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Here's How You Can Prevent Fatphobia in the Queer Community

Radical Ideas: #46 Body Inclusion

The arbiter of bear culture Corbin Chamberlin sounds off on fatphobia.

Let's face it. Some parts of the queer community, particularly the cis gay male side, are uniquely designed to disenfranchise fat people -- for example, the common refrain "no fats, no femmes" weaponized and mandated across dating apps. As another example, a study surveying a handful of gay magazines (Out included) from 2001 to 2004 found that out of every single image of a man found in their pages, 73% of them had muscle tone or low body fat.

"While there has been progress in breaking down fatphobia, the word 'inclusive' has become a trendy buzzword. It's something that everyone loves to tout but not many have truly embraced," says Corbin Chamberlin, a writer for the bear community and frequent whistleblower against fatphobia among LGBTQ+ people. As a consequence of gay twink idolatry perpetuated through the early aughts, we cultivated an algorithm that refuses to do away with fatphobic beauty standards, championing shirtless post-SoulCycle selfies and homogenous Fire Island group shots. This phenomenon has not only perpetuated negativity, shame, and stigma -- it's now in our dating culture.

"Removing fatphobic qualifiers when speaking to each other would be a great place to start. The words 'you would be so hot if,' are officially banned," says Chamberlin.

This is one of our 50 Radical Ideas, featured in Out's June/July 2019 issue celebrating Stonewall 50. The three covers feature the enduring legacy of activist Sylvia Rivera, the complicated candidacy of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, and the triumphant star power of actress Mj Rodriguez. To read more, grab your own copy of the issue on Kindle, Nook, Zinio or (newly) Apple News+ today. Preview more of the issue here and click here to subscribe.

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