Who are we, anyway?

You guys, I haven’t had much to say this week.

I have a paper due for the end of this Group Process class I am in, and I am trying to write on Gestalt Therapy, and I am just not motivated to do it. I don’t know what my problem is. I have been exhausted keeping up with all the recent bout of politics on the fat-o-sphere, and trying to think about things like privilege and gender and how we include more people and what I need to do to make that happen. And I am literally still recovering from the goddamned Mac and Cheese I ate over a week ago. My stupid cell phone almost died yesterday, and when my technology doesn’t work, it’s seriously like a Red Terror Alert on my own personal scale of Terror Alerts. And it snowed, and well … there’s just too many excuses I could make about why I’ve been gone all week.

I feel a rift in the FA movement, one that is forming or about to form or one that already existed and is now just making itself known. Over the last couple of weeks, people have been really expressive about what they aren’t getting, or what they need, and I think that’s great. I mean, I am in therapy school, after all. All this talk about feelings and needs; that’s what therapists love.

This week, I spoke, as a part of a panel, to human sexuality classes, about being queer. The panel was a part of the local LGBT organization; I spoke to three different classes, back to back. It’s funny; a year ago, I was still married and hadn’t yet filed for divorce, and was still figuring out what I would even call myself when I would get around to calling myself something. I never would have imagined I would be speaking to college kids about things like coming out, and trans issues, and why I identify as queer and not as lesbian, and what it was like to get divorced, and what religion says about being gay. I was a real snapshot of how far I’ve come, of the growth I’ve made in just one short year.

Each session, I spoke with different people. Each person identified as something different. Each person held different beliefs; one guy was bi and wanted to really talk about the issues surrounding being bi. He also went on about how the gays would have the right to marry if they really wanted to, an opinion that, as you can imagine, isn’t very popular in the queer community. Another woman identified as a lesbian, but said she might change to queer, but recognized that would be another coming out process. Another woman talked about what it was like to be transgendered, and what that process was for her. Another man talked about being gay; we talked about community, and how it is important. All of us had different experiences, different needs, different stories, different lives. And despite our rich, vibrant histories, we all shared this in common: We are a part of a community; The director of the LGBT organization said this: Being gay or queer or whatever isn’t just about who you sleep with — it’s also about the politics.

And that’s how it is for us here, too.

Some people are calling what they do Size Acceptance. Or Body Acceptance. Or Fat Rights. Or Fat Acceptance. Some people talk primarily about eating disorders. Some people talk about the damage perpetual dieting has done to them. Some people talk about gender and feminism and fat. Some people talk about HAES and exercise and fatness and fitness. Some people talk about the political aspects of fat.

Everybody has a home in this community, despite the differences. A movement cannot exist without diversity — it is the diversity that is going to give the collective whole strength.

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2 Comments

  1. Lindsay said,

    March 29, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Beautifully said. 🙂

  2. pearlandopal said,

    March 30, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    And it’s diversity that gives the moment its vibrance, too, because it ties in to so many other civil rights struggles, and includes folks who are not only dealing with those other struggles as well but are viewing FA from those lenses and have those experiences.


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