Not Fitting The Stereotype

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As empowering as it can be to stand out from the crowd by being a unique individual, it can also be a hinderance in society in general. But do I really stand out from those around me, or is that just my own perception of myself?

I’ve always considered myself an ‘average’ gay man – average looks, average abilities, average personality. etc – but haven’t been able to correlate how I perceive myself physically (short, fat, hairy, bald, etc) with how others see me or what they’re looking for in a potential partner.

Obviously, when it comes to the bear community, there’s a different aesthetic sought after, which is great for those who are into that type of guy.  And physically I suppose I do have that stereotypcial ‘bear’ look.

Now here’s the kicker – despite that physical similarity, I don’t particularly feel part of the bear community.  Just like when I was younger and would hang out with my thinner (twinkier) friends at the bars they enjoyed, I still feel like I’m an outsider looking inside.

And to add to it, I’m an anomaly because I’m not a lesbian-bear  – a bear who’s attracted to other bears.  Instead, I like what would be called a ‘chaser’ or ‘admirer’  – generally fitter or thinner guys, somewhat masculine, good looking (to me), etc – who are into bigger guys.

And I definitely find the super fit, muscular guys in the magazines very attractive.. even if I consider them unattainable.

In the end, I still feel like the average queer that I’ve always considered myself, regardless of which subsect of the community I’m spending time with.  I don’t necessarily stand out compared to others, and my true personality only comes out for the rate few that take the time to get to know me.

I suppose I have never really empathised with the mindset of the bear community because I’ve never really seen myself as one, despite my outward appearance.

In my mind, I guess I see myself as being an average guy with an average body.. and I tend to get a nasty surprise whenever I see myself in the mirror.

I guess I’ve never fully embraced my size or bear-stature.  I do not enjoy being a bigger guy.  I don’t find my body generally attractive, regardless of what other guys have said to me.

I kind of feel like there’s a thinner, fitter version of myself screaming from the inside to get out.

No, I’m not delusional.  LOL

But most of all, I’ve spent most of my life feeling helpless about my body and it’s outward appearance.  My weight over the years has risen and risen, with a few fluctuations here and there.

I would ‘try’ to eat healthier but would end up either ‘treating myself’ too often for doing so well with my food, or I’d still overeat regardless of how healthy the food I was eating was.

Last summer, I was at my absolute heaviest (about 300lbs/136 kgs) and I was starting to have issues walking, breathing, and having regular back pain.  I would run out of breathe after maybe a 10 minute walk and would need to stop for a rest.

So… what is a chubby, lazy guy to do?

Initially I started taking a fat suppressant prescribed by an on-line pharmacy, which I definitely do NOT reccommend. It just made me feel sick and gave me really bad diarrhea on a daily basis.

Around the beginning of the year, I started to make myself walk part of all of the way home from work (45 minutes each way).  This helped, but walking the same route daily got boring fast.

So a couple of months ago I finally got off my ass and joined a gym.  This wasn’t easy as I’ve always felt very self-conscious about going to a gym.  Trying to work out whilst surrounded by fit, muscular guys just felt intimidating.

But I’ve been doing my best for the most part.  I haven’t been on a specific diet, but just trying to eat healthier where I can and cut out sugars, snacking, and all the rest of the yummy foods we’re not supposed to eat regularly.

I don’t have a specific weight goal in mind, but looking to just feel better in my skin.. and perhaps get back to around the weight I was a few years back.  But now I find myself down to about 260 lbs/118 kgs.  Most of that weight loss is since Christmas.

And I’m quite happy with my progress and I’m hoping to keep it going to see if I can lose some more weight.  But again, it’s not with a specific set goal, but instead an intermediate hopeful weight.

I know I’ll never be one of those super fit guys in the magazines, and I’m not hoping to be.  I just want to be comfortable in my own body and feel attractive to myself.. and others obviously.

And if it helps me meet some cute guy who likes me for me, and not my size, then all the better for it.

Photo with cast of ‘Drag Becomes Her’ – (L to R) Peaches Christ, Jinkx Monsoon, ME, BenDeLaCreme, and Major Scales.

It Gets Better.. Unless You’re Fat

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Let’s be honest, it’s not easy being a fat gay man these days.  Especially not when the media and society dictates that you should look a certain way, with perfect abs, a gorgeous smile, and a head of hair enviable of pretty much everyone.  marlonteixeira1That you’re supposed to look like some Ken doll-like underwear model, and any deviation from that stereotype is considered social suicide.

What a load of bullshit, huh?  If everyone was meant to look alike, then we’d all be boring drones with nothing to do or say to one another.

But the crap thing is we’ve bought into this mind set and we spend our lives criticising others based on their appearance, be it friends or strangers.  And as much as you might say you don’t do it, you probably do it more than you realise.

I recently read an article on Buzzfeed via Facebook about this exact same topic.  About how if you’re fat and gay, you’re less likely to be included by the other gays, and you’ll probably be made fun of or made to feel bad about yourself regardless of how you look after yourself.

Click HERE to read the original article

The article was mostly about how degrading it is when people criticise you about your weight, as it if it’s such an easy thing to change.  And about how society seems to have accepted that it’s okay to criticise an overweight person, as if it’s helpful instead of hurtful.

Fat_ManBut when you wonder out loud why I can’t just lose some weight, you’re looking out for me. At least, that’s the perception. The hurtful degradation becomes socially sanctioned, because being fat is considered to be innately wrong.  And suddenly, otherwise good people feel no shame in condemning us fatties. It’s not bigotry if we deserve it.

Just like the author, I too have had people comment about my weight in regards to my looks.  That if I just ‘lost a few pounds’ or ‘tried a little harder’ then I would be so much better looking, or that it would be so much easier to find a boyfriend. Of course these people generally know nothing about my life or eating habits, so really have no right to make these comments.

And when you’ve grown up being the fat kid with low self-esteem who’s been working hard as an adult to become more confident and comfortable in your own skin, that really hurts.  As if your looks are the only thing that matters when it comes to finding friends or partners.  As if you’ll only be successful in life if you’re fit and good looking.

And it’s hard not to buy into that mentality sometimes..

ImageMake-Friends-Step-6Unfortunately, as interesting and insightful as the author was trying to be, it ended up coming across as a bit too whiney and I’m not writing about this to have a whinge myself.  As a friend pointed out when I posted the article link on Facebook:

‘..you make the best of it, you don’t wallow and go “wah none of the cool kids will touch me”, you realise the “cool” kids are arseholes and go find a circle of friends who like you for you..

And that’s the whole point, right?  Finding and surrounding yourself with people who accept you for being you, without it being all about how you look or if you fit into a certain stereotype.

And yeah, there are men out there who do like bigger guys, almost to a point where it’s a fetish, so perhaps there is some hope in the end.  Although if you ask me, I’d rather someone was with me (either as friends or otherwise) because I’m me, not because of my big belly or chunky butt.. but I suppose I’ll take what I can get.

As long as they like me for being me.  😀

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