Fat Gay Satisfaction
June 11, 2014|nyupressblog|Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality, LGBT Researches, Sociology
I recently completed my very first publication, Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth, as well as the Politics of Stigma, which provides a within check out \"Girth as well as Mirth,\" a gay social club where participants support each other's happiness in being fat as well as pleased. As a gay guy that participated in Girth and also Mirth-- for that reason as a partial insider, yet unquestionably with thin privilege, white benefit, as well as a professor's advantage, to name a few-- I intend to share my critique of the broader gay area's sizism.
As Marcia Millman observed nearly 35 years ago, in Such a Pretty Face: Being Fat in America, \"when a homosexual man is fat, he is frequently checked out in the gay neighborhood as not having enough 'self-pride.'\" Without a doubt, fat gay pride is a challenging subject position to market; and also when the Girth and Mirthers I studied welcomed various other big gay guys to join their cause, they opened themselves as much as public being rejected, as if it weren't currently hard to be personally turned down because of their size and also sexual preference. I have actually experienced these men being upbraided for wanting to participate in annual Pride parades and also being informed they are humiliations to the gay community.
Girth as well as Mirthers are often overlooked of Gay Satisfaction media coverage; yet they linger despite their invisibility, seeking team acknowledgment. As Lory Britt and David Heise placed it so aptly, while \"pity may bring about hiding, ... pride might lead to expansive actions in public room.\" The growing sense of pride Girth and Mirthers feel parallels their sufficient body size, which is also shown in our language when we say: \"He swelled with pride.\" Certainly, satisfaction makes one feeling bigger and also stronger and also stand taller.
With the defense and also support of their fellow victims in Girth and Mirth, participants approach reconfiguring their embarassment. For some, being in the Pride ceremony implies they come out two times: for being gay as well as for being fat. In a 2006 San Francisco Bay Times short article, Sister Dana Van Iquity quips tongue-in-cheek on the homogenization of Pride: \"The Girth and also Mirth club will certainly be asked to either not be fat or at the very least disappoint a sense of humor concerning their stout state. Besides, we would certainly not want the general public to assume that a bunch of delighted, chubby gays represented our community, now would certainly we ?!\" Hence, this author affectionately acknowledges the existence of huge males in the gay area. Sis Dana's statements mention the opposition that if gays are open to teasing themselves in campy-queer drag, they need not be so threatened by Girth as well as Mirthers' visibility in the gay neighborhood.
When Girth and also Mirthers join Satisfaction celebrations, they not just gain exposure, but likewise communicate an alternating message: not all gay men are pretty-perfect and also chiseled. As queer theorist J. Jack Halberstam puts it, taking satisfaction in one's pity resembles mosting likely to \"a place where pity can be transformed right into something that is not satisfaction, but not simply damages, either.\" Girth and Mirthers take pride in their pity, in some cases going to the extreme to present a fun, larger-than-life identity. In spite of acutely really feeling the sting of denial from those that are sizist, huge gay guys march in Satisfaction parades as well as place themselves out there something tough.
As A Result, with Satisfaction Month upon us, it's my belief that the road to accepting those teams that continue to be marginalized within the gay neighborhood-- people of dimension along with transgender folks, people with specials needs, and\/or racial-ethnic minorities-- must entail greater than simply enduring these teams. It requires all of us to accept a bigger variety of variety unremarkably, and also without hassle. Fat protestors put it ideal when they say, \"We're below, we're ball, obtain utilized to it!\"
Jason Whitesel is Assistant Teacher of Female's as well as Gender Studies at Pace University in New York. He is the writer of Fat Gay Guy: Girth, Mirth, as well as the Politics of Preconception ( forthcoming in July from NYU Press).
Was so happy to be apart of your research and publication. I'm eagerly anticipating reading it.