I Was Fat Shamed by a Gay Muscle Jock at My Gym

gay fat shamed
Gay Fat Shamed

He called me “Too Fat” and said I didn’t care about myself

By: Bruce in Chicago

I’m 35-years old, 5’10 and 200 lbs. Not exactly a cow but certainly not obese. That didn’t stop some muscle jock at my gym from fat shaming me after trying to get to know him.

I know that we gays put a premium on personal appearance – I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve always had a weight problem – it runs in my family. My dad is a little heavy and so is my mom.

Part of the reason I joined the gym was to get myself into better shape and to socialize a bit. It’s the same reason lots of gay men join sports teams to be honest.

I suppose if I had to describe myself, I look at little bit like a younger, “Cub” version of Jack Black. Would you call him “fat”? Probably not.

So anyway, I joined my gym around six months ago. It’s one of those chain gyms that are common in Chicago. It’s also happens to be popular among gay men.

There’s this one guy who works out there that I am the first to admit I found attractive. He’s probably in his mid-thirties like me and bears a striking resemblance to an older version of Taylor Lautner.

One day I got the balls to say hello to him in the locker room. He was changing into his gym attire two lockers down and I figured why not. “How goes it man?” I said to him in an effort to make small talk.

We chatted for a few minutes and I found out that we had some things in common. He was originally from Michigan just like me and we both were fans of the Chicago Cubs. In fact, we even liked the same players, including third basemen, Kris Bryant.

So as time went on, we would bump into each other during workouts. He’s one of those guys that people just stare at and watch when he walks by – he’s got that whole sexy thing going on. I’m talking about everything from crystal blue eyes to a super cool looking tatted arm sleeve.

So this fall, when the cubs were on a winning streak, I decided to ask him if he wanted to catch a game. I happened to be tunneled into a ticket source that was reliable.

When I asked him if he wanted to go, he said “sure” but put out a caveat that he needed to check his schedule. I was kind of stoked because it would be the first time we would be able to hang out, away from the gym.

fat shame email
Gay Fat Shame

We exchanged contact information and went back to our workouts. The next morning, I found the following sitting in my email inbox:

“I didn’t have the guts to tell you this at the gym but I won’t be going with you to see the Cubs. It’s not because I have a boyfriend or anything like that. It’s because I have a hard time respecting you.

There’s really no kind way to say this so I’ll just come right out with it. You’re too fat for me. I’m not trying to judge you or anything, really. It’s just that I take care of my body and spend a lot of time focusing on my health. Just looking at you, I can tell it’s not a priority. Yeah, you show up at the gym but I’ve watched you. All you do is cruise other guys.

The worst part is that the men you check out are way out of your league. Look at your body and look at mine. BIG difference. Instead of bothering people who are trying to stay fit, you should spend more time losing the fat.”

At first I thought what I was reading was a joke. Did he really send me such a cruel and ugly email? I tried to compose myself but then broke out into tears.

All my life I have struggled with extra weight. When I was in grade school, kids used to bully me with the name “Orca” – you know, from the movie Orca the Killer Whale.

Back then, I was really overweight. By the time I hit high school, I was obese. I thought about suicide more than once but didn’t have the guts to go through with it.

When I came out to my family during college, everyone was supportive. It was during this time of my life that I discovered how important “looks” were in the gay world. If you are an overweight gay guy, you know exactly what I mean.

Let’s face it – we’re usually not on anyone’s “A” list. In fact, if I am brutally honest with myself, I’ve probably acted as someone’s gay “Duff” more than once.

I’ve always used food as a source for comfort. My therapist tells me that I learned to do this early in life and that eating was a way that I could fill an empty hole.

It took me several years of intense focus on diet and physical activity to shed over 100 pounds. I’ve come a long way since then and I still have a ways to go. I only need to lose 50 lbs to hit my goal number.

Back to the jock who sent me that asinine note. I ended up responding to him with the following email. I did it not just for me but for all of the gay men who are overweight and have been rejected, humiliated and “othered” by attractive jock types.

“Got your email. I don’t know what to say. What must it be like to have such a narcissistic, self-centered viewpoint? While people may think you are physically attractive, do they know how ugly your heart is? I encourage you to get some help.

Karma is a very real thing. Never forget that. I won’t waste time with name calling – frankly, you aren’t worth it. When you see me at the gym, pretend that I am a ghost. Just as you don’t want to be seen with someone who is “fat”, I don’t want to be around someone who is toxic.”

We gays are a funny breed, aren’t we? We’re the first to come to the defense of others who are being oppressed yet can be so vial towards one another. No wonder so many of us are single.

If you are overweight, even just a little bit, you are treated like a leper in our community.


  1. The world does not feel so small now. There are still days I wish I did not exist after being treated like I am because of my size. I do not go to a gym because of anticipating this kind of response from people and it is difficult for me to find anywhere to exercise.

    • Part of it is you need to find the right gym. You’re not going to find it in chain gyms or fake gyms like Planet Fitness.

      Look for a smaller, cross-fit like place. Try yoga too.

    • You can exercise LITERALLY anywhere you are because you exercise with your BODY!!! But that doesn’t even matter because a majority of fat loss isn’t through exercise but smart and tracked eating…. you don’t need a gym, you need a body and more control in your consumption.

  2. I’m sorry this happened to you. I’ve see this happen to guys at my gym with some people openly calling other gay guys fat asses behind their backs.

    I’d never talk to him again by the way.

  3. Do you think if you started working out more you wouldn’t be called names like that? You probably shouldn’t hit on people who are out of your league.

      • Or people need to realize that the exterior REFLECTS how one lives their life and these two had VERY different lives if one is there to work and the other looks like (a supposedly not fat) Jack Black

        • That depends. What if you’re a doctor and work 12+ hour shifts and don’t have time to work out? Maybe being fit means you have a crappy job or are uninteresting.

  4. First of all, i don´t like fat guys like you, but you had the opportunity to send a message to the fit guy with an honest point of view, instead of that you ruin this chance to talk in name of all this fat guys in the world, you ruin it at the end, you sound mad you sound like it hurt you, get a better answer and the guy was polite to send you a message you know you need to work out, you have to work out think about this, if i work out to stay in shape and i kick my ass everyday why would i want to be with you or other pig that eat pizza and drink coke all day long, i don´t want to date an athlete either, i just want to date someone like me (not fat/not fit yet) take care orca xD

  5. Some of these comments are pretty disgusting, but I shouldn’t be surprised. I guess most gay men think that if they hate their own people enough, they’ll feel better about themselves.

  6. I was on your side until I read his line… “Yeah, you show up to workout but I’ve watched you and most of the time, all you do is cruise other guys.”

    We all know “that guy” at the gym. Goes to the gym, spends maybe 20-30 minutes doing low-level working out. Doesn’t lift weights that require too much work, only does walking or elliptical for cardio. Spends a LOT of time checking out/cruising guys WAY out of his league in the gym and then spends twice as long strolling around the locker room trying to make conversation with the hot guys. It’s annoying, it’s creepy and it’s a distraction for the guys who just want to work out without feeling like they’re putting on a free peep show for the fat guy sitting at the press machine who isn’t actually pressing anything.

    I’m in my mid 50s and I’m sure not in the shape I was in 20 years ago so I know what it’s like to find yourself invisible at a gym. That’s actually the best time… it means you can go to just work out, not cruise. You’re not going to a gym for any real reason other than to look at hot guys.

    The world doesn’t owe you a date. Yeah, this guy sounds like an all-around j-wad, but you don’t sound much better.

    I have to hear fat guys I know all the time whining about how the hottest girl or guy in the room is “superficial” and “can’t see the real me” but then I always turn around and say “YOU wouldn’t even date you. You only go for the hottest guy in the room, and there are plenty of guys with your body type out there who you aren’t into at all. Because you’re superficial, actually, and those people just have more choices than you.”

    If you don’t wanna be fat shamed… don’t be fat.

    • And I have to hear guys over 40 complain that guys turn them down because “they’re too old”. How about dating within your own “league” then?

      • Ok so first… I DO date within my own league. Once I hit my mid 40s, got some grey hair and beard, I was inundated with a lot of 20-ish young guys calling me “daddy.” I get more action from hot young 20-ish guys now than I did when I was 20 myself.

        Second… where did you see me complain people turned me down? I said I’m invisible at a gym where the guys who want to work out don’t see anyone and the creepy fat guys only look at the men who look like Zac Effron and Steve Grand.

      • I also said “the world doesn’t owe you a date.” It doesn’t.

        Life ain’t fair. You’ll be happier once you realize that and move on.

    • Honestly how does one even “cruise” at the gym? I supposed while I’m working out, if I see an attractive guy I do notice him, but then it’s off to the next machine and I move on with my life. Do guys actually spend their time at the gym staring at someone hoping to get noticed?

  7. As a person that’s always had self esteem issues I can relate but on the other spectrum. Always been too skinny, never liked my face and I have one of those nutty personalities that is “an acquired taste” . So while I don’t have any shaming to put on you, like a few others in the comments area here I will say in your defense that the guy should have phrased the whole note a bit differently. Some folks have zero filters and blurt out or write what ever comes to mind. Calling you a fat pig is really rude and low. All he had to say was he wasn’t interested and wasn’t into bears. That’s it. Nice and simple. I had a friend that’s since passed away totally in love with me. I was like 165lbs at the time, not into bears and he was 300lbs plus. We finally had the talk of I want to be your friend, I love you but not in that way. He eventually accepted that but it took years and years. Now that I’m over 55 years old I have a nice tire and yea, back at the gym after a year dealing with horrible side effects from an autonomic nervous system disorder. I probably won’t get my perfect flat stomach back but the tire must go. Cardio is your friend and mine! Gay men can be quite cruel, esp when they identify themselves as a certain “type”! My type, who I am is human first and foremost. As a type I’m a wolf and now just a little more fluffy than I want to be but I’m out there working on it. No, I don’t cruise at the gym, I don’t like distractions.. the gym is a tool. Do that some place else!

  8. I don’t believe this for a second. First of all, people don’t send emails anymore. At least, not casually. More likely, he would text you. I also think that his writing reads suspiciously like your own. Most people have different rhythms, not to mention grammar and punctuation quirks, and you can usually tell when it’s a different person writing. So while I would not be surprised if a gay man rejected somebody for being fat, I don’t think he would send an EMAIL — and certainly not one as well-written as this.

  9. Jack Black is 5’6 and approx. 245 lbs putting him at a BMI of approx. 39.5, not only would I call Jack fat I would call him clinically obese…

  10. I’m sorry this happened to you. I had something like this happen to me as well. And contrary to what some might think, people still use email. I was called a “fat cow”by a woman I had been flirting with at my gym.

  11. “You’re a fat pig, but I’m not judging you.” Well, clearly the guy doesn’t think clearly, so you don’t seem to be missing much.

    Guys can be really cruel. I’m sorry this happened to you. I get the same thing but from the other end. I know people think skinny shaming isn’t as bad, but it hurts regardless of where you lie on the weight spectrum. You should be proud of yourself for the incredible work you’ve made and never let anyone get you down because they can’t (or won’t) see that.

  12. Maybe the entitled hero of this fictional story should have tried to “get to know” the non-hot guys at the gym.

    • exactly, I knew this fat dude he wouldnt ask out normal girls treated this one girl he knew like shit, and supposed he deserved a playboy bunny like his kiss rock idol: delusional

  13. Having been on both sides of this debate, fat size 44 and working my way into some real mass, fact is the gym is NOT a place to make dates or long conversations it’s to work out and it’s not WRONG to want somebody who lives a similar life style to your own.

    Judging by OP’s own self description as similar to Jack Black, beyond liking Michigan baseball and going to the same gym their lives aren’t that similar in their lifestyles and bodies generally reflect how one lives their life… yes, diet and activity is reflected in your very body. You aren’t “just big boned” you are unlikely to have a thyroid issue (and if you do synthroid is cheap) and you can’t gain weight on a caloric deficit.

    Newsflash people: Nobody is obligated to return your affections, attraction, whatever. Nobody is obliged to agree with you or let you down easily. Nobody is obliged to “See the real you” because guess what, as much as we’d like to pretend, the exterior matters SOMEWHAT. If you want to date people who live a certain lifestyle you’d better be living or be prepared to be living that lifestyle…

    I have sympathy for OP having been there and I take issue with his potential date’s manner of letting him down but sometimes blunt honesty can be a wake up call.

  14. At least I have abs and lets be honest, if you were kneeling in front of me right now you would be licking them and draining me out and thanking me for it later. So STFU.

    • ew. Never
      Again…your ego is outta control dude. seriously. I got four amazing boyfriends who needs a self-absorbed douche?

  15. You are kind of fat man. Did you really think hitting on the guy was a good idea? What did you think he was going to do? Now you are trying to play the victim for being an overweight, fat, plump pig that nobody wants.

    • Hey Kenny, fuck off. There are good looking people out there who go for more than just looks. There are pretty people who have a SOUL and a HEART. Please excuse all of these vile gay men being so quick to judge to anyone who feels judged. Kenny, your fate of being a 60 year old aging, sad, and lonely man awaits you, and it is justified.

    • Speak to yourself when you say it you cunt, I’d rather go out with a fat guy than as a guy like you. Try to think that not everyone it’s attractive for just skinny and muscle guys like you, some don’t and for me you’re not attractive, at all buddy.

  16. How stupid were you to go on a gay cruise and not be in shape? You are fat and gay. Didn’t somebody tell you to stay at home? I can’t stand fat gay men who hit on me. I work my tail off at the gym and you guys are always pawing on guys like me. I would make fun of you too on a cruise ship you stupid porker.

    • Oh wow. You are a real asshole and extremely unattractive. Get over yourself, cupcake.

    • I’ve been fat, thin, in shape, fat again and I’ve slept with wonderful, kind, gorgeous, sexy men you can only dream of. You will never get the complete package treatment with your mindset. Body shape isn’t everything but attitude and a smiling face is. Also I am sure you sleep with out of shape men only because of their cock size, hard to fill that gap in your soul where toxicity is leaking. Get more cock in your life.

    • And you have to know that you are asking for it, as well. Troll, go crawl back under your rock and don’t come out again until you get some manners and class. Because from the sound of it, the 3 in this case is you. Deep inside.

    • Wow seriously? You are one hateful judgmental disgusting mean bully! Vain shallow gay men like you make me sick you have an ugly heart.

    • The two things are separate though. The hot guy is welcome to not be interested, it’s obviously his right, but the way he responded was completely unwarranted.

    • So if anyone ever decides to throw drain cleaner your way because you’re a stuck up bully… “you have to know you were asking for it”. Because let’s face it: there’s no ammount of good lucks that makes it worth putting up with a jackass. Enjoy them until someone ID’s you and decides to glass you or something else that will add some extra character to that snout of yours 🙂

  17. I never trusted my radar as it always seemed to pick the straight homophobe or a masculine lesbian.

  18. You should just move on. There is no chance of anyone ever having a human interaction with this guy. Hope you found out before you were too invested. Either way, cut your loss and go on to the next possibility.

  19. I definitely feel your pain, though the fat shaming is something I do to myself. Though even after losing the weight I still felt like a fat kid trapped in a different body. Anyhow, there are definitely guys out there that aren’t only into physicality, you just have to keep searching. My husband is the one that turns EVERYONE’S head anywhere we go, and he’s all mine 🙂 Also, while two wrongs don’t make a right, how would these “fit” guys like it if they were job or intelligence shamed? Working some generic business job is not all that impressive; it’s the employment equivalent of being overweight, so it’s not like they’re terribly impressive in what actually matters in having a good life. And trust me, I have enough of these fit guys as patients to know behind closed doors that they’re socially anxious messes thinking the whole world hates them and they’re insecure wrecks taking unnecessary risks with their health. You don’t want to get wrapped up in that drama.

    Also, if you aren’t a medical professional, you really shouldn’t comment on obesity. There’s lots of research going into endocrinology and there’s even scientific proof a caloric deficit and exercise may not be enough to reverse it. Shut your mouth, you know not of what you speak.

  20. I had a guy hit on me at my gym who was fat and I admit I told him to F off. Not proud that I did it but I was younger and not very sensitive too other people. Sorry this happened.

    • It’s not the author of the article you should be apologizing to. If you truly have a heavy conscience you’ll have addressed the proper party a proper apology.

  21. There are guys who go to the gym to lose weight and others who go to the gym to hang out in the steam room…HUGE difference. Unless someone is being intentionally vile and disrespectful (i.e. jacking off while leering at you in the shower) then there is absolutely no reason to be rude or mean-spirited to ANYONE for being friendly. If you don’t feel like being friends with someone because of their weight, then that speaks more to your own mental state than anything else. To say or think someone is “out of their league” assumes that everyone is just as shallow and narcissistic as they are…which is absolutely not the case. And even if you happen to have the hottest body in the room, you can still get shot down by someone who is “only into Asians/blacks/Latinos/Blondes under 20”. I guess the bottom-line here is unfortunately there will always be assholes like the guy in this story, so you need to have a good attitude, a decent self-image and realistic expectation of what you are looking for in companionship. But for the record, not all muscle guys are only into other muscle guys…hint hint.

  22. All I can say from reading these comments is that I’m happy you’re taking yourselves out of the gene pool.

    • since when do gay men not have children?

      im guessing you’re a straight woman with 6 kids, all of which would be malnourished if not for the gay taxpayer.

  23. Gay men are some of the cruelest people on this planet. I’d agree with “vile” in the description. It makes me avoid gay men and gay events like the plague!

  24. You know what I would do? I would wait until I saw this hateful troll at the gym and I’d make such a big stink around him HE would never come back to that gym. He didn’t actually want to go on a date, otherwise he wouldn’t have opened up with that lame-ass “I didn’t have the guts.” No, that was on purpose, said with full intent to hurt you.

  25. Karma is not real, so forget it. There’s no cosmic justice, he’s probably going to keep having a very sexually fulfilled life while you eat away your feelings.

    That being said, that e-mail wasn’t normal and that guy is probably a psychopath. You’re not wrong in that he should get professional help.

  26. Find the right gym. If the clientele all look like the came from the same mold, go some where else. There are places that every one feels comfortable in.

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