Someone To Talk To All the Time

Who’s That Girl?

Marcella Torres grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. A Latina ex-Mormon learning to wear tank tops. Sculpture BA and Art History BFA from University of Utah. Currently attending Performance MFA program at School of The Art Institute Chicago. She has worked as an art educator for the last 8 years, holding positions with Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts, CUAC Contemporary gallery and Arts Bridge. Just trying to figure things out.

Someone to Talk to All the Time | 2013 | Projected Video Essay 

Someone To Talk To All The Time is one part of the essay series Pionero Americano. This series is a collection of memoir essays I have written that recount my experience of being raised in the U.S., specifically in Utah as a Mexican American in the Mormon (Latter Day Saint) church. Each essay unpacks ideas revealed through numerous events and theories connected to religion, society, philosophy and personal confrontations.

Someone To Talk To All The Time, describes how falling in love with a Caucasian American conflicted with my predefined theories on identity and continued genealogy. This act allowed for both my husband and I to realize we no longer believed in our organized religion, and more than anything we doubted its morals. The title Someone To Talk To All The Time refers to our experience of finding a partner and this phenomenon replacing the need to pray. In creating this film I hoped to put to rest any ideas of guilt I felt in leaving the religion of my family, and hoping that by saying what I needed, they and myself would understand the intent of my actions.

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Beginning Conversations with Children about Pornography

I didn’t think about pornography much as a teenager or young adult. It was difficult to find when I was growing up. Internet browsers weren’t around (really) when I living in my parents’ home, and I liked to keep rules…no way I was going to look at someone’s yucky magazines.

I was well into my 20’s at my first exposure to pornography. The more I talk to others, the more I realize how rare that is. An innocent search of the comic book characters, X-Men, can shock a poor 10-year-old, and the misspelling of “boobs,” may be all that protects a curious 7-year-old. (“We just couldn’t figure out why there were like 10 entries in the search engine for “big bob.” Who is Big Bob?!)

So, I’ve had hard time figuring out where and when I start to teach my children about avoiding pornography and what to do when they see it. But, more importantly, how do I help them not feel shame, thus making it more likely for them to hide it?

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Church Ball: An Essay by My 12-Year-Old Self

april middle school photo smallNow that I am an adult with a public health degree and a passion for women’s rights, I have developed a heartfelt appreciation for competitive sports opportunities for girls.

That doesn’t change the fact that when I was a young girl myself, I was exceptionally small for my age, clumsy and bookwormish, so competitive sports were pretty much torture to me. (As an adult, I am still a small, clumsy bookworm, but competitive sports no longer torment me because no one makes me play them any more.)

Since I was so completely devoid of athletic talent, I did not participate in school or community sports teams as a kid, so my only experiences with competitive sports were in gym class and at church. My stake had annual Young Women’s softball, volleyball and basketball competitions and my ward members successfully peer-pressured me into participating, not because I was any good (I wasn’t) but because the Young Women in my ward had an intense fear of forfeiting.

I recently found this essay I wrote about church basketball when I was twelve years old. I have invited twelve-year-old me to share the essay as a guest post. The writing is rather immature because the author was immature. (Sometimes, I still am.)  But I see this essay as evidence that my time spent playing church ball (or watching it from the bench) was worthwhile. I never developed any athletic skills but I did develop early signs of a talent for snark, which has served me well ever since.

Church Ball

by April Young, age 12

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Changing my mind

brainI have a new job. Same company, but a new boss and new responsibilities. Intellectually, I am pleased. The new position is challenging, needed and supported. Every detail has lined up perfectly, and yet two months in, I am feeling a little lost. I am overly sensitive and questioning everything. I am tired. Cranky. Slow. Moaning at work/life balance and then when home, staring out the window instead of quilting, reading or riding my bike.

What is wrong with me? I have been asking this question over and over. Snap out of it! This is a great opportunity! Go for a walk and get it together! After moping around for weeks, I finally have a diagnosis. The job will be fine. The problem is me. My world is moving fast and my emotions are a tangle of neurons cowering in my primitive brain, scanning nervously for sabor tooth tigers. I am having a textbook change response.   

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“Take a compliment!”

That’s what the older gentleman called out to me as I was buying lunch at the beach. I had on a tank top and a maxi skirt. That’s all it took to warrant him shouting out to me in public, “You got a nice shape, baby!” For the first few seconds after, I felt so uncomfortable. It was one thing for a close friend or family member to say that I look good; it’s another to hear it from a random stranger in a loud populated area, for all to hear. Deciding to not let him get away with such callous behavior, I confidently shouted back at him, “Go away!”


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Because We Preach Repentance

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by Akls Meteo

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon as I sat on the hill at the south end of BYU campus.  The grey clouds reflected the storm that raged in my heart.  My thoughts turned, as they often did during these tumultuous college years, to taking my life.  I thought I would find peace in meeting with my bishop.  I thought repentance would heal me and help me to forsake my sins.  I had just walked out of his office, and my burden only seemed a hundred times heavier.

I was in my mid teenage years when I had discovered something new that no one had ever told me about before.  I didn’t even have a name for it.  I had a sexual energy that no one had told me I would experience.  All I had ever learned told me that I must be the only one experiencing this.  Sex was something to be overcome, vanquished with the natural man.  Not only that, but it was a man problem.  Women didn’t have sexual energy.  So I must be the only one.  Now I had an outlet for that energy.  It felt good, both physically and emotionally.  For a brief moment, it made me happy.  But then I discovered the name.  There it was in the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet, listed underneath the category deemed the sin next to murder: masturbation.

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