FaT GiRL Roundtable

Title:  FaT GiRL Roundtable
Date(s) of creation:  October, 1994
Creator / author / publisher:  FaT GiRL
Physical description:
 Eight zine pages of a transcribed discussion between six people, accompanied by photographs of fat queers feeding each other.
Reference #:  FG1-033-040-Roundtable
Links:  [ PDF ]

FaT GiRL Roundtable

Transcribed by Candida 
Photos by Laura Johnston 

The idea to put Fat Girl together came about last spring, while a couple of us were just hanging out shooting the shit. It seems the best ideas are often born that way, from the inspiration of good conversation with friends. With each passing conversation we grew more and more excited. The more the idea sank in, the more we began to realize how really revolutionary it would be to publish words and images of fat dykes—true words, words that really represent who we are. So, in order to get some of those inspiring ideas onto these pages, and not limit ourselves to the written word, we decided to record a conversa­tion between members of the group who put this together, to give you a chance to hear us talk about why we’re here. Hence, the birth of the Fat Girl Roundtable. 

A=April Miller
M=Max Airborne

C=Candida Albicans

“What’s different … about being a fat dyke?” 

C: As opposed to being a straight girl?

S: That and also, what’s it like being a fat dyke around other dykes, as opposed to the straight community. Both those questions. 

Set in a brightly lit room with light walls Candida, a fat, white femme laughs down at April, a fat, Black, multiracial femme. April’s head is tilted back and her mouth opens for the food in Candida’s prominent hand.

O: How can any of us say about what it’s like to be a fat straight woman? 

S: Well, in a way you can, because … 

B:  We used to be fat straight girls? 


S: I’ve been a fat … well, not straight girl. But trying to be. And I don’t think that everyone who sees me on the street knows I’m a dyke. 

O: I definitely think you get treated really differently in the dyke community if you’re a butch or a femme, and fat. I think I get a lot of good stuff, much more positive rein­forcement from femmes than negative stuff. 

B: I think even your shape sometimes defines whether you’re butch or femme … in how people see you visually. Even within the dyke community, dykes see “fat” first before they see “dyke.” [And they can’t tell us apart no matter how different we look.] That’s just one (of the many) reasons why we want to do FaT GiRL. And I wanted a feast of images, there just are not enough images of fat dykes. The ones that are out there are few and far between … most of them are okay … a lot of them are goddess images of fat dykes, so therefore she’s maternal or something. Like, she’s going to take care of the other dykes in the community because she’s a fat dyke. 

[Everyone laughs.] 

S: Oh, also, you’re not going to be a bottom if you’re big. 

Three photos. The top photo shows Candida shot from above in profile wearing a white cotton shirt with thick black spandex straps crossing her collar. Leaned back with eyes closed, her tongue stretches to lick between the toes of the foot she holds to her mouth with both hands. The body attached to the foot is fully removed from the camera’s frame.
The middle photo shows a blurry close-up of Barbarism, a fat White person in a white t-shirt with the collar cut off. They have short curly dark hair, a multi-strand beaded choker, and their bold-framed glasses peek out from above the large bubble gum bubble they’ve blown to obscure their face.
The bottom photo shows two pairs of fat white queers in a brightly lit room with a large reaching house plant in the background. Each pair looks into each other’s eyes. In the foreground, Raquel (whose face is blacked out for privacy) kneels with their long curly hair draped behind them, head tilted up at Oso, a fat Chicano butch who stands over them sliding a popsicle into their open mouth from above. In the background Max, a superfat white queer sits grasping Barbarism’s hands as they crouch over from a standing position. Both Max and Oso wear plaid with rolled up sleeves, giving the two pairs an air of reflection and balance.

A: Well, the part about the goddess stuff that bothers me, is that if she’s one of the maternal goddesses, the Mother, *then* she’s fat. Anything else, any other aspect of the goddess, is portrayed as thin. 

M: Right. “Fat is fertility.” 

B: The crones are thin, the young maiden is thin, the warrior is thin. It’s so limiting. It’s just so frustrating …

S: Even growing up. I was never very athletic for various physical reasons … and so therefore, if you have tits and curves, you’re a “femme” whether you want to be or not. And when you’re coming out, if you don’t look like a dyke, it means you’re not a dyke. So you’re closeted all the time. 

C: And fat girls do have more curves … But the interesting thing is that I always felt, as a young (girly-)girl, that because I was fat, I wasn’t feminine to others. That because it wasn’t how girls were “supposed” to look, it’s “masculine,” somehow (I don’t know why, it doesn’t make any sense). There was this very strong message … that Omigod, the worst thing in the world you could be was a Fat Hairy Bitch, oh no! 


B: More power to you … 

M: Mmmm, fat hairy bitch? [lecherous laugh] 

B: I feel like I almost primarily have identi­fied as a femme, and I think what has been complicated for me (being a big femme) is feeling like the butches in my life had prob­lems with me being stronger than them. Cuz if you’re femme and you’re big and you’re strong, also, that is really threatening to some … I think that’s what’s threatening about Fat within the straight world, why a lot of men have problems with fat women. We’re big, we’re stronger, we take up more space. And they want women who just sort of disappear. Like if you’re trying to share a seat on the bus; the men get on, and they think the seat is for them, and they can spread their legs as far as they want, and when a big dyke is sitting there and takes up alot of space on the seat, or a seat-and-a­ half, with her legs spread, too …. they take offense at it, that you’re taking up their space in the world. And I feel that a lot when [I’m around smaller dykes] … Like, if you go into a straight bar, I feel like there’s this space around their bodies, and they don’t really touch … and when you go into a dyke bar, there’s more contact … women bump into each other, and it’s okay. But I feel like as a fat dyke, it’s not okay when I’m bumping into other women. Or these small­er butches, if I’m bumping into them with my tits or my butt or something. I feel like they look at me like, “Hey, what are you doing? You’re in my space.” If I were a little femme, I could just fit through the crowd, and be cute and everything, but … 

S: Whether it’s true or not that people are resenting you for it every time, you feel that way, because people have treated you like that in the past. 

M: But they do so often! Barb and I were at this restaurant, and there was this guy … We had to squeeze in between these two groups of people in order to get to the table we were going to sit at, and I bumped this guy’s elbow … 

C: [Audible gasp!] 

M: And OMIGOD, you’d think the world was coming to a fucking end. He started yelling, and talking at the top of his voice … yelling obscenities. Like, “Fucking dykes! Blah blah BLAH blah BLAH,” and all the people in the restaurant ( who were mostly queer, or queer-supportive), were like, who is this jerk? This guy was insane. I just felt like he happened to be one of the people who was crazy enough to speak his mind about how much he hated us … but I feel like that energy is there all the time. 

B: He went on, saying how disgusting we were … and he was threatening how he was going to mess up her bike outside … and how could you do *those things* with each other. And it was a tiny little restaurant, and she barely bumped him, and said “Excuse me.” But there’s so much hatred. I just think when you’re a dyke, and you’re bigger. .. people notice you, and they see “fat,” and people feel it’s safe to attack you if you’re fat. Like really, there’s no good rea­son for your existence, and they can say that to you whenever they want. Growing up, everyone in my family was always on my case with, “Oh, you would be so beautiful, IF ONLY you would lose some weight.” Constantly. Whenever I talk to my mother, no matter what I say. I could say, “Oh Mom, I got a promotion!” “Oh, you got a promo­tion? Well, I hope you lose some weight, because you know, you’re not going to get another promotion.” Everything comes down to: “Are you going to starve yourself for us?” 

O: Or they would say, “If you were skinnier, you could get a nice man.” No, I want some pretty girls, though I don’t need to be skin­nier. 

S: My mother would always be angry at me for starving myself, and then telling me how horrible and disgusting fat women were. Mostly it was about her. .. we’re built almost exactly the same, but she would go off about how disgusting she was. And I stopped eat­ing. And then, “Oh, but you have to eat.” Fuck, you know? Either I’m supposed to eat or I’m not. 

C: What this brings up for me-in terms of, how is it different being fat around dykes than straight women-is being around women who talk about how much they need to lose weight. Or how awkward it is to be sitting next to it, because it feels like they’re saying that being fat is the worst thing in the world, and they’re afraid of being fat. Whether they’re fat or not. But they’re actually not nec­essarily talking about you directly at all, they’re talking about being unhappy in their body if it gets to be fat. So where do you draw the line? Or how much do you put up with having to hear about their hatred of all things FAT? Does it depend on how they word it, or what? 

S: I don’t usually say anything, because if you do, it ends up being so condescending. Like, “It’s okay for YOU. You’re … different.” 

O: I get that with my co-workers a lot. A lot of them are really small, some of them are, like, anorexic. And they’re always, “Oh my god, I can’t eat this,” or “I can’t eat that … ” And they don’t even notice me, or if they do, they say, “Oh, but you’re *differ­ent*.” 

C: “It looks so becoming on you, it’s just ME … “

O: “I can’t imagine you *any other way* … “

C: Oh, yeah. ” … And I fantasize about you naked … “

[Big laughs]

O: God, *I* wanted it.

[Max laughs]

A close up of Oso’s face in profile with light skin and a shaved head. Laying on the floor, their tongue reaches to lick swirled whipcream off a shiny, laced up, black leather boot.

C: So, do you find you get that less frequently with dykes, or does it feel differ­ently when a dyke does it because you think maybe she’s more aware, some­how, about “fat issues”? 

O: I even think it’s kind of crap with other dykes, even in Women’s Studies—you know, the Intro to Fem. crew—who are so in touch with their own shit and all. .. but they still do it! But they just feel bad about doing it. Or they can say something weird, and then say, “but I don’t *really* think that.” Or “I know it’s wrong to think that, but sometimes I feel that way.” I’d actually rather hear it from people who didn’t have the p.c. rap behind it.

A: I find it more offensive from dykes. Especially because I expect them to know better. If nothing else, I expect them to love them­selves a little bit more than the average bear. 

C: Why? Why? Why?

S: Because you’ve already had to learn to love yourself over things that other people don’t like about you. Theoretically. 

A: And here we are, where I grew up, it’s like we’re all supposed to be making “safe space” for ourselves, and “safe space” for each other. Great. 

S: I don’t find it as much with dykes, it’s way more subtle … I work with all straight women, eight women sitting around sewing all day, no money … we’re talking all the time. They don’t do it much, but they will-get into this thing about weight. And you never hear a bunch of dykes sitting around talking about that in that same way. They might be just as fucked up about it on the inside, but it’s not like an acceptable topic of conversation. 

A: Well, they’ll talk about how they’re going to go work out instead, or how they’re getting so fat and have to go to the gym. 

C: Yeah … but sometimes when it comes up, it doesn’t mean some­one is necessarily all that fat-negative. It’s complex … if you sud­denly gain a lot of weight and can’t move quite as well and do the same things, it’s seriously depressing. It can have real drawbacks, it doesn’t always mean they’re just “fat-negative” about everyone. I feel like some dykes are more aware of that. I don’t know. 

B: It seems like a lot of the images we see … l mean, I feel like our community is being more and more commercialized, and there’s more money coming into it. But all the image I ee of dykes … it’s an androgynous image, so therefore if it’s androgynous then they’re kinnier, because then they don’t have any curves or any shape to them. Even if they’re femme and androgynous, they’re super-thin. Like the same images you see of mainstream models, transcribed into our community. How our community is starting to sell itself is really frightening. It’s so un-diverse. There’s just mostly skinny women. Like the Girl-Spot, they have all these ads … recently, they had one that said, “Come in for our new face­lift.” They had made a change and re-done themselves, and had all this advertising about their “face-lift.” Like our bodies need to be restructured. 

C: “Come in and get your cellulite SUCKED.” 

B: It’s really alienating. 

C: At least Page Hodel’s thing … Club Q … at least they advertise some diversity, they have big girls, girls of different ethnicities … they make a point of not having many white girls in their ads. Which is refreshing. 

B: I mean, there are LOTS of fat dykes in our community! 

M: Well, you don’t see them in *Deneuve*, or *On Our Backs*, or any of the magazines … 

B: Once in a while … 

M: Once in a great while … usually in some s/m-related magazine, you’ll see a fat dyke. Like Quim had a little blurb in their most recent issue about body image, and they put in the lyrics of one of my songs, a song called FAT GIRL. (That I wanted to name this ‘zine after.) But that was it. And some photographs of this one woman who was fat, but not representative of someone who’s *really* fat. I mean, I still don’t feel represented.

A: Fat, but not super-sized. 

M:  and I weigh around three hundred. I never have seen myself anywhere, except for *your* picture, April. [points to April on the cover of the *SF Weekly*] 

A: Poster-child. 

[Hoots and “woo-woo” noises of appreciation for April’s sexy pose.] 

M: Really, it’s true, you’re the only person I’ve seen in print that makes me feel repre­sented in the media. 

C: I can’t remember, April, did that article talk about your being a dyke at all? 

A: Well, no more than it talked about my being a pervert. Which was also mentioned, but … 

C: I just remember it talking about chubby ­chasers who are guys. In terms of how fat­ appreciators can hook up … 

M: !ck. 

A: Most of the article wasn’t about me. 

C:  Goddamn it!

B: You know, they had a thing on Geraldo today, about Fat Emancipation. I couldn’t tape it, but I watched it, and I was tripping out, because …. there was one woman who said something about how it doesn’t matter who you are and what your size is, it’s who you are and that’s what the men are attract­ed to. But it was really all about: [imitates Voice of Geraldo] “Are these women still attractive to men?” It was ALL in relation to men. And one of the women there was talking about this thing … they call “feed­ers”? Where there are men who are into big women and they want to make them big­ger? So it’s male controlled? Or they’ll take them on a weekend date and they’ll force funnel-feed them, and then weigh them at the end of the week, or weekend, and see how much weight they’ve gained. 

[Disgusted groans and faces abound] 

B: I was just blown away. 

M: So it turns being fat into another way for men to control them. 

S: I just did a straight fat porn video Monday … and I was sitting there reading all the magazines. And it’s these first-person narratives by “women,” saying things like, “Oh, I might just have to eat this WHOLE thing. Of course, it will all probably go right to my tits, I’ll gain like five pounds.” I don’t know, it’s so weird!

Three photos. The top photo shows April sitting on a couch with Selena standing over her. April’s head is tilted up and Selena, seen in profile with a long straight ponytail and white kufi, uses her fingers to hold April’s mouth ajar. On the wall behind them we see a small mounted sculpture reminiscent of “the Madonna and child” and the bottom corner of a poster. Most of the poster is cropped out of the photo, but the bit we can see reads QUEER in bold text right above April’s head.
The middle photo shows Oso from the neck up with their shaved head tilted all the way back and eyes closed under thick strong brows. Candida with lipstick and her long hair pulled back smirks down at Oso while dangling a fat bunch of grapes into their mouth from above.
The bottom photo zooms in on Max and Barbarism with their eyes closed, passing more than a mouthful of food between them as though kissing. Barbarism leans over Max for the exchange and grazes their cheek in a gesture that feels both tender and goofy.

C: Well, it’s a fetish …

S: Not all the straight chubby chaser stuff is like that. I mean, a lot of it is really positive. I was impressed to see some of that which was pretty matter-of-fact. And also, it’s really interesting to see all this stuff about guys coming out of the closet about liking fat women. And those are the words that they used.

C: It’s true, though … not that I feel particularly sorry for them. But men do get a lot of shit for dating fat women.

M: Who cares? 

[lots of laughter] 

S: I kind of do, because it all affects me, in the end. The fact that even for a straight guy, someone who’s right there in the norm … that that’s so “out there” translates into more shit on the street for me, basically. 

C: Also on the net—I don’t know if any of you computer geeks have ever cruised alt.sex.fat [a computer newsgroup]. There was another “feeder” story on that one, about this guy who bought all these larger clothes for his girlfriend, and arranged for her to start a mail-order business at home … and then he started drugging her, and she gained 70 pounds, and was very depressed all the time, and dependent on him for everything. 

B: It’s all control. 

S: Well, it’s just like what I hear from these straight women at work, that their boyfriends will come down on them for eat­ing. “Oh, you’re eating *that*?” If it’s not control one way, it’s control the other way. 

A: The thing that’s always disturbed me about organizations like NAAFA [the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance], I used to go to some of their meetings … and there would be this roomful of fat women and thin men … chubby chasers, you know? And the vibe that I always got that disturbed me the most was that they really want “their women” to be desperate. Powerless and desperate. And then these guys get to be like god. Because all these women are fighting each other for these weeny men …. I was so disgusted …. [people clutch their queasy stomachs and groan] 

S: It still comes down to what men want. 

Three photos. The top photo is a close up of Barbarism on their back from above. They wear a lacy black bra and metal choker, and have their mouth wide and eyes closed. Someone whose face we can’t see holds her head and shoulders from behind and leans over her shoulder to lick whipped cream from her bare cleavage.
The middle photo features a close up of Selena with their head tipped back, dark bangs strong across their forehead and septum ring glistening. Someone reaches from out of the shot to lower a pastry horn into her waiting teeth.
The bottom photo shows Max and Candida sitting in front of a bright window. Max wears half rim glasses and an unbuttoned flannel. Candida sits higher than Max trying to feed them a slice of pizza, but the pizza droops away from Max’s ready mouth. Both of their expressions reflect the humor of the less than optimal pizza structure.

A: Yeah. I’m not into the straight-men-­who-are-into-fat-girls thing. Though I do believe there are some genuinely nice men in the world who just like that. But I don’t see them in any of the organizations. 

B: Well, do you think that mindset sort of translates … do you think there’s a similar mindset within the dyke community? 

A: I think the dyke community definitely has the valuing fitness thing. I find it really uncomfortable to go out and be “on the prowl” … to look for girls, and be out on the meat market. Because what kind of value does a fat woman-no matter how attrac­tive-have in the general population and the dyke community? 

C: Or what kind of issues are you going to come up against? Girls who have their own body issues (and who doesn’t?) … they can’t really deal with someone with a fat body because they have hated and feared it so much themselves. In a way some men do, too, but it’s not the same. 

O: I get a really different response, especially when I have girlfriends who are a lot thin­ner than me. It’s this weird thing. They have all these issues all the time, like should they be dieting, or they’re afraid to say they think they should be dieting, or they’re freaked out that they want to lose weight, or they’re freaked out that they gained some weight. But then if I try and talk to them about weight about me, they’re like, “No, no, no … ” 

C: Well, you’re butch, so to them, it’s just like being with a guy … it’s acceptable to not look like the “perfect slender woman.” 

O: Yeah, it’s just like a guy thing. I was just thinking of this funny song, from this car­toon. It goes, “Keep your hubby chubby, cuz he’s a happy pappy … ” [laughter] Something like that. And here someone I’m going out with will do this funny thing, like “I’m going to have this liquid diet, but here, I’ll make you whatever you want.” And I’m sit­tin there going, what’s going on here? 

C: They ought to just get an i.v.

M: I haven’t had that experience at all. I guess maybe I’m not as butch as you. [Oso]

O: Yeah, well.


M: I mean, I have had, in the past … nobody who’s in this room [laughter from Max’s lia­sons] … but I have had lovers who are very “concerned” about my weight. And my health, and whatever. “You’re going to die.” 

S: “So are you.” 

O: Yeah, I guess we all are. But that’s really weird. I’ve never had that experience at all. I’ve been really lucky to not have had that. People are weird about it and all, but my lovers seem to be really into it. “Oh, you’re so cuddly,” “Oh, you’re so cute.” That kind of little boy, chubby, cute, teddy-bearish thing. That’s the stuff I get from them. 

B: April, you were talking about cruising and stuff. I think for me, I’ve always had a really hard time with casual sex. And I think a lot of it has to do with not only dealing with my own body issues, but want­ing to not have to deal with … like, when dykes get together and are sexual together, so many issues come up. Issues galore. 

C: And you PROCESS them, too.

B: … and then you process them! I feel like other people’s body issues come up. And I don’t want to deal with other people’s fat­phobia. And sometimes you want to be sex­ual, so my own fear about people rejecting me because of being a larger femme, or a stronger femme, or not meeting other dykes who could throw me around as well as I could throw them around, has kept me from … but also, dealing with other people’s body imagery. I’ve had really small lovers, and I know I brought up stuff for them. Their own stuff about body size. And I’m committed to working stuff out with them if they’re a long-term lover-but dealing with casual sex, it’s definitely an issue. 

C: So, in terms of s/m play …. I’m wondering. For instance, April, I’ve seen you bottom at numerous play parties. And always to peo­ple who are smaller than you. Is this a huge issue for you? (So to speak!) 

A: What do you mean? 

C: Barb was just talking about how, in terms of cruising and stuff, she feels this issue come up—that it’s an issue, that she could throw these people around so much more easily. So if you’re bottoming to someone who’s … relatively puny next to you—how does that affect you as a bottom? This is kind of a different subject, hope y’all don’t mind. 

A: No, no. I’m not particularly interested in “fighting back,” and being thrown around as a bottom. So that hasn’t been much of an issue. But this one particular smaller per­son (whose name we will not mention), COULD easily throw me around if she chose to. My stuff about power issues has been more …. like, Barb, I think it’s inter­esting that people respond to you as being big and strong. Because my stuff has always been that people are surprised by how strong I am. Because I can throw around all sorts of people, and do on occasion. I’ve always been amazed, out in the straight world, that people think that fat people are weak and helpless… [S: … yeah!] 

A: … And that we’re fat because we don’t ever move! I want to say, “Okay, kids. You try walking around 300 pounds. For a cou­ple of hours. And then we’ll talk about who among the two of us isn’t very strong.” 

B: I guess I’m not just talking about know­ing people on a casual level, but this stereo­type … having had lovers much smaller than me (and maybe not even that much smaller than me), who have this idea: “You’re femme, and I’m butch, and you’re supposed to be weaker than I am.” 

O: Hey, I just wanted you to carry the bag. [Barb laughs.]

S: I’ve had that come up for me. I don’t know if it’s come up for my play partners, but it’s come up for me. It’s not that I’ve played much with fighting back particularly, although that’s one of the subjects that seems like a taboo in the leather community around here, like you’re not allowed to like that? But when I have rough­housed and wrestled, then I’ve always felt like I have to hold back. Like with my girlfriend, who is smaller than me … .l can pick her up really easily, and she can’t pick me up (I don’t think). And she used to like to play around in this one way that she ended up sup­porting most of my weight. Not picking me up, but knocking me around where she’d be holding me, and I’d have to trust her to hold me up, and I couldn’t really trust her to hold me up. She says she can …. but I’ve gained weight, and I don’t know that she can. So, a) I miss that, and b) I never felt that comfortable with it at the time, thinking “you can’t hold me, you can’t hold me … ” 

A close up profile of Selena, eyes closed, tongue outstretched, and fingers bringing soft food to her mouth with the help of another hand from outside the shot.

A: That’s the stuff that I miss … is that I was involved in a Daddy/girl relationship. And I would love to be in a situation at some point in my life, where I felt like I *could* … say, sit in some­body’s lap? 

S: It would be nice to be smaller than someone. It’s not absolutely necessary or anything, but it’s nice as a bottom sometimes to feel like you’re physically smaller than your top. For me, it can be comforting. It doesn’t mean I can’t play if that’s not there, but it’s just one thing that … 

C: I definitely feel it, too. It’s only been a few times that that has happened in my life. It’s a very com­forting thing that I was totally unused to, my whole life. Putting yourself into the hands of someone bigger or stronger than you. 

A: I actually dance with my friend Laura, and we work with a lot of contact improv stuff, which has been really, really hard for me. And really, really, good for me. Because a lot about it is about giving your weight to the other person … letting Laura carry me around! Rolling over her. Which, you know, after grow­ing up fat-basically, I’ve always been super-sized-I was a size 20 when I was 14 … that’s super-sized for a kid. So I have all that stuff about, “Oh, watch out for *her*, she’ll sit on you and she’ll kill you!” So to be able to roll over someone so much thinner than me and not have her break …. I can do it easily with strangers … [laughter] 

S: But we don’t want to roll over just *anyone*, anyway … [laughter] 

A: It’s been really important to me just to be able to DO some of that. 

B: Well…it’s definitely nice to have a lover who’s about your size. 

S: My own body image stuff comes out a lot, having a lover smaller than me … it’s hard … it’s like, “Yeah yeah, easy for YOU to say.” That hateful voice, with all that bullshit … “Oh, it’s easier for you to buy clothes,” and so on. It’s not always easier for her. It’s really hard for me to hear about any of her body image stuff. I know that abstractly, I should be supportive of it, but I usually really don’t want to hear it. 

C: Or if it’s a smaller woman going on and on about how she finds big women attractive. If she’s smaller than me, I can’t really trust that she means it the way, say, even a man would! Isn’t *that* grim. But I’m always afraid that if it comes from a smaller woman, she can’t really mean it because she’s probably really fat-phobic. It’s all my issues, but it’s there.

M: What are you saying, about you believe it if a man says it? 

S: Well, if a guy goes, “Oh, yeah, I like big women and those big, juicy tits!” you *believe* him. You may not like him, but you believe him. [Barb cracks up.] 

S: When I was into guys, I never got any of that, but I read, I see porn … 

B: Well, women think they’re fat and hate their bodies, no matter how skinny they are. Men aren’t taught to hate themselves as well as women are taught to hate ourselves. So when you hear a woman say great things about your body, you’re thinking, “Oh, sure, I know you must really hate yourself, and so you must hate me, too.” 

C: Well, especially if the day before, you hear her saying, “God, look how flabby my thighs are, blah blah blah … ” If she’s talking about her own body and self-hatred, it’s hard to think, “God, I outweigh her by maybe 50 pounds, she finds me really hot.” 

S: With my girlfriend, I don’t get that. It’s the other way around. She’s one of those people who will lose weight (when she doesn’t want to), she does­n’t feel as good, she’s putting cream on her cereal and going, “I’m cold … ” 

M: Oh my god. What a concept! 

S: It is. So it’s not that she’s dieting, it’s just the way that she is. But it’s really hard to tell part of me that. 

A: What happens to me, at a certain point, when they start talking about how much they love my body, stuff like that, is I start to not believe them. Because I think they’re covering up this aversion that they have. And I have indeed had experiences where that was what was going on, which is part of the reason that I think this. 

C: You mean, they want to feel good about it, and so they’ll say it? 

A: I’ve had very brief relationships with people who have had this bizarre … fascinated/repulsed kind of thing going on. 

M: Oh, god … 

B:They’re going to work out their issues on you? 

A: Right. And then there’s also this dynamic, where the more that they say it, the more I think that’s the only thing that they’re interested in. And as soon as they get enough of big tits, or what­ever, then they’re going to go back to thin girls that they *really* like. Because they were never interested in me as a person, it was just the body. 

B: Fat as exotic? [Snort.] 

A: Yeah. Kind of. 

C: And besides, April has such good taste, they just want to be a part of that. 

A: Yeah, bask in the glory for a moment. 


O: For me, another thing that’s weird, is when people say that they think I have issues about people being fat. That I’m fat­phobic, not about myself, but about other people, or about girls I’m into or girls I went out with. And I think I got kind of upset about it … obsessing about it, like, “Oh … do I like this person because she’s skinny? Or do I like her because I like this person? Do I like this girl because she’s big, or do I just like her?” I think sometimes I’m not really sure. Because I went out with people who are really skinny, and I’ve gone out with people who aren’t skinny. And I definitely think that, depending on their size, I have different issues about it. I think I struggle with wondering if I have shit about it. Like, if I continuously go out with people who happen to not be that big, it’s this weird question that comes up in my head, why is this happening? 

C: What about big girls who are particularly (or only) into smaller girls? Do any of you know dykes like that? 

M: Deserters! [laughs] “Traitors!” I’m just kidding. 

C: I can think of ONE PARTICULAR top 

B: You mean, “the average woman weighs a hundred” one? 

C: Yeah, that one. No, not average, that’s on the “lighter side” for her. She’s a big, beefy girl. Not *really* big, but she’s pretty juicy. And she seems to be totally fat-pho­bic to me. 

M: Right, there’s a classic example. What they’re referring to is an unnamed person who gave a demo … 

C: And she was (when questioned) talking about supporting body weight, and thought that a hundred pounds was “on the lighter side” of the average for women … to be gen­erous, I think! Oh, no, she later said to be generous with women, you should plan on “150.” But with men, you should count on “250 or 300 to be safe.” 

M: And she, herself, is probably close to 200. 

B: And this was in terms of giving safety information, about [checking weight ratings for your equipment] to carry the weight of a person, and was talking about the “average” woman! 

A: This person is totally clueless. 

Three photos. The top photo shows Selena sitting on Candida’s lap, one arm around her shoulder and the other feeding her. Candida, with a full mouth and head tilted back looks mischievously to the side off camera.
The middle photo shows Max from the waist of their jeans up. They stand in an unbuttoned flannel shirt revealing their soft pale belly and chest.Their jaw is wide as they wrap it around an ice cream cone.
The bottom photo shows the busts of April at left and Raquel (whose face is blacked out for privacy) at right, both in profile. April wears a bright white tank top with her curly dark hair pulled away from her face, and sits with her eyes closed and mouth open. Raquel stands across from her and uses both hands to feed her.

M: And this is someone who is seen as an “authority” within the pervert community. 

C: And this is a WOMAN. I think she identifies as a woman … she uses female pronouns outside of scene … and she probably weighs at least 180, I don’t know, I don’t really care what she weighs. I don’t get it. Do any of you come across that much, or ever, from big dykes? 

S: I haven’t. 

O: Yeah, I’ve never heard anyone specifically say … 

M: I’ve come across ignorance like that. Or people who say things to me, like, “You’re not THAT fat.” [laughs] There’s a certain level of ignorance. Not that fat? Yes, I am THAT fat. I can deal with it. I have been THAT fat all my life, okay? It is *okay*. 

S: They thought maybe if they denied it … 

B: … It would go away? 


M: Or just other kinds of ignorance. Other dykes even not being aware of the fact that it might be difficult for me to fit in a booth … just things like that, there’s this constant level of education I have to pro­vide. 

C: It’s true, even among fat dykes. Like, Max, I wasn’t used to hanging around peo­ple as big as you when we started going out. So it didn’t even occur to me, that booths would be a problem. Even though I used to be a lot bigger, and used to worry about chairs … like, would they collapse under­neath me. 

A: The worst experience that I’ve had so far with a lover. … we were actually very politi­cally “together,” you know, that fat politics and stuff were really there. But she had a sexual abuse history with a much larger woman when she was a child, so we never had sex. In part, because the last time that she had sex unwillingly was with someone of my size in comparison to her. .. and had been when she was raped as a child. So … what can you do with that? 

M: Wow. That’s heavy. 

A: Yeah, I didn’t even know how to touch … 

[long, distended pause , and silence]

A: Yeah, it was that kind of stopper in my life, too. 

B: It’s interesting. I don’t know if there’s a correlation, but when I am with lovers that are more my size or larger than me …. When I was younger, and did date women that were a lot slimmer than me-really small, and really androgynous … My abuse stuff really didn’t come up at all. I felt so much more physically in control of the situation in a lot of ways. I don’t know if I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m just more in tune with myself in so many ways. I don’t know if there’s a correlation, but now I’m definitely more into being lovers with women who are closer to my size. I mean, it’s nice to be able to borrow clothes …. 


Barbarism on their back with their shirt rolled up to reveal their round belly. They wear thick rimmed glasses and their chin is tucked looking down at Max whose slightly blurry face looks up at the camera from where they are hands-free eating an ice cream cone out of Barbarism’s belly button.

B: We just have more similar interests, and also I’m more attracted to them. But also, more abuse stuff has come up in my life recently, and I think that maybe I’m more ready to deal with facing people closer to my size or being able to share that physical intimacy. It’s a really different intimacy when you’re with someone who’s a lot smaller than you. Different things come up for me than when I’m dealing with a HUGE, voluptuous woman … and you have to share the bed. [Lecherous laughter.] 

C: There’s never as much bed space.

S: Well, MY skinny girlfriend takes up plenty of bedspace …. [along with] my ten-pound cat … 

A photo captioned “Back L to R: Barbarism, Max, Raquel, Candida/Front L to R: Oso, Selena, April. Not Pictured: Elizabeth, Bertha”
The photo shows the FaT GiRL collective posing together. Above them on a white wall is the bottom half of a poster reading “… Is A QUEER.” Typed text printed over the photo reads in black letters at center “FaT GiRL!,” and in white letters at bottom, “Yes we were crazy enough to do this as a collective AND LOOK, we’re still SMILING!” The collective sit together all either laughing or smiling with Barbarism at left and Candida at right in cut up white t-shirts both sitting higher than the rest. Between them sit Max in their flannel shirt and half rim glasses, and Raquel with a mane of thick curly hair and their face blacked out for privacy. On the bottom row Oso smiles in their flannel shirt and leans in to Selena. Selena sits in a sleeveless black dress with their knees tucked under them leaning their weight on their arm. April sits at Selena’s other side in a white tank top and billowing floral bottoms holding their knee to their belly.