Blind Alleys

Title: Blind Alleys
Date(s) of creation: April, 1996
Creator / author / publisher: Yodel Sloth
Physical description: black and white text page with large title and grey boxes with snippets of the text in larger font
Reference #: FG5-028-029-BlindAlleys
Links: [ PDF ]

Blind Alleys

by Yodel Sloth

Walking down the street in New York City in a leather vest and Levi’s 501’s and boots, I project the image of a self confident, heavy, fat butch who happens to be Asian. There is not a day that goes by where someone in the service industry neglects to address me as “Sir.” The notion of a big, strong, hefty Asian woman who weighs at least 200lbs is a foreign concept to most people. The “ideal” Asian woman continues to be the myth of petite tiny waisted creatures like the passive geisha, the Singapore girl servant/stewardess, or the wanton and submissive oriental massage girl. This myth is equally prevalent in the gay and lesbian world, with some added twists.

A cool March evening in Greenwich Village, New York City, there’s a hint of rain and a leather jacket will keep you warm. Leaning forward with one foot on the bar rail, I shoot a glare right back at the woman staring at me. She’s pale, her brown hair touches her shoulders and her white blouse is tucked neatly into her slacks. She glances at me in that mixture of interest and revulsion that I know so well. You can tell she doesn’t do fat women. At least not in public, where her friends can see.

I think to myself that I could probably make her scream if I squeezed her really tight. She puts her hands on her hips and laughs, soundlessly, the jukebox drowns out everything except the boring argument of the couple next to me. Fold my arms over my chest and scan the room. I am the only woman of color in the bar tonight, the rest of the clientele is Caucasian, different shades of pink, I remind myself.

Check my watch and decide to make a phone call, gritting my teeth to wade through the bodies standing and chatting. Sometimes I hate overhearing conversations between women that I would rather not know. One stopped me dead in my tracks: “Oh, that film festival was just too ‘third world’ for me , babe,” one woman pushed her locks back while she said this and her freckled companion guffawed, confiding: “I know what you mean. . . I mean, does everything have to be about India or China?”

“Strike one for this joint,” I mutter to myself. Near the bar again, my head cranes around to find the drunken redhead who pronounces to her mousy young friend: “Honey, there’s no way you’ll stay unemployed in this town. . . I mean, you’re free, white, and over 21.” These two harpies smirk to each other over bottles of Bud Light and bring thin menthol cigarettes to their lips mechanically.

“Strike two.” The wait for the telephone feels like an eternity as my ears burn over the last couple of remarks that prick my brown skin like burrs. I’ve heard worse, I remind myself.

Suddenly I am near enough to touch the woman with shoulder length brown tresses that hasn’t stopped staring at me. I hear the dyke next to her snort, “The Chinese girl would be cute, yeah, if she weren’t so fat. . . ” I know they are talking about me. No figment of the imagination, I am the only fat dyke in the place, and the only one looking vaguely Oriental. The little wave of hurt that washes over me quickly dissipates. This isn’t strike three. I smile at the loud mouthed dyke’s friend, the one who stares so impolitely at people. She smiles back.

I flash a slow grin again and turn abruptly towards the door. Ten steps down the block I can sense her behind me. She’s thin, almost waif like. I have no problem shoving her against the doorway of a brownstone and pinning her hands over her head. She looks excited. Perhaps she is not as vanilla as she seems. I press up against her as a lone car picks up speed as it passes by.

“I didn’t know Chinese girls were so aggressive. . . ,” she smiles.

“Tell your friend that I am not Chinese.” My voice is deep.

“Korean, then?” She ventures.

“No.” I bring her face to mine and kiss her. She follows me up three flights of stairs to my apartment. We kiss and tear at each other’s clothes as I open the door.

Candles are lit. Brown skinned women look good in candle light. I am unashamed of my body. I am proud of it. The deep brown skin that turns reddish brown in the summers, the short cropped jet black hair with a hint of salt and pepper. My heavy, solid body, the fat that adds velocity to my ability to make love. I wouldn’t trade my body for any other. I know it too well.

The waif girl takes off her shirt and slacks and shivers in her underwear. I stand there in a pair of boxers and take her in my arms. She sighs and collapses into the folds of my skin. I carry her to the bed. She tells me that she wants to be dominated. I smile once more and tell her that she doesn’t have to ask so nicely. I throw all my weight on top of her. We stay up most of the night.

In the morning, we wake up late and have breakfast around the corner. In the daylight she seems more annoying than at the bar. After we say good-bye and good luck, I chalk it up as just another conquest.

That was the last time I seduced someone just to prove that I was as much of a stud as any thin dyke. I did it to assure myself that I could get an attractive woman to beg for me as she did. Five years have passed since that night, and I remain fat, butch and Asian, albeit with better choices about who I sleep with and why. The realization that no one but yourself can determine body image and self image took years for me to understand.

Looking back at the first time I marched in the New York City Gay Pride Parade, I find it remarkable that I strode the length of the parade route with various Asian groups. As a teenager, I ran from anything considered Asian in flavor. I was always at least 60lbs heavier than the other Asian girls in high school and felt like an alien around them, with their bird like bodies and cliquish ways. Added to this feeling of alienation was the fact of my sexual attraction to other young women, and my skin a deep brown hue that marked my birth in a Pacific Island nation. I cannot recall meeting another fat Asian woman before graduating from college.

I identify as a member of the SM community, as a top and a woman of color and of leather. Through SM, I have found a transforming power, a way to communicate my deepest wants and needs. As a top, I find that my weight is an advantage, I feel strong and in touch with my body when doing SM. I have noticed that women who do SM with women have been some of the most non-prejudiced concerning race and weight. The women’s SM community has also been the most supportive concerning my love of cross dressing, packing, and being faggot identified. I have been lucky enough to have lived in Asia and North America, as well as traveled through Europe. The differences in how gender is perceived by various cultures is mind boggling. The signals that set off bells and whistles in our libidos have the possibility to change with the international time/date line. Depending on the country, the gender systems in Asia make the head spin: concerning what can be bought, sold, and advertised.

While in Asia, a favorite activity for my inner boys is a night out to a strip club or sex club dressed as a boy and in the company of my real life male cousins, with a female cousin sometimes tagging along. During the day, I might get some strange looks walking down the street, after all a big butch with a freshly buzzed flat top and boots collides with the world’s stereotype of the petite Asian/Oriental geisha girl.

My personal record for being “Sir” and “Yes, Sired” had to be on a certain Singapore Air flight two years ago. Straight women in Asia seem to have a hard time dealing with hard, bigger, butch Asian women, gay or straight: we are perceived to be unnatural. As far as straight Asian men are concerned: after staring they often go into the “we are on the subway and I can’t see you” mode.

In Asia, the women who seemed the most unfazed by my looks and bearing were the girls who worked the clubs, as well as the boys who go-go danced for colonialist dollars. In Hong Kong, I was refused entrance to a club for not being one gender or the other. I was tempted to pull down my jeans and blow their minds. . .but just wound up going to the dive next door.

I find the Asian fag and dyke community a little more accepting of genderfuck because there are so many of us that live it. In New York City, during the Pride parade, I have marched with my Asian/Pacific Islander brothers and sisters for five years in a row now. Many of the boys done up in drag, lithe, and drop dead gorgeous: sarongs, tunics, and tight fitting hot little dresses. Look closely the next time we come by: there will be a few of the handsome women in suits, or in shorts and boots: heavy set fag dykes, butch big girls and daddies looking for action.