Well, it looks like I’ve just lost a friend that I’ve had since 1992. Thank you, Dan.
This morning, I got an IM from D (not Dan), telling me that Dan Savage had said that a woman should lose her kids because she was fat. I immediately ask what the context of that statement is.
Here is the article.
Huge argument ensues. My point being that 1) nobody is going to take her kids away from her and 2) anybody deliberately trying to get to a weight of 1,200 pounds to get into a frickin’ record book is not only putting herself but possibly her child in danger. Her point being that nobody should make the point that somebody should take somebody’s children away just because she’s fat.
Honesty forces me to admit that the very idea of somebody deliberately becoming 1200 pounds, spending $3,000 on food a MONTH, and paying for it by running a website where people pay to watch her eat fast food is disgusting. I’m sorry, it just is to me. I’ve struggled with my weight and watched so many friends of mine struggle with their weight, and the attendant depression and self-hatred for too many years to think that can be emotionally healthy. Let's put aside the physical health issues.
I don’t think I have a problem with fat people. I’ve been fat, and, in many circles, especially in the gay world, I AM STILL fat, and will always be fat. That’s fine. I’ve had many, many friends that are fat, and are happy to be that way, and I love and adore them, and, beyond all that, I ardently support their right to be fat and happy, and would be the first one to take somebody to task for saying an unkind word about them, then and now.
So, after hours of stewing, I thought and thought, and came to the conclusion that this woman has the right to be 1,200 lbs., even though at that weight, she won’t be able to function well, if at all, and that I think her child will be adversely affected by it, and it could be dangerous for both of them.
But I’m still pissed off. Because, yet again, I’m drawn into an argument that I can’t win, have no business making, and is none of my frickin’ business. I don’t LIKE looking like an asshole. I don’t LIKE having my prejudices shoved down my goddamned throat, preferring to deal with them in my own pace and in my own time, and without the seemingly gleeful enjoyment of the person pushing the fucking buttons, friend or not.
So, I sent her an IM, saying, “Yes, you’re right, Dan Savage shouldn’t have said that her children should be taken away from her,” and then I signed off because I didn’t want to continue the conversation. Two seconds later my telephone at work rings, and she is wondering what’s wrong. I tell her that I am indeed pissed off, as I got forced into making an argument I didn’t want to have to make. She interrupted me and said, “I think we’re going to have to end this friendship ...” So, I immediately said, “fine, goodbye” and hung up the telephone.
Which is EXACTLY why I fucking HATE talking about politics and religion and social hot topics like this. Because it immediately becomes personal, and my head turns spins around, and I forget that my job in all of this is to listen, smile, nod, and say, “of course, you’re right.” And then yet another friend, acquaintance or family member has made their way out the revolving doors that represent the relationships in my life, and I’m left struggling with my own fucking emotional fallout.
All I can say is, “thank you, Dan Savage” and goodbye to D. May you find your life blessed and happy.