Listen: Taylor Bland performs “Since They Like to Touch Hair“
Author’s Note: “Since They Like To Touch Hair” is an attempt to highlight the violence that occurs when one’s hair is touched without permission. I cannot say it enough: someone finding your hair unique, interesting, or eye-catching is one thing — they can just….say it. Someone finding it worth the spectacle of unwanted touch and pulling is a dangerous notion. Most street harassment starts with a smile and a “compliment”, but don’t be fooled. Someone who conflates the beauty of your hair and scalp with that of a petting zoo or toy shop does not value your humanity.
Taylor Bland is an educator, animal lover, and long time writer and poetry performer that has always used storytelling as an open journal to lament or reimagine the intersectional effects of femaleness, blackness, queerness, and mental illness. She has published with Blavity, Kalopsia Lit, and Free Your Mind, Body & Soul Inc., and hopes to continue sharing and sharpening her art through performance at open mic events across the DMV. Taylor writes as a means of resistance–‘to fill the broken cup that always appears to be both pouring while it is leaking’– inviting the critical, radical, and whimsical reader and thinker to challenge their own phenomenality.