"I go to school in Utah." "Oh that Mormon school?"
"Jimmer Fredette, POY material?" "He's Mormon!"
"She doesn't drink she's Mormon"
"Hi, my name is Hannah" "YOU'RE MORMON."
Yeah. I am.
It's not like I'm ashamed of my faith, you know? My religion defines a lot of who I am and who I want to be. But getting past the "Mormon Girl" definition is difficult. I'm other things, too.
I guess I never noticed it before until a friend brought it up a couple of weeks ago. I'm so used to being That Mormon Girl that it hardly phases me. But since that conversation I've been paying more attention, and I cannot escape the stereotype. Yeah I live in Utah. I love it here. No I'm not going to be one of those sister wives, or whatever they're showing on TV these days (that's not how we roll here in Happy Valley anymore, gotta go down south for that). I go to church on Sunday and spend the rest of the week involved in various church activities. My family is Mormon, I'm going to marry a nice little Mormon boy someday and have lots of Mormon babies - what gives? I like other stuff too. Philosophy and theology, lets talk religion outside of Mormonism. Harry Potter, that's kind of a big deal to me. I love hiking and camping and being outside, I could talk for hours about my outdoor adventures. I like books. I like dance parties. I really love ice cream and otter pops and... shall I go on?
Everytime BYU beats SDSU in basketball, their student section chants "you're still Mormon!" as our team leaves the court. And yeah, we're still Mormon. And apparently being Mormon means you can't be good at basketball, and it means you don't know how to have fun or live in the real world. This Jimmer Mania has added a whole new dimension to the apparent shock people have when they realize Mormons can do things too.
Maybe I'll always be Hannah the Mormon Girl. Probably. But I hope that stereotype changes from the weird cultural stigmas my religion has to and understanding of what being Mormon really means theologically. (Yeah - a girl can dream, right?).