So I received my first piece of hate mail for the blog this week. I like to think of it in a more positive way; that I was able to touch someone so profoundly that they were inspired to send out a heartfelt response. It was just that the coward that sent it via an anonymous email address called me (and sorry if this offends anyone else) an “AIDS fat f*cking faggot”.
And the worst part is that I am annoyed mostly by the concept that the person referred to me as fat. All the other words in his/her rant were just a series of expletives and slur words strung together for what they assumed would impart maximum impact. First and foremost, and this is for all the other narrow-minded people who would send such vile, you need to come harder than that if you want to scare or insult me. Most of my friends know I can curse a sailor sideways and have on occasion made remarks so “blue” that I have made porn actors blush. Second, intimidation does little for me either. Having grown up in Detroit and being a product of public schools for many years while there, there are WAY scarier people who I associated with then than anyone I have met since leaving that town. The amount of people doing bad things that I knew from 7th grade through high school has yet to reached, so good luck with that angle.
As for the homosexuality thing..HA! Really? Honestly? I have faced my parents, family and stood before a packed house of church elders and that still has not stopped me, so I will be damned that some random person full of hate and anger could do worse.
However, it was the word “fat” that annoyed me most. Partially because it’s a word that within the gay community we throw around with such ease. I know that I on many occasions have used it in a joking manner to describe how I feel regarding my manner of dress (i.e. I look like a fat cow in these jeans) or hurled in insult to some buffed gym queen who has cut me off on the road (i.e. You fat muscle queen, get off the road.). It was not more than a few nights ago that I was discussing the idea of “gay fat” versus “straight fat” with my friends in that what may be considered fat in the gay community is often considered normal or even thin among my straight friends.
Photo credit: Brisbane Times
I laugh as I type this because I don’t believe the writer of the email thought his/her random comment would evoke such a conflict of emotion for such an odd reason. I have always had an odd relationship with food. I watched family members battle their weight, battle diabetes, battle high blood pressure and so forth as I grew up. Food was something that was caused bad things to happen. Food was not pleasure. Food was a controlled substance. Meals were not fun, so I took measures to protect myself which manifested themselves in strange ways throughout my life. It took me years to acknowledge that I was hungry when I was asked. I hated eating in front of my family because they harped on how much I ate. I become fixated on balanced meals. I went into overdrive. In hindsight, I am positive I was on the brink of having an eating disorder. I don’t know what saved me but I am happy that something clicked and my attitude has since changed.
So Mr(s). Coward who wrote the hate email….thank you. Thank you for reminding me of all things I no longer am. Thank you for reminding me of all the things I have overcome. Thank you for reminding me of why I am going to culinary school. And oh yeah……I SO AM NOT FAT.