“Fat Queer Tells All: On Fatness and Gender Flatness.”

The truth is if I do find someone while I am out tonight, I want them to know that I am not good at being a girl, that there are other things about me beyond my precarious femininity that I value more, and that if things work out, I will expect them to value.

I guess I expect whoever it is to be in on the joke that is my femininity, but why is it a joke? It’s a joke because I’m fat, and fat girls are funny, right? It’s funny when we wear frilly skirts and bikinis, it’s funny when we act flirtatious and sexy, it’s funny when we dance with our jiggling bums and bellies. My fat body is funny because that’s what the media tells me about it, I am not the protagonist, I am their best friend who Can’t Get Laid. If a thin person and I wear the same outfit to a party, they’re two different outfits, conveying two very different stories.

I realize today that my relationship to gender has been impacted by the ways that others understand and interpret fat bodies. Bodies that by their very nature are incapable of fitting into traditional modes of gender conformity. I always felt afraid of embracing the more masculine parts of myself for fear of losing my already precarious grip on femininity. It was a relationship to my gender created by fear and social policing, built on a logic that “if you are not one thing than you are another.” To be feminine is to be small and delicate to a fault, so if you are already thick, you are fighting an uphill battle to meet norms that are already elusive.

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