March 28, 2013

I’m not Fat, I’m Big Boned!

Relevant to some of my recent posts, is this article posted on Autostraddle today: Fat, Trans, and (Working On) Being Fine With It, by Mey. She writes:

I’m about six feet tall, I wear a women’s size 12 shoe, and a size 20 dress. So not only do I have to deal with the crippling dysphoria that comes from having a body that I often don’t even recognize as my own, I also have to deal with the cultural misogyny that tells me that a woman can’t be as big and fat as I am and still be desirable.

I’m in a similar boat — over 6″, women’s size 14 [and wide!] shoe, currently size 24 dress [or 26, depending on the styling]. So no surprise I found a lot of meaningful commentary in Mey’s piece. As such, I thought I’d share it with all of you.

We talked about this a bit in my first real therapy session with my gender specialist, Cecelia [actually her real first name, for once]. I bemoaned the fact that even if I transitioned I’d always be “a fat man in a dress,” and she warned me that if I ever did want to transition, I’d first have to stop calling myself “a fat man in a dress.” Then she tried to point out the positive qualities in my body, the ones that she said will work well if I transition: my hair, my skin, my hands (large but apparently not mannish). Which was nice to hear, I guess.

On a positive note: I have been to the fitness center every day this week. It’s usually only been for a half-hour on the treadmill, but that’s more than a mile a day that I wouldn’t have walked otherwise. And I just keep reminding myself that every step is a step closer …

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  • Designers are notorious for making us feel bad about ourselves. Whether you are a size 26 or a size 2. I’m tiny by most people’s standards, and I still can’t find clothes that fit because (having worked retail, I discovered this) clothing companies only send a certain amount of each size to the stores. So opening a box of skirts, you might get 1-Size 2 (if you’re lucky), 2- Size 4, 6- Size 6, 2- Size 8, and most often a single skirt in sizes 12, 14, 16 (if they send those sizes at all. This makes it really hard on most women to find the right size for them unless they stalk the shipping docks for the truck.

    And don’t sweat the size thing too much. I’m generally between a 00-7 depending on the style of the clothes and whether I got it from Juniors or Women’s sections. Try to focus on how it makes you feel… I own dresses that range in sizes from 0-12 believe it or not because there is no standard size. Wear what makes you feel good 🙂

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