is as set in stone as it seems to be.

People say I don't look gay... yet since coming out I've been able to be more feminine, and more myself, than ever. When I was in the closet, there was always the feminist part of me that did not want to be just a dolled up bimbo, or honestly someone who dressed up for guys' attention. But as a lesbian, there's a wonderfully feminist aura attached to me already - I don't have to worry about portraying that anymore. And as most people I know realize that I'm gay, the guy part isn't a worry either. I can be both feminine and a feminist! I think that should look pretty damn gay. ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Different Brand of Senioritis

That silly little four-letter L-word has been on the edge of my nervous lips for weeks. I’ve been listening to far too many happy, sappy songs. My heart has been fluttering lightly since this morning when I woke up in that bed that smells like us. I was actually excited to get back to school after one of the best spring breaks I’ve ever had. Graduation is two months away, and I’m falling in love.

It took me a long time to decide which way to go with this post from here, and I think I’ve decided to go both ways. First, I want to address the question that may have popped up in some of your minds – how does this girl have the courage to admit that she’s in love on the Sappho blog?! Isn’t her girlfriend probably going to read this? In explaining why this isn’t going to happen, I am going to commit a faux pas that has almost never failed to make my Sapphic sisters lose interest in what I have to say. I’m going admit that I’m falling in love with a BOY. The idea of writing this whole post to painstakingly avoid mentioning the gender of my partner crossed my mind, but that felt too much like trying to reenact how I felt talking to my mom about an unnamed crush I had before I came out to her. Avoiding the “she”s that would have made it possible to have that conversation had been difficult and painful, and I am not going to do the same thing now. If I’ve lost the attention of many of you by admitting that I love HIM, that’s okay. It’s worth it. It won’t have been the first time that I was snubbed by queer girls for not being gay enough.

Ok, end rant. Sorry. I’m just sick of biphobia. My usual retort to anyone who hints that I’m not gay enough is that “I’m the big-old B in LGBT.” However, I was really shocked recently when a good friend responded to this by telling me that my B looks a whole lot like an S.

Well, whatever, even if you can’t imagine falling in love with a boy, perhaps you can sympathize a little more with the problem of falling in love at the worst possible time. My approach to love has always been to just throw myself into it. Why hold back? When you find someone who makes you feel all googly inside, give in to the google! But now I find myself second-guessing. What should I do when I know that the end of school is so near? Should this relationship become a long-distance one almost before it’s had the chance to be a short-distance one? Or should I cool my jets. Should I try not to fall in love? Maybe that little L-word is better left unsaid. In saying it now, not only do I face the uncertainty about how he feels, but also the uncertainty imposed by the impending end of Yale and the security it ensures.

I hope I’m not risking too much, but I’m sure that I’m gonna jump. It’s what I do. It’s how I work. Bring on the cheesy songs and overwhelming contentment of sleeping with him in my arms. Even bring on the uncertainly of everything associated with admitting I’m in love. He and I are too good together to have our time squandered. Senioritis, here we come.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Photos Show what Army won't Tell

Everyone here is busy returning from Spring Break (and I have yet to finish cleaning my mess in my common room, as I promised my suitemates I would), so I'm going to keep this post brief. I'd like to just share two incredible photo collections that use absences to make a powerful statement.

I first heard about Jeff Sheng's incredible series of portraits of queer members of the US Armed Forces in an article in Wednesday's New York Times. Sheng photographed closeted members of the Armed Forces in portraits that show their uniforms, but obscure their faces. This is his second LGBT themed photo project. He has previously shot "Fearless" a collection of portraits of out LGBT athletes in high school and college. The contrast between the two projects is deeply affecting. In "Fearless" the athletes make eye contact with the viewer, engaging and challenging them. By necessity, the Don't Ask Don't Tell portraits show straight-backed men and women turning away from the camera and hiding their expression.

Sheng's photos are even more affecting when they are pared with a photo essay in this week's New York Times Magazine. The magazine features a series of photographs of the empty bedrooms of soldiers who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq. The images are sobering, making the abstract loss signified by flag-draped coffins heartbreakingly personal, as you look at a room filled with particular posters and books, carefully chosen by someone who will never return. Remembering the risk that queer servicemembers willingly take on, we should be ashamed of ourselves for dishonouring their sacrifice by forcing them into the shadows.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where did the time go?

How is it that spring break is almost over?
I was supposed to have a whole draft of my senior essay done by now. I mean...it will be done by Monday, I don't have a choice in the matter.
Truth is, I don't have much to write about tonight, but I did want to say hi.

Tonight, one of the coaches organized a dinner for us at the Quinnipiac Club in the Eli. I had no idea this place existed. We got all dressed up and drank mocktails (non-alcoholic mimosas) and at delicious stuffed chicken and all across the street from TD.

But to the point. It reminded me of my culinary bucketlist. It's going to be kind of hard, or back loaded for being dry in-season but no matter....
--If its a restaurant on Whitney, I want to go.
--I've never been to Barcelona. I'm dying to go to Mandala Bistro. And the original Thali. I haven't been to Thali Too in ages, so I'm going to tack that one on there too.
--I want to try out some of New Haven's soul food, though I don't know where I'll get it.
--If Mory's opens that's a sure bet. Union League would be cool but doing it on JE's dime would be even better.
--Also, wooster square. Don't know anything about it, but hear there is some remarkable Italian.

Man, I might want to get a job to finance these endeavors.

This is also an open invitation if anyone wants to join me on my adventures (not that I've got any specific plans yet...) or has suggestions of other must-eat places for me to cram in.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Ladies!!!! Join us at Lavender Menace!! A great way to get back in touch after break!

The latest battleground for hearts and minds

We in the gay rights movement like to say (and are probably right) that time is on our side. (My favorite formulation of this idea remains: "Everytime you see an ambulance, it's either an opponent of gay rights dying or a supporter being born") However, it's important to remember that this trend is result of constant pressure and education for our side. A big part of the change in attitudes is the result of younger people knowing actual queer people PERSONALLY rather than in the abstract, but it is also the result of how the narrative of women's rights and civil rights is viewed as a part of American history.

On this front, Texas just took a big step backwards.

For full details, check out this excellent NYT Magazine feature. It's well worth the full read. The Texas Board of Ed just approved their new social studies curriculum, which will be taught in almost the entire country. Texas is the nation's largest textbook market, so their decisions set the standard for books used in approximately 47 states.For a quicker look, try this article from yesterday's NYT.
Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians as well as Japanese were interned in the United States during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.


Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

It was defeated on a party-line vote.

After the vote, Ms. Knight said, “The social conservatives have perverted accurate history to fulfill their own agenda.”

It's inaccurate to say that the conservatives on the Texas Board of Ed want to take us back to an earlier time. The narrow-minded, bile-ridden country they conceive of has never truly existed. Let's not give them free rein to change our future by rewriting our past.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Clubbing.. Damnn.

Straight clubs suck. Don't wear a skanky dress if you don't want guys to try and grab your ass. Problemm. And I know they're supposed to walk up behind you and attempt to start the whole straight dancing ritual but that does not make it pleasant! I need a sign that says "girls only please." Although that may have made trying to dance with drunk girls even more awkward and NOT WORKING. Gay clubs ftw.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A little less conversation, a little more action

New posts! Exciting! I have no idea what that title is about beyond that for some reason that song pops into my head a lot when I'm hanging around the boathouse.

Jeez, I would really like to avoid writing about rowing again, but its literally most of what I do in a day.
Here is my day (I will spare you the exact time increments, though I have micromanaged my time to that degree): Wake up, train at the gym, get on a bus, train on the water, eat brunch, work on my senior essay, nap, train on the water again, eat dinner, go back to campus, work on my senior essay, go to sleep.

oh yeah. tremendous variety.

So what will I write about instead? Just letting it happen.
It took me three years to learn that I'm stupidly stubborn. Sometimes, this can be a benefit, I tend not to give up on things or people and will just keep pushing until the goal is attained. The flipside is this means I often worker harder, not smarter.
The obvious application is rowing: sometimes, the harder you work as an individual, the shittier the boat feels because you're not working with everyone else. I learned this the hard way a few days ago and hope I didn't totally shoot myself in the foot.
But it applies to other situations too: I had been beefing with my senior essay adviser about the best way to narrow down the scope of my essay before a class of my peers pointed out that she (and I, if I'd thought my ideas out to fruition) had a point. Now instead of trying to force my essay in a certain direction, I'm just writing it, and its awesome. But good lord it is long...
But the hardest lesson for me about just relaxing and going with the flow is totally and purely social.
Something about getting to know people seems to contrived. And I'm hard headed and like what I like and refuse to go out of my way to do things that might be awesome but strike me as risky or otherwise threatening. Sure, new friendships require some enegery expenditure but you shouldn't really feel it like that, it should feel organic and fun.
That's why Rocky Horror was such a blessing for me. I mean, I was only half involved in that production anyway, but suddenly I knew this whole group of awesome ladies without having to actually have found some way to track them all down and meet them. Being friends with certain kids in JE got me involved in the Women's Center which is something I wouldn't have foreseen freshman year but is also great. Getting totally cornered at a function there led me to discovering that performing in drag is one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

In short, life is an adventure, and most of the time its just best to live it. I try not to think about the kinds of adventures I missed out on being a control freak with myself for so long, but rather, to see even that as part of greater trajectory of my life. Right.... Here's to three more months of this adventure (yale)!

You don't always have to be the driver to enjoy the ride


p.s.- this is amazing. http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/toys/randomsentence/write-sentence.htm

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Twin mattresses

My oh-so-lovely sapphicly-inclined ladies...

Funny story from break so far:
My mother outed me to her best friend from college. It was my mother's 50th birthday party this past weekend, and tons of middle-aged women were all drunk off champagne, so I guess I should have expected some loose mouths. One of her friends was standing up to demonstrate how difficult it was to walk in the 70s when you were on your period.
In Pre-Tamponal ages, the Kotex pads were, as her friend put it, "like twin mattresses between your thighs." She then put one hand down the front of her pants, the other down the back, mocking how obvious they were through jeans. "Can y'all see it? It's not noticeable is it?" My father walked into the room at this point to drop off the keys to the downstairs, at which point my mom's friend froze and waved hello to my dad...with her hand still in her pants. My aunt then spat champagne all over a box of chocolates and then had a coughing attack.

ANYways, I digress. My mom outs me to her friend in the midst of all this. Her friend the next day pulls me aside to talk to me. Her thoughts: that I need to have a real sexual experience (no, I mean a REAL sexual experience) with a man. Proud to admit I'm an L-Word Gold Star. However, this apparently has kept me from experiencing the real mind-blowing skills of a man in bed that will, of course, convince me that I am not really queer. Her next thought was that maybe since growing up I was taught that sex was "bad", and "for marraige"....that maybe I decided to therefore divert to the "party of people that I could be intimate with but wouldn't ever be able to have sex with." Cringe. Stomach twisting. Anger. Frustration... because this woman ACTUALLY means well and supports me. She is just trying to understand because it doesn't make sense to her. Not people being gay...but me in particular [as in "feminine" queer women]. "I mean, baby, you don't look like a gay. But maybe you are a gay person. Or a bisexual person or whatever your mother said. And that's okay. And maybe you'll give a less scary face to the heterosexual world to let the rest of us know that gays can be just like everyone else." (Deep South, will you ever NOT live up to the stereotype of being four decades behind the rest of the country??)

At least my mother is coming around. She is actually really cute. Aside from being okay with me dating a girl (wanting to talk to her on skype with me, take us to dinner, etc)--she's taking pride in knowing lots of queer vocabulary, and likes teaching my dad as if he is SUCH an idiot for not knowing. "Sweetheart, LGBTQ. It's long but you have to learn that one," she said at the Country Club tonight. She asked me what "powerbottom" meant after reading the Rumpus' 50 Most article on the lovely Rachel Schiff...and I told her I had absolutely nooo idea. Better to keep things slow, right?

On vacation....

Dearest Readers,

The writers of Sappho.Blog are currently on Spring Break, which is why the blog has been slower than usual.... expect some posts during the rest of this week and next...

However, we will be up and running on a regular schedule on March 22nd!!!

Keep checking, reading and commenting!!!

Have fun during break!

Sapphic love,

[Sappho.Blog] Administration

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A small rant

So this was going to be a happy, smiley post considering its spring break, I’m so excited to see old friends, and it was beautifully warm today. Also, it was gonna be yesterday like it was supposed to be. Just didn’t happen.
From last week, speaking of (not) awesome ways to come out:
Apparently there’s a whole series of these segments, which are super entertaining (and remember, politically correct people, satirical). I particularly enjoyed this one:
So that’s awesome, and the rest of this post was supposed to be happy to. Spoiler alert: small rant coming up. So if you just got your spring break mojo on and don’t want to listen to me whine a bit, don’t read on. Or do.
Anyway, I was planning on coming out to my parents this break. Basically, I failed to get up courage at Christmas when I’d originally thought to and now was going to be round two. Obviously, I don’t have it as bad a some people: my parents aren’t super conservative, homophobic or otherwise likely to disown me. That said, somehow in the car on the way home from the airport we somehow start a conversation that ends up with, essentially, my mom saying of my friend “he’s probably not gay, its just fashionable right now”
OK. Not funny. “Um no mom, I’m pretty sure he’s actually gay”. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t fuck guys because it’s ‘fashionable’. But obviously I can’t say this to my mom. So considering the fact I dated boys in high school, and had the really-really-awful idea of telling my parents all about girls and girl trouble, just pretending they were guys , I’m pretty much screwed.
I’m sorry I cannot deal with my mom thinking I’m gay (bi actually, but that distinction tends to get lost) as a fashion statement. I really can’t. I’m not secure and confident enough to prevent me dissolving into a puddle of rage and angry tears in ensuing huge family argument. Yes mom, I did just decide to be gay because it’s fashionable and I know it will piss you off. Dying my hair green seemed to simple and reversible.
Sometimes I just want to come home to Yale, where my friends don’t think being gay is a fashion. As soon as I get out of my house, spring break will be great but I still can’t wait to be back in the Yale bubble.

Alice Distorted in the Looking Glass

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to see Tim Burton's reimagining of Alice in Wonderland, but the feature on the film in the Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times has made me dubious. According to the article, the team behind the film spent a lot of time trying to remake Alice to be a proper model for today's women.

“I do feel it’s really important to depict strong-willed, empowered women,” [Linda Woolverton, the film’s screenwriter] added, “because women and girls need role models, which is what art and characters are. Girls who are empowered have an opportunity to make their own choices, difficult choices, and set out on their own road.”

...Thus the river of tears that a confused Alice cries in Carroll’s original text upon arrival in Wonderland has been written out of the story. “I couldn’t have her break down like that,” Ms. Woolverton said. Similarly, a drawing by John Tenniel, the illustrator who worked with Carroll, showing a boy fighting the dragonlike Jabberwock, as it was first called, was transformed into an image depicting Alice in action.

I'm not compelled by an idea of female heroism that precludes fear or any form of negative emotion. Far better to be capable both of crying a river of tears and slaying a dragon. Burton's Alice, like too many female leaders, is expected to expunge any form of weakness to truly be a model for us all. I thought we had already agreed that 'Boys Don't Cry' was a terrible slogan to push onto men. Why are we trying to shove women into the same twisted mold?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Oh, what a beautiful feeling it was when I close my notebook today and packed my bag for the last time. Spring break as officially started, even though I have a essay to do over break, like, whatever. I now plan on basking in the beautiful warm New York Sun, drinking absolutely non-alcoholic beverages and reading literature that's not school related. However, a good few of my friends will be going to Florida and hanging out with hot chicks or something. Not that I'm jealous or anything.

My town, on the other hand, has girls who wear legging as pants, but all the time, and they can't pull it off. Which is why I think I'll be staying inside most of this spring break.

Anyway, I wish everyone a very very good break. I'll be off, celebrating my freedom, and I hope everyone else is doing the same as well.


Dyke-esque formal wear

Today I have to wear something nice. For an hour. We're not talking black tie, just no jeans. I get the impression that for most people this isn't a stress on their daily life. For me, though, I get noticeably less functional and competent when not allowed to wear jeans. I've always been this way, but when I got to college and realized I no longer wanted to ever wear dresses because they made me unhappy, it got worse. Before I could just wear a dress and be unhappy, but now I just don't have anything to wear at all. Damn principles. It is a fact generally acknowledged that there is no set pattern for gay/butch-ish women's formal wear. I don't want a dress, but I don't want to wear a men's tux. I could try a woman's tux, but I don't have one, and I've honestly never seen one I really liked. I want something in between, a sexy pants/jacket combo, a lovely vest and tie, but these items are few and far between. Not to mention that there are things you can get away with wearing to a college "black tie" event, or an LGBT event, that you can't get away with at your parents work party where you need to look "appropriate" and "conventional", rather than cute and super gay.

This winter I had to go to a black tie new years eve party, and it stressed me out for weeks ahead of time. I eventually found some pants and a vest that my mother deemed passable, and I could breathe easy. Until I got to the event and my hosts gave me a lovely pink scarf to wear. The scarf was lovely, but I felt angry and oppressed wearing it, and then I felt bad about that. I pride myself on being a good traveler, adapting to the customs of others, but I realized that when those customs impinge upon my tenuous hold on how I like to present my gender, it makes me anxious and unhappy. I don't know how I can change that. That moment made me realize how uncomfortable clothes make me feel about my gender, and how narrow my comfort zone is. I know who I am and I like that, but if who I am is going to prevent me from being a gracious guest, or an intrepid traveler, then I need to figure out other ways to keep myself sane, even when I really can't say no thanks to that pink scarf.

Sorry if this is a little scattered, I've written it during bio, and I was pretending to listen to insulin signaling pathways, so who knows if I make any sense. If any obscure bio terms pop up in the middle, many apologies.

Happy Spring Break, and may all your vacations be gender-stress free.

Good Morning!

I've always been a morning person. I enjoy having the full day ahead of me to work and relax, and, thanks to rowing and a full day of classes and meetings and stuffing myself to oblivion at dinner, I'm pretty much non-functional after 10pm. Yes, this makes me a terrible college student.
Anyhow, in honor of the work I have to get done today, my post will likewise be short, but will include some fun things to keep everyone occupied.

Every morning, in addition to the boring stuff like getting dressed and brushing my teeth I visit the following website:

- one day, one deal. it's terrible because i have no money to shop but sometimes they are just giving the stuff away and I can't help it.

www.crossfit.com- as much as I'm married to rowing, I'm excited to get to do this full time. Endorphin high for hours

Yu+Me- I haven't the slightest clue how I found this originally anymore. It's a pretty decent lesbian webcomic, and at the very least it is really well drawn. (said as an uncritical reviewer of art)

Khaos!- This I found from Yu+Me. It's a GLBT webcomic, and while it doesn't update as frequently, its definitely my favorite of the two.

VolumeVote- This is a cool site I just found that offers a free mp3 every day. Sometimes it's well known awesome stuff (Bad Romance) and other times its unexpected/unknown awesome stuff.

I mean, I also check the weather and look at the NYTimes headlines. But I figure those five ought to keep enough people distracted for the time being. : D

Time for breakfast! It is, after all, the most important meal of the day.

And Happy Spring Break everyone (especially those of you who are leaving the Have)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


When I first came out, I was a proud member of the lesbian team. I didn't actively disparage my bi friends, but I definitely laughed at jokes that needled women who slept with cisgender men (which of course also implicated women that slept with transmen, a team I proudly joined later down the line of my queer existence)

As I've grown up, and grown into more and more identities--queer, Femme, kinky--I've realized what a tragic mistake and injustice I committed by ignoring or hurting a beautiful sector of my community. And unfortunately, I *still* see it happening all the time in small moments, little jokes, random remarks in blog posts, over facebook, etc.

I'm often charged with being "too politically correct" ::shrug:: I believe we have a responsibility to the world to be kind and compassionate, and one of the ways we can do that is to be intentional and respectful about our word choice, so we create an atmosphere that is supportive and open. I hope we remember that within our queer community as well.

We have to fight general society to be respected for the people we're sleeping with, let's do the same for our sisters in the community.

::kiss:: Sugar

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One outrageously hilarious lesbian.

Seriously. If you don't know her, now you have absolutely no excuse. You must. I'm in lecture right now, and I keep randomly stifling laughs because I keep thinking of her performances and her priceless facial expressions.

Wanda Sykes.

She was nominated for three Primetime Emmys and in 1999 won the Emmy for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special."

In 2001, she won the American Comedy Award for "Outstanding Female Stand Up Comic". She won three more Emmys, in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

Wanda Sykes has seriously made me keel over crying with laughter. She is wildly entertaining—she uses shock humor that is uncomfortably politically incorrect and usually somewhat vulgar. I watched her for the first time with my mother. And if she can speak to a college-aged, queer-identified, liberal young woman, AND an aging, menopausal, strictly heterosexual, Republican—then we are talking about talent. My mother and I had to pause the show and T-Vo it because we couldn’t breathe we were laughing so hard.

In May 2009, Sykes was the featured entertainer for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, becoming both the first black woman and the first openly LGBT person to get the role. She made controversial headlines as she responded to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comments regarding President Barack Obama. Limbaugh, in reference to Obama's presidential agenda, had said "I hope he fails". She responded by saying, “I hope his [Limbaugh’s] kidney’s fail.” See her full response and video clips from the dinner here: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2009/05/11/Wanda_Sykes_Rips_into_Rush_Limbaugh/

My favorite comment was actually in reference to the lovely Sarah Palin, who couldn’t make it because of flooding in her area. Wanda said, “She pulled out at the last minute. Somebody should tell her, that’s not really how you practice abstinence.”

But honestly, the funniest stand-up comedy I have ever heard in my entire life is her third comedy special: I’ma Be Me, which premiered on HBO last October. This is the one my mom and I watched. The theme is “Change.” Change from everything in the White House to her own personal changes—bikini waxing. Like I said, I'm in lecture. I keep randomly and awkwardly laughing to myself. The girl next to me is wildly confused.

Wanda publicly came out as a lesbian in 2008, after marrying her partner Alex. She came out while at a same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas regarding Prop 8. In I’ma Be Me, she explains that she had remained quiet about her sexuality for a while, but after being so hurt and “pissed” about Prop 8, she felt she could not remain silent any longer. After feeling that awesome high many of us felt after the presidential election, the passing of Prop 8 by California voters was “crushing.” She has continued to be active in same-sex marriage issues hosting events and emceeing fundraisers. (Happy fact: Alex gave birth to twins Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude on April 27, 2009. Yay moms. )

She is an LGBTQ role model, activist, and really amazing study break. YouTube clips from I’ma Be Me or get it on demand. She is fucking hilarious. Check her out. Her official website: www.wandasykes.com

Hope everyone is having a lovely week before Spring Break. Good luck with midterms. Love you ladies!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Playlist for // from my former flames

I really only remember bygone relationships by the musical scars they’ve left in my iTunes. Here are the highlights:

  1. “Cavalier Eternal” – Against Me
  2. “In Fear and Faith” – Circa Survive
  3. “Japanese Gum” – Her Space Holiday
  4. “Casimir Pulaski Day” – Sufjan Stevens
  5. “Take Me to the Hospital” – The Faint
  6. “Santeria” – Sublime
  7. “This Sentence Will Ruin / Save Your Life” – Born Ruffians
  8. “Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls
  9. “Linger” – The Cranberries
  10. “Kelsey” – MetroStation
  11. “We’re Both So Sorry” – Mirah
  12. “You Don’t Know My Name” – Alicia Keys
  13. “Paris (Aeroplane Remix)” – Friendly Fires
  14. “Lazy Eye” – Silversun Pickups
  15. “Curs in the Weeds” – Horse Feathers

#1 – The first person that I ever really really liked, the person that pushed me into realizing that I’m gay, used to serenade me with this song. Listen to the lyrics – it’s not really a complement. About three years after I met her, we finally hooked up for the first time. It was strange, the most profound sense of ambivalence I’ve even felt. I wanted it but I hated it, it was so uncomfortable yet I was crushed when she ended it. I think Tom Gabel knows how I feel.

#2 – After I had already come out, I started hooking up with this crazy, crazy lecherous boy, and Circa Survive was his favorite band. It was weird. I don’t really want to talk about it.

#3 & 4 – I met the person who has the most profound impact on my life in a bizarrely roundabout way in the fall of my sophomore year. These two songs, both capturing this interminable, deep sadness, were songs that she listened to cursorily in my presence but they came to mean so much more to me. She dragged me through the dirt so often but I was always so ready to be her confidante when she needed it. Just deep deep sadness.

#5 – This was the favorite song of one girl that I used to hook up with randomly and repeatedly, but it’s here to stand in for all of those girls. What a strange relationship to have with someone: we don’t really know each other and we don’t talk, but your tongue is in my mouth right now.

#6 – I met my childhood best friend again in high school and we dated for a few weeks. She was sweet and a funny little stoner (thus she loved Sublime) but it just never worked out. She kissed like a whelk!

#7 – In high school I sort of secretly hooked up with this girl who was sort of proto-hipster and would always play Born Ruffians. We were never dating but she still felt the need to break up with me and when she did, over the phone, I was sitting in the parking lot of a barbeque joint buying dinner for my family. It was pretty degrading.

#8 & 9 – On New Year’s Eve, my kiss was this girl who only listened to alternative rock from the nineties. We dating for months but it was always so rocky, on and off, fights and cheating, and tears through the phone. I still cry a little every time I hear either of these songs.

#10 & 11 – My first real relationship was with a girl who was just so cute. Like not in looks, just in personality. For example, she had a pair of pants in every color of the rainbow. Needless to say, she was into cute music, so MetroStation was perfect. The song is kind of boring and cliché but for some reason it still means a lot to me. The break up was as intense as the relationship. I cried for weeks and weeks and “We’re Both So Sorry” was my only consolation.

#12 & 13 – Have you ever had those friends that you are madly and hopelessly in love with, but you know that it’ll never work out, and so you’re forced to sit and stare at them longingly out of the corner of your eye whenever you’re a little tipsy? I’ve had them too. Alicia Keyes and “Paris” are their songs and my songs to them. I’d like to think there’s a little hope in that.

#14 & 15 – I’m still so amazed by the fact that the first person I even liked in college and the person I’ve been with for what feels like forever (in a good way) is the only person I’ve ever met that had 100% compatibility with me on last.fm. But I suppose it makes sense. I think that people who love music just sort of belong together and that fate and sharing musical libraries will always make that known.

Being in Love with Straight People Can Have a Happy Ending (although not necessarily the one you're looking for..)

Okay, so we've all had those crushes on close (straight) friends, right? Ouch, ouch, ouch. I've had a lot of straight crushes in my life but last semester was badd, deep in, head over heels.. and to make it worse I spent a lot of my time with her. The problem with loving straight friends is that they care about you too, and will reciprocate the "love" when it definitely does not mean the same thing. I spent a good amount of time last semester oscillating between trying to fall out of love with her - using Google to find tips on creating boundaries, etc - and not caring at all that I was in love with her - just soaking up every minute of our time together. I felt SO guilty for getting more out of our relationship than she knew! Or so I thought.

So housing time is coming around in all the colleges.. woot woot. By now, I'm thankfully pretty much over my friend - the feelings wouldn't be hard to unearth if she suddenly came out (ha ha ha not happening) but when we're together I don't think of her as more than a friend. BUT I know I do not want to room with her .. because close quarters would make it way too easy for me to fall for her. And I am not going through that again if I can avoid it! So when it came time to tell my friend the other day I couldn't room with her, I had to be honest. There was a legitimate reason - although I made it general and apply to all of my close friends. "I don't want to room with anyone who I like a lot as a person because it could make it hard for me," I told her. I didn't explicitly state that I would fall for them, but the understanding look in her eyes told me she knew exactly why I couldn't room with her. And when I asked her if it was okay with her, she looked directly at me with the softest, most caring look and told me that it definitely did not matter that I was easily attracted to my friends - almost as if she knew something she wasn't telling me. I was surprised at the knowing compassion of that moment, and two hours later, I looked up from my midterm cramming and realized what it had meant. She had known all along how I'd felt about her, and she was okay with it.

I love that we both get where the other is coming from.. it's like an unspoken secret that we both accept and don't have to talk about. We can move forward in our friendship to a healthier place for me, and although I'm glad I felt that way for her because it made us closer, I am very happy to be past it as well. We can be friends, I can find someone who can love me back. Yay for moving on!

Confidence and Sexiness in the Eyes of a Mysterious Brunette

Hello world.

I've never been good at confiding. It's easy to assume that most of my straight friends (and queer friends too) don't want to hear about the mesmerizing girl in my physics class. Sometimes its fun to talk with a particular straight guy friend who thinks I'm a novelty - he likes that I can identify with the problem of a distractingly beautiful girl keeping you from being able to follow the dry lines of dusty equations creeping across the blackboard.

But I can tell YOU. So I think I will.

I don't know her name. I have no idea who she is or what she does. I just know that she has dark, discerning eyes.

Not too long ago, we had to give class presentations in this astrophysics class. I love public speaking. I'm good at it - articulate and a natural performer. But the very best part of speaking is finding those one or two people in your audience who you can actually give your speech to. Those people will lock eyes with you and lean forward. They will engage with you, and you can draw your stamina from them. They make you feel like you have the power to continue to talk. However, I had never found an audience member who made me feel more than powerful - made me feel sexy. Imagine - feeling like a sex god while talking about extrasolar planet atmospheric biosignatures. When those eyes that lock with yours belong to a mysteriously beautiful woman, your passion for atmospheric methane becomes almost inspiring. And you blush and grin, and if possible become an even better public speaker.

You skip to a slide whose heading is "atmospheric methane" and whose background is an adorable cow. She audibly giggles. You move your arms to demonstrate a vibrational mode of a carbon dioxide molecule. She seems to eye your biceps. You ask rhetorical questions. She silently mouths the answers to you. She makes you feel like a sexy, studly public speaking god.

After the presentation, much of your spacey class is staring off into . . . well, space. But a few people have good questions. And the dark-eyed brunette has an intelligent, interesting, and relevant question. She poses it almost as a challenge to your authority and your poise. Her voice is low and smooth. She gives you a crooked smile that dares you think on your feet . . . and to tear off all her clothes. Or maybe you are just imagining that second part. Maybe she really does care about the net oxidation state of atmospheric carbon compounds necessary for life to persist on a habitable planet. Or maybe she wants a reason for me to speak directly to her.

Is it possible that those beautiful, attentive eyes and coy, crooked smile really did care about the physics? Yeah . . . it is. In retrospect, I have to concede that is was more than likely. And of course I don't have the courage to meet any part of her implicit challenge other than very clearly explaining that the overall oxidation state of carbon compounds on Earth averages out to about 0. When I sit down after speaking, I break eye contact and become shy again. I was probably just imagining that fantastic spark of chemistry. On the way out she grins at me, "hey, great talk" and I mumble a blushing "thanks." Then she pulls up her hood and vanishes into the snow. With all her clothes on. And I'm left to sort out how I could have felt so sexy under the gaze of a beautiful, straight woman who simply appreciated learning some astrophysics from a competent teacher.