Submitted by Brian Lopez
It appears on seemingly every other profile: “No fats.” Fat shaming is the last acceptable prejudice in society. I will never forget the moment when I was in a discussion group for queer men at my university and I brought up the topic only to have it brushed off with “people like what they like,” said by someone who fought for awareness of queer people of color, ironically. The worst was knowing the other “chubby guy” in the group said nothing. And that seems to be the attitude among the greater gay community and no one is willing to talk about it.
I’ve been rejected before for my weight…”ur fat.” And feeling guys just look at my weight which I proudly display on my profile and just ignore me because of it. I’ve lied about my weight before to attempt to get guys. I think about how many guys I’ve been with and the sex I’ve had and I think…if I was thinner or more muscular I could have slept with twice as many guys! Perhaps in this twisted way my overweight status actually acted like a boundary to protect me from sex addiction. My weight causes me to feel inadequate and it lowers my self confidence around guys, I’m not gonna lie. Online communities for chubby gay men and their admirers exist where they are protected from the vicious prejudices of the men on Grindr, Adam4Adam, etc. who blatantly advertise against any “fats” or “chubbies” talking to them. But even those communities have their cons, as an common issue is chubs being taken advantage of and fetishized by the “chubby chasers” who only want them for sex, for their bodies, and for nothing else.
Yes, weight, unlike race or age, can be controlled. It seems to be very typical for many gay guys to be fat boys (said to be due to a lack of interest in sports) only to blossom into beautiful men after they discover the gym. And I’m sure that’s why many people have no sympathy for us chubby gay guys. However, there are men like me who aren’t actively losing weight, who enjoy their shapes, chubby men who are confident with their bodies, and just other chubby men who don’t wish to change their shape. And why should they be actively excluded for being fat?
Fat shaming is the last acceptable prejudice. Not just in the gay community, but in this community that overly values outer beauty, chubby gay men are left on the back burner on the periphery of gay society by the mass fat shaming that is so blatantly evident in the mainstream gay community.
thank you for sharing this 🙂 this really needs to be heard!
I don’t think there’s much of a difference between racism, homophobia, and fatphobia. Its just that some bigotry is considered bad, and other bigotry is considered justified. I’m not going to lie, I have been totally fatphobic, and I still struggle with ableism too. My mum has always been obese. As a child I was always teased because she was so fat. Her obesity stemmed from unhealthy eating habits, habits she passed on to me. I struggle with healthy eating every day, and my weight goes up and down because of it. I might not be obese, but I know a thing or two about food addiction – both my own and my mother’s.
When I first started this blog I hadn’t given much thought to transphobia, fatphobia, or ableism. I did not know that white privilege was a thing. All I knew is that I hated internalised homophobia and I hated seeing “No Asians” on so many profiles. Joining this community and following the blogs of a lot of people of colour and trans* people really opened my eyes to these concepts.
But it’s a daily, hourly learning curve. All of us have our prejudices, built in from years of conditioning. It’s ok to have them, as long as we are consciously trying to overcome them. I don’t mean its ok to be prejudiced against others. What I mean is all of us are going to say and do things that offend others from time to time, genuinely unaware that we are doing so. The point is, when someone says “I find that offensive, please stop doing that to me and mine,” we should immediately investigate what was offensive about what we have done. We should look it up, do some research, ask questions. Unfortunately too many people, when asked to stop saying/doing offensive things, react with their ego’s and a “fuck you.” In western countries, we are taught from birth to be spoilt, indignant arseholes. This is no good.
Fatphobia is a thing. I’m not saying overweight people shouldn’t focus on eating healthily and maintaining a healthy size. I believe most overweight people should be focussing on these things (and as I write this, I’m talking about myself too). But conversely, society’s idea of what “healthy weight” is has nothing to do with reality. Previously I worked in the fitness industry for 5 years. I had a six pack and muscles. It was UNHEALTHY to maintain. Psychologically unhealthy. I was depressed the entire time I had the “perfect body”. AND FUCKING HUNGRY! I had achieved the “look” that apparently everyone wanted, yet it was the most depressing time of my life. And that body certainly didn’t translate into a boyfriend! The obsession and narcissism that comes with achieving and maintaining that so called perfect body is fucked up. I might be overweight now, but I’m absolutely happier. And that happiness is what translates into a boyfriend, not the six pack.
I’ve also seen prejudice against overweight people first hand in my office. In the past I’ve even contributed to it. It is bullshit. All it amounted to was judging other people to make ourselves feel better. It meant humiliating people behind their backs for the sake of feeling superior. And it meant perpetuating the hell overweight and obese people go through. It’s unfair and disgusting. Judging overweight people every time they eat lunch, every time that take a sick day off work, every time they drink full-sugared coke, every time they wear clothes we don’t think appropriate for them – wrong. Who are we to judge? Are we perfect? When I was “perfect”, like I said, my mind and soul were SICK.
Anyways a lot of what I’ve written here would still sound fatphobic and uneducated to a person who focuses more on this topic. I am just hoping people who read this, who make fat jokes at the expense of people they don’t even know, will start thinking about this subject (as I am starting to) and at the very least, shut their mouths next time they are tempted to ridicule another person based on their weight.