Well at least it would give us a vowel. And FAG-BLT maintains both a gay and faintly nutritious aura. But Anna Mollow argues that homophobia is very similar to the prejudice experienced by obese people:
Nor is fatness, as conservatives often claim about homosexuality, a “lifestyle.” Body size is determined primarily by genetics, and while diets and exercise programs may produce short-term weight loss, they have a 95 percent failure rate over the long term. Yet like queer people living with HIV or AIDS, fat people are stigmatized for a condition that is imagined to be their fault. They are hectored by conservatives such as Mike Huckabee, mocked by liberals like Jon Stewart (who, of course, would never dream of making lesbians or gay men the butt of his jokes), harangued about their weight by medical professionals, and subjected to a barrage of advertisements promising “cures” for their supposed disorder.
Does this sound familiar? Remember psychiatry’s attempts to cure homosexuality? Our culture’s hand-wringing over the “obesity epidemic,” its hawking of one breakthrough diet or miracle weight-loss product after another, and its moralistic shaming of those it deems “too fat” are as conducive to self-hatred as “gay conversion therapy.” But while the harmful conversion therapy that religious conservatives practice on lgbtq people has rightly been the target of political protest and legal intervention, the medically sanctioned use of weight conversion therapy (a.k.a. dieting) has provoked far less outrage on the Left.
Camille Dodero has drawn parallels between the push for gay rights and the fat-acceptance movement:
Fat Admirers (FA) have historically adopted queer nomenclature for their self-discovery stages and preferences.
Men who openly pursue, prefer, and date fat women are “out.” Men who like fat women but more or less hide them from friends and family are “closeted.” Men who say they like both skinny and supersize women ones are “bisizuals,” a controversial term that’s regarded as disingenuous in various online circles.
Keith Ferguson, a 24-year-old FA from Westchester (“We had two African-American kids in our schools and one fat girl”), wonders if he would have been treated better if he’d been gay. “The immediate reception from my friends was, ‘You’re a fetishistic freak, and I can’t believe I hang out with you.’ ” He confided in a friend, who then spilled it to their freshman class. “It’s almost like the same level of stigma that a homosexual would deal with. But in high school, there were two ‘out’ gay kids before I turned 16. People were like, ‘Ah-hahaha, you’re gay.’ They were maybe on the outskirts of the socially accepted circle, at the end of the day, but enough people liked them that it didn’t really matter. For me, I was actually ostracized.”
Previous Dish on obesity here, here, and here.
(Photo: Overweight students attend military training during a weight-loss summer camp on July 30, 2009 in Shenyang of Liaoning Province, China. China saw a growing number of diabetics amongst children and adolescents in its major cities, approximately 12 percent of whom were found to be obese, according to a report released in 2008 by Ministry of Health. By Yang Xinyue/ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images.)