The other day, I witnessed someone ask an effeminate acquaintance of mine if he had a “boyfriend”. While this man triggers my gaydar each time I see him, I know that he lives his life as if he is straight. The look on his face was a mix of emotions. It was as if for a moment, he was startled into the reality he constantly works to ignore. The odd thing was that I understood.
I understood because, I am in the Fat Girl Closet.
It is a rare occasion that I acknowledge the fact that I am larger than most of the people I know. I don’t talk about my weight, instead, I ignore it. I’ve convinced myself that if I pretend its not there, people wont notice it.
But every once in a while I will get startled into the reality that even if I say nothing about it, the size of my body speaks for its self.
Its not that I’m ashamed. I know that I am attractive, I just don’t want to be defined by my weight.
Like a few weeks ago, I decided to go swimming at my gym. I had recently purchased a black vintage inspired halter-top bathing suit and as I slipped on my pink sequined flip flops and walked to grab a towel a woman stopped me and said, “You have confidence!” I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just smiled. She took this as a cue to continue, “I love seeing a woman of your size who isn’t embarrassed!”
Though I was in a Manhattan gym locker-room with women who were a size 10 or smaller, it wasn’t until she made her comments that I became self conscious.
She had outed me as Fat.
I even keep the BBW scene a secret from my skinny friends. Although they’ve all been out with me at mainstream clubs and see that I don’t get much “action” I don’t want to admit that I have to go to a special club to meet guys. (I don’t think I have to make the comparison between me secretly going to BBW parties and person secretly going to gay bars… I’m in the Fat Girl Closet!)
Until I started writing this blog, my weight was something that was reserved for quiet conversations with my Mother and sisters. While I love sharing my experiences here, I often wonder if I do it because its more or less anonymous.
Dana is my only friend who knows about thebiggirlblog, I don’t share it with my skinny friends (who all know that I write and pester me about blogging often). Sometimes I want to tell them, but having them read my experiences would pull the curtain down from the facade I’ve been maintaining that my weight has no effect on my life.
My weight does not define me.
…Okay, maybe it does.
Perhaps the person I really don’t want to know how much being an overweight person in New York City defines me is… me.