Going from ZERO to SEXY on High Caloric Queer Overdrive – CAConrad


“Beware the terrible simplifiers.” —Jacob Burckhardt

An old friend asks me, “Doesn’t it disturb you that men only want to be with you because you’re fat?”

“NO! I LOVE IT! How about your boyfriend? Would he like it if you got fat?”

“NO! He would LEAVE ME!”

“Ah, I SEE! Doesn’t it disturb you that he only wants to be with you because you’re skinny?”

My friend laughs, “OK, YOU GOT ME!” His mouth waters as I drink my delicious chocolate milk shake. He LOVES chocolate milk shakes, but can only drink them vicariously through me. While others live in fear at the gym, I’m eating a cream-filled cannoli with a smiling man’s hard cock hidden inside. Our Love truly is free BECAUSE it’s unsanctioned! The Joy of Gay Sex has no chapter for us, and I’m GLAD! FUCK THE EXPERTS and their claustrophobic parameters!

You don’t know TRUE FREEDOM until you don’t want what they want you to want! Coming from white trash has advantages people with money don’t seem to understand. For years, I’ve watched friends whose parents are doctors and bankers live in FEAR (even while rebelling) that they don’t achieve enough, aren’t good enough, clean enough, and especially NOT thin enough. In my family, we never discussed the quest for a socially acceptable body-fat ratio; we were too consumed with bill collectors and police reports and how the judge would react.

When I escaped my rural poverty for life in Philadelphia, I was still a kid, skinny and cute, and I made friends with guys my age who were turning tricks for easy cash. My first boyfriend in the city was a coke dealer who kept me out of the skin trade, kept me in parties, kept me high and frantic. When he went to prison, I was lucky to fall in with a group of vegans and macrobiotic spiritualists. For ten years my life revolved around eating well, animal rights, and paganism. They were a beautiful ten years.

When I worked at Giovanni’s Room Bookstore, my diet was more vegetarian than vegan, and I started to gain weight. Customers had plenty to say about that, and so did my faggot friends: “You BETTER BE CAREFUL. You’re getting FAT!” One regular customer who had a crush on me came into the store drunk one evening to stroke my cheek and tell me, “You know, sweetheart, if you lost forty pounds you’d be my ideal!” And I said, “Oh really? How much do you weigh?” He beat his chest, “I’M A HUNDRED SIXTY POUNDS OF PURE MUSCLE!” I nodded and said, “Well, sweetheart, if you lost a hundred sixty pounds you’d be MY ideal!” He didn’t get it.

They didn’t seem to understand that I didn’t care—and never have cared—about my looks. What they ALSO didn’t seem to register was that there are A LOT of faggots who LOVE fat men! And there are precious few of us fat faggots to go around. While my friends were warning me to BE CAREFUL, lest I lose Love, they were missing the simple fact that Love is for EVERYONE! At the bookstore, the guys buying the fat porn like Bulk Male and all the other blubber-zines were starting to give me the Glad Eye. Hmm, that was something new. I felt adventurous and titillated.

Suddenly, my dance card was very full! Being an openly fat gay man made me an overnight ROCK STAR! We’re a secret, SPECIALIZED clan of faggots and it’s quite possible we really do HAVE MORE FUN! My men bake me chocolate cupcakes and prepare my favorite buckwheat noodles with mushrooms and ginger sauce. They indulge me, and I indulge them, full, fully loved. Food and sex in long, blissful nights has plucked my fat flower and released me in ways I never knew when I was thinner and dated men who were OBSESSED with thinness.

I know faggots who are only attracted to the fat Elvis, and you feel the soft purr as they talk about His chubby neck and breasts. Some people get angry when debating how long Elvis was fat, furiously whittling it down to six months as though the dead are anything but thin. Let me assure you that a photograph of the fat Elvis will not evaporate from your wall in six months. Yes, you can jerk off to it for the rest of your life. I give you my word!

Being simultaneously outside queer and straight norms is liberating, and constantly exciting in ways I never anticipated! In the tedious, predictable world all around us, we have it OUR WAY—sexually as well as politically! Outside the domain of the respectable, the unjust world is always clearest.

When I was invited by a queer student group to give a reading from my book, Deviant Propulsion at their college recently, it was young faggots who opposed my arrival. One young man, no more than twenty, angrily confronted me, “The things you write don’t make room for discussion or acceptance! My parents love and accept me, but they would NEVER accept the things you write in your book!” Hmm. “How weird to be in this position,” I thought—was he really telling me I need to WRITE different books so people’s parents would love them? I decided to say what I felt was best to say. “First of all, your parents SHOULD love and accept you, so STOP giving them BROWNIE POINTS for something they SHOULD do! Second, THIS IS YOUR WORLD TOO, stop walking on egg shells, man. Take up some space!”

Too many young faggots today compromise way too much for the golden carrot of acceptance. When I was twenty everybody hated us, and in many ways I realize how great that time was for me. NEVER ONCE have I written a poem or anything else with the Love and Acceptance of others in mind! Being hated kept me true to my creative PUNCH! How to get younger faggots to realize: living in a time of assimilation doesn’t mean we must abandon anger and rebellion! We need to be even angrier and more rebellious and creative so we can change the grim, apathetic direction we’re headed in!

Being unapologetically unacceptable has given me the eyes to see how respectable faggots are clearing our way for the quiet death of total assimilation. The horrors of former President Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy continue to reverberate with what the respectable faggots are aiming us toward: the horrifying sense that we NEED TO serve, we NEED TO sacrifice, in order to be LOVED and accepted. FUCK ALL THAT, I SAY! Being queer in this brutally homophobic world has been MORE THAN ENOUGH SACRIFICE!

The PBS queer TV news show, In the Life, broadcast an episode about a queer ex-soldier. He said that he was angry after 9/11 and went back into the closet to join the army so he could heap vengeance on the bad guys. But where did he wind up? Baghdad! AT NO POINT in this man’s story does he stop to scratch his head and ask, “What the FUCK am I doing in Iraq!? Were there Iraqis involved in the 9/11 attacks that I didn’t know about!?”

Then, of course, comes the predictable conclusion: he is discovered as a faggot and sent home, and we’re supposed to feel outraged and sympathetic that he can’t proudly cover his machine gun with rainbow stickers. In the Life would rather focus on the UNFAIR OPPORTUNITIES heterosexuals have to carpet-bomb foreigners and pillage their national resources—another example of our inability to make it clear, through the mainstream GLBT media, that ANY positive conversation about “gays in the military” is in fact a positive conversation about the military, leaving us unable to negotiate a way to speak out against the war in Iraq and against the million-and-counting death toll.

With the pro-gay military naturally comes the streamlined, pro-military gay body, obsessively perfected, a machine for the good of the state. It’s never been more unacceptable to be fat, and no one knows this more than fat faggots like me. But being fat these days isn’t just unacceptable; it’s seen as dangerous to the very movement for acceptance. Fat bodies do not fit into military-issue battle fatigues! “Gays in the military” is a conflation of all other aspects of the queer search for acceptance because it’s THE ONE thing THE ONE president ever offered us. And we took to it like it was THE LOVE we’d all been waiting for.

In the end, what Clinton was saying with “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was that faggots must kill proudly in the closet for love of country to be granted love from country. Our problem comes from asking for acceptance from people who don’t deserve us instead of DEMANDING our space on Earth in the first fucking place! Well, FUCK BILL CLINTON and FUCK THE MILITARY! I don’t accept THEM!

Now, if you don’t mind I have a date with a delicious smartass with a trick jaw who’s on his way over to my place with freshly made chocolate pudding and a can of whipped cream! I’M HUNGRY FROM HATING PRESIDENTS!


The son of white trash asphyxiation, CAConrad is the author of Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull, Press, 2006), The Book of Frank (Chax, 2008), (Soma)tic Midge (FAUX, 2008), and a collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined: Philadelphia Poems (Factory School, 2008). He blogs at at www.CAConrad.blogspot.com. His other projects include Dear Mr. President, Philly Sound: New Poetry, and (Soma)tic Poetry Exercises, among others. He is also one of the original authors in the anthology, Everything I Have Is Blue (Suspect Thoughts Press, 2005).

Photo credit: Bacchus – Giardini Boboli, Florence. © W. Ricketts, 2008.

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