Celebrating one year as your fat friend.
One year ago, I wrote a letter to a dear, thin friend. Another friend proofread the letter and asked that I post it publicly so that he could share it. So I did. I called it “a request from your fat friend.” Over 50,000 of you read that first letter.
A month later, I wrote about what it’s like to fly as a fat person. After that, I asked thin people to do something when they see fat people being bullied, harassed or hurt, issuing a call to action. I wrote about what it’s like when no one believes your body can be healthy. I wrote about going to the gym and the doctor’s office and going on dates. I wrote about what it’s like to hear thin friends talk about “feeling fat” or insist that someone is “not that fat” or that I’m not fat at all.
I just kept writing and writing and writing. And you just kept reading, responding, sharing, countering, listening, engaging. You shared your experiences, reflected on what you’d been taught about fat people, stretched to think differently.
You have made this an extraordinary year. You, thin people listening closely and grappling with new ways of thinking about fatness and fat people. You, fat people who struggle every day to get out from underneath the assumptions heaped on your bodies. You, fat people who find ways to throw those assumptions aside and live glorious, multifaceted lives when you are so often understood flatly. You, fat people of color, fat trans people, fat people with disabilities, fighting back on so many fronts. You, still afraid to name your body as it is today. You, engaging in this complex, challenging conversation with good faith, a compassionate mind and an open heart.
Whoever you are, whatever you bring to this conversation, thank you for listening, engaging and sharing. Thank you for thinking harder, stretching further, and striving to understand fatness and fat people in new ways. Thank you for your empathy, authenticity and thoughtfulness.
Thank you for making this an extraordinary year. Leave a comment & let me know what you’d like to hear about in the year ahead.