Opinion: Let’s Stop Weight Shaming in the Gay Community

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I recently wrote an article called I’m Gay, Fat and Single. Nothing to Worry About Though, which was met with a ton of positive feedback from hundreds of men and women who read it. There’s usually a mixture of positive and negative when it comes to topics like this, however this one was generally the former and that always makes any writer feel good.  However, there was one alarming factor that I saw written quite often across social media and it’s something that i didn’t realize was this much of a factor in the gay community.

The comment was this- “This dude is not fat”.  Or “LOL, this dude thinks he is fat“. There was a similar sentiment to something else I’ve written, about how you shouldn’t conform to society’s “negatives” and focus on what makes you the best you. Now, I am all for criticism as that is part of being a writer, but the norm seems to be that the gay community might have a divisiveness about it when it comes to what really constitutes as fat in our world.

Not that I really want to share this, but I’m roughly 260 pounds. So yes, by doctor’s terms… I’m fat.  These are facts. There are men who see it a little differently than that, as they view me (and other guys) on the slender side of what is considered to be a bear.

If someone says that they think they are fat, it’s their choice to do so.  It shouldn’t be met with comments like, and I quote, “He’s not fat.  When you become my weight… We’ll talk. Hit 400 pounds and be gay.  This guy has no idea what he is talking about”.

There is clearly a lot to break down from that particular statement.  One- who is he to judge on what I know about myself regarding my personal struggles with weight, and does a number in terms of pounds really separate guys who are fat and ones that aren’t?  It makes no sense, really.

Gay men are advertised in so many different compartmentalized ways in terms of figure, race, body hair, and whatnot, that it becomes somewhat “hodgepodge f***ery” when determining who you really are.

I have stated in the past that i do not need a label to define me, I’m me, and happy to do so.  But with the weight issue, do we really need to be put into groups that range from “Super Chub”, “Chub”, “Cub”, “Muscle Cub”, “Otter” and everything in between?  Things are complicated as is, this is just getting silly at this point.

There’s also the bottom line of being confident in who you are that makes weight a non-issue. What others may see in you is not how you see yourself. So what really defines being fat in this community is ultimately due to the naysayers who criticize others due to their own insecurities. If you do the right thing and choose to ignore them, then you can continue being your fabulous self no matter what your size really is.

This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.

7 thoughts on “Opinion: Let’s Stop Weight Shaming in the Gay Community”

  1. “I’m roughly 260 pounds. So yes, by doctor’s terms… I’m fat. These are facts”

    No. A personal trainer might say “you are fat.” But no doctor would ever say you are “fat.” They will say you are an “unhealthy weight” or “obese.” The reality is, if you are a normal height and 260lbs, you are probably more than 40% body fat. Your skin is stretched and clothes don’t fit. Often, we don’t invest in decent clothes because of weight fluctuations. Gay men always want to hoard signals that they are attractive though interactions. We also are hyper-aware of the micro-signals that people find us attractive… like when people glance at you on the street. When you are obese you don’t get any of this, and it’s frustrating. Though men might not find obese men attractive, it goes beyond this. Obese men are rejected by most desirable social groups. As with obese women, obese men acquire behaviors to offset this social stigma. “The funny one” or “the one who likes to dance” or ” dresses outlandishly” as a social defense mechanism. Those are often sad masks. In a nutshell, just telling someone to “be confident” isn’t enough. You are responsible for your life and your weight, and you actually have to have a reason to be confident. Believe it or not, your weight is the one thing in your life that you can control. It may take a year, but 365 days passes quickly. Be the person that you want to be. Or even, be the person that gets the response that you want. I know that sounds like I’m capitulating to society. But I have to live in society.

  2. Yes to all this, but then WHY for god-sakes do you feature a picture with two definitely-not-overweight guys for this article??

  3. Hi— when I was young-through about age 45, I was tall, swimmer’s build. As we age, metabolism changes. I am now 66 and overweight, with numerous health issues. Our community should avoid any kind of shaming. I’m old and overweight, frankly I like to look at cute young guys, but I am not listing after you! My spouse and I have been monogamous for 20 years. He’s 75,short and skinny. We have friends of all sizes, genders, etc. etc. Let’s hope for a day that we can accept all In the LBGTQ+++++ community. Until this happens, how can we expect everyone to embrace us… This same concept works for religion or not, race ethnicity, and any other artificial separator of humans…❤️?❤️?❤️

  4. Why is the banner picture two relatively slim gays and the article is about weight shaming? Let’s see some representation if you’re going to talk about it.

  5. I have excepted myself as I am; like you I am about 260lbs. Being 71 I have decided “I came into this world bald and fat and I’m going out bald and fat”. Before anyone says exercise, I have arthritus in my spine and my kinees are bone to bone.
    What I can’t understand is guys in their 20’s will call themself “fat” when they are only a few pounds overweight. A few pounds can just be water weight or too much beer. In my case that would be a keg of beer/LOL

  6. I stand om the other end of the spectrum, which is hardly ever adressed, skinny men, and I mean it litterally. Lithe, underweight men need to be supported as well. I have a healthy weight now, good ratio, healthy and all, but I am still very thin. When a man like that shows himself, he is told to eat a burger, go to the gym, “he looks emaciated”, “sickly”, etc. It feels awful. Somedays I don’t want to look at myself in a mirror. It took me fifty years to be somewhat confortable with my body.

  7. As a gay man who has experienced it, and can barely look at himself in the mirror because of an extra 35 pounds I can assure you that like anything else there are degrees and shades to every discrimination and every perception.

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