Dating perspectives from a fat gay man
By: Gabe in Boston
I’m going to share some things with you that are probably going to be uncomfortable. But the only way I can write this is if I’m brutally honest. You see, I’m a fat gay man that knows all about the struggles of dating.
It was difficult for me to pen this because as I compiled my list of struggles, so much pain came rushing to the surface. I’m saying this not to elicit sympathy but instead, to help you understand what it’s like to be “plus size” in our community.
Let me give you a quick thumbnail sketch of me.
I’m a 42-year old white man living in Boston. I have an office job, which means I’m at my desk for 8-10 hours a day. Obviously, I’m single and have not been in a real relationship for nearly two decades.
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And there’s something else you should know. I’m 5’7 and my this morning’s weigh in had me at 240lbs. According to a recent assessment, my doctor has my BMI at 37.6.
So there you have it – I’m very large. There’s no way of sugar coating it.
What else can I tell you. I’m diabetic, have high blood pressure and am told I may need a heart stent if I don’t lower my cholesterol level.
I’ve always been large, although I admit my present weight is the highest it has ever been. And yes, my current predicament is my own fault. There’s nobody to blame except for me.
Still, I can’t help but think how my fatness paradoxically feeds off itself. That’s because in the world of gay men, being fat is about the worst possible thing you can be.
As you read these 7 struggles, please keep an open mind and know that what I’m sharing with you comes from a real place of pain.
1. Screened out for 90%
Right out of the gate, when you are a fat gay man, it automatically means you are screened out by 90% of the community for dating.
It’s happened to me a million times on dating websites where guys literally “screen” you out based totally on your body size. I actually had one cub tell me I would have better luck on Growlr. “Scruff probably isn’t the best place for you,” he said. I still have the message.
Want to hear something terrible?
I’ve actually talked to guys on some of the aps, only to be ghosted mid conversation. Instead of manning up and telling me they can’t get past my weight, they simply ignore me. That hurts a lot.
2. Depression makes you eat more
When you are a fat gay man (plus older) it’s a perfect recipe for depression. According to most credible research, gay men already suffer at higher rates of depression than other groups. So that means as a tribe, we’re already screwed.
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But when you’re fat and gay, it makes that depression worse. And in order to compensate for that melancholy mood, some of us turn to food. Obviously, that’s the worst thing a person like me can do but you want the truth, right?
And the same of being fat just makes it all the worse. At work, I actually sneak into a bathroom stall to chomp down a candy bar because I’m so ashamed of my weight, I don’t want people seeing me eat. Sad, huh?
Right now, I’m on two different SSRI’s to increase my spirits. In case you didn’t know, anti-depression meds can make your weight balloon even more. Talk to anyone on a drug like Zoloft.
3. Terrible self-esteem
One of the worst aspects of being a gay fat man within LGBT-world is having extremely low self-esteem. How could people like me not? Our world is filled with imagery of “hot men” with six packs, bulging muscles and shredded physiques.
Our general society puts a premium on looks with an emphasis on youth and beauty. But within the gay-o-sphere, that becomes amplified tenfold.
I gave up going to bars, “gay socials” and even Pride long ago because it became unbearable. It’s like you don’t event exist. People look right through you and can’t even make eye contact. That’s because they see the weight and not me.
4. I have to pay for sex
There’s no way I could write this list unless I included an uncomfortable part of my reality. You see in order for me to get my sexual needs met, I have to pay for it.
Please, spare me the BS about some guys finding large size men attractive (aka chubby chasers). I’ve been around long enough to know that within the gay community, the number of people into heavy guys is minuscule.
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While I don’t do it often (pay for it) it does happen around four to five times a year. I wish I didn’t have to do this but that’s my reality.
And a quick tidbit on this point. Fat guys like me are the bread and butter of many masseurs who offer a “happy ending”. I know this because the last three “professionals” I hired told me the majority of their business comes from people just like me.
5. Disingenuous compliments
One of the worst things about being a gay fat man is having to put up with completely disingenuous compliments. You may be wondering what I’m talking about?
- You have nice eyes
- You have such a handsome face
The reason the both of these are ridiculous is because of the implied message. In other words, your eyes or face are attractive but the rest of your body is ugly.
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I’ve learned as a plus sized guy that anytime someone compliments features above the neck, it’s usually a desperate attempt to try and find something nice to say about your person. Anyone who is overweight can see right through it!
It seems like only in the gay world do we still see ridiculous narratives on personal profiles. Here, I’m talking about people who write things like:
- No fats
- In shape only
- Low body fat only
I could go on and on with the crap that I’ve seen over the years but you get my point. And here’s the thing – it seems like for a majority of us, it’s completely acceptable.
This is why I really don’t go on the aps anymore. The guys are just way too cruel. Getting another message that reads, Sorry, you’re not my type is almost unbearable. That’s because when you translate the words, what they really are saying is: Sorry, you’re too fat.
7. People assume you’re a sugar daddy
There are “daddies” and then there are “sugar daddies”. If you are a daddy, it means you’re an attractive, older gay man. Should you fit that description, there’s a good chance other gay men, including some twinks and jocks, will chase after you.
But when you’re a fat gay man with a few miles on you, you’re often placed in the sugar daddy category – automatically. After all, what else would someone like me have to offer except money?
I don’t agree with that line of thinking but that’s been my experience.
Over the years, I’ve had more guys hit on me for this reason than I care to admit. But it took me a while to figure this out.
The lightbulb went off several years ago when I was “dating” a guy who said the following over to dinner. “We both know why I’m with you so let’s not pretend otherwise. Now can you pay for my trip to Europe or not?”
A little voice inside of me had always wondered about this. The remarks he made confirmed them – big time. It’s like your worst nightmare come true. There’s nothing worse than realizing someone is using you.
Wrapping Things Up
So there you have it. Hopefully, what I’ve shared here gave you a better perspective about what it’s like being a fat gay man in our community.
If you’re large like me, you already know everything I’ve said here is completely true.
And the worst part about all that’s listed above is the constant battle to be validated by anyone. In my case and I bet for many others like me, that void is filled through unhealthy means.
How many times have I fished for a compliments from an attractive man? How much money have I spent on things to make me “feel” better – all the while knowing the benefit is temporary?
So here is the good news. I hired a personal trainer to help me shed the pounds. This will be my second time with a fitness professional.
You see the first guy I hired didn’t work out because I contracted with him entirely based on his looks. Was I hoping he’d find me attractive – maybe act as a kind of surrogate boyfriend?
The honest answer is yes. But he could never give me what I desperately wanted. Well, at least not in a genuine way.
At least now, the new trainer I’m with is female. And I’m working with her for the right reasons – me.
Do you have a personal gay story you would like to share? Make your pitch to the blog.