Thursday, 12 July 2018

Fashion & Fat Shaming from an Irish Gay Mans Perspective.

Firstly, answer me this... When did we start using the term FAT SHAMING instead of BULLYING. Because that's what it is. 



So, you've probably seen this t-shirt and read a few articles about it. I'm intentionally NOT mentioning or linking to the merchant of this product because it will get their website more hits, but you get the idea. Let me tell you this,  if I saw someone wearing this item of "fashion" on the high street they'd be getting a piece of my mind.

For many years, I and lots of my friends have been fighting for equality and dignity. The right to not be attacked and discriminated against because of our sexuality. Lots of us have also fought for the Equality rights of others ( e.g. the Repeal referendum in Ireland a few weeks ago and to release Ibrahim Halawa).

But something insidious has been happening in the LGBT community, and maybe has always happened. We spend an inexorable amount of time ridiculing and chopping each other down. 



From a young age (8 or 9) I was always bullied in school. Not because I was gay but because I was overweight. There has NEVER been a time in my life where I have been the "perfect" weight. And let's call it for what it is.


It's BULLYING. Plain and simple.

It's not Fat Shaming... like somehow you are going to help by shaming the person to lose weight...
It's not banter or "bants"...
It's not having a laugh...

Neither is it because the person is STUPID, UGLY, LAZY, not into SPORTS or INACTIVE. I am none of these things.

So, fashion in the Gay community. Yah. That's great fun. The stereotypical flamboyant gay, flapping his wrist, half carrying/covering his ass with a 28 inch waist & 6 pack has no problem buying trendy fashionable clothes off the rack.

Go into any high street store. Jeans stop at 36 inches. They might have a 38 or 40 inch behind the counter or hidden in the store room because fatties aren't supposed to be able to buy jeans but you have to go and ask. Ya, lets make the overweight guy stand out even more. Then you go into the shop where they have perfect sized sales assistants who you just know are going to laugh their heads off when you dejectedly skulk from the store realising that the largest jeans they have on offer might just about traverse one of you arms.

Very few stores in Ireland stock any of the popular brands like Levi, Wrangler or Ben Sherman in large sizes and let's face it, these brands are American, they must come in fat bastard size.



Here's where it gets worse in my opinion. We are faced with a ubiquitous amount of dating apps. Over 20 years ago in Ireland, LGBT singles (and some couples) used yahoo chat groups. Remember them. Then on a really slow dial-up around 15 years ago we started to use Gaydar. Since then we have GrindR, Squirt, Hornet, Scruff, Growlr, and even Recon for those with a kink or fetish.  Great you might think to yourself. 

WRONG. 

This is just more opportunity for those perfectly formed, ab growing, white skinned, hair quaffed pretty boy to post up their dislikes. No fatties, No fems, No chocolate (aka black people) , No rice (oriental people), No gingers. The list is never ending. But what is amazing is how they are comfortable openly listing the way in which they are happy to discriminate and bully other gay people. Where do they get off with this attitude. Without that butch queen, the flamboyant fem and the obnoxious drag queen fighting for their rights, they wouldn't have the World to live in that they have today. 

But let's get back to fashion and who is to blame. I don't blame the fashion industry. No, really, I don't. 

I blame the shop owners, retail chains and store buyers for not demanding larger sizes for their rails. 

I want to be able to walk into a store and grab a few things off the rack and try them on. Find stuff that fits me well and just buy them. Yes, I still have to get my jeans taken up because I have a 27 inch inside leg but that I can live with that. I never pass by a Burton's without going in because I can always find stuff to fit me there. Last year I even bought a suit for an interview OFF THE RACK! 

Burton's in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre is great. 


But for my final rant.

WHO THE F@&K CAME UP WITH SKINNY STYLE JEANS.

If I ever find them, I will have to go up to them on street and give them a piece of my mind also. It's all fine and good if you are a stick person but trying to wedge my legs into a skinny jeans that actually happens to have 40 inch waist just doesn't work. My large foot won't even go half way down the leg. (and you know what they say about big feet).  There has been a huge amount of work done promoting larger sizes for women and the same needs to be done for men. 

Finally, there is a happy ending. I found a lovely group of gays in Dublin that organise social nights. The Dublin Bears. They are a great group of guys who don't make fun of each other and when we go out, we have enough stamina and girth to outlast, out dance and out strut all those skinny little twinks that prance around pretending to be Gods gift. I've often said to people "Find Your Tribe" and these are one of the most genuine friendly tribes in the Gay community in Ireland. 

The Dublin Bears had a bus at pride this year with some of the hottest guys in the parade...




And, this is a picture of me... 


Me on the left, 2 friends in the middle and my hubby Noel on the right. Pride for me is all about being proud about who and what I am. Suspenders are trendy these days so at least I was wearing one fashionable thing. (Don't tell anyone, I've been wearing them for years because they are more comfortable than a belt)

Toodles for now.

John the Captain Ryan.




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