‘Plus-Sized’ In The Gay World…

As I waited in an extremely long line at a club in Atlanta a few years ago, I scanned the line ahead of me for people I knew who might get my friends and me closer to the entrance. Also, as I waited, my friends and I became chatty with a few guys waiting in line near us. A guy I barely knew in passing from Washington D.C. walked past us and straight up to the front of the line. As he walked past, I couldn’t help but overhear one the guys behind shriek, “Now, that’s fat!” I swung around. “Are you talking about him? The guy that just walked up to the front?” I asked, butting right into their conversation. “Yes. I was telling my friend that he’s cute but way too fat for me,” he answered. The guy who was “too fat” for him was at most a 36 waist. He was very attractive with a thick, solid, stocky build – just the build that I prefer!  He was by no means “fat,” but while he was perfectly my cup of tea, I realized that as far as slender gay boys with 30-inch waists and European builds (like myself and the guys in line behind me) that day in Atlanta go, an attractive man with an average to thick build was considered “too fat.” But why?

I’ll admit; I like a big, thick man. I like solid, big football player build or even an “average” good old American broad chested, 34-35-36 inch waist man as opposed to a “chubby” guy but I just like a guy bigger than me. I don’t want to share clothes with the guys I date. I have a best friend for that! While I have my own preference, it’s not a preference that is shared by many of my friends. Bigger guys are definitely an acquired taste among gay men. Sure, there are those – like myself – who like them, but most gay men are deeply concerned with being either as thin as a supermodel or as muscular as a bodybuilder. It’s very much a gay-specific concern. Be it healthy or not, most straight men don’t obsess over their weight or physical appearance the way gay men do.

Being a gay man is hard. As such, you’re a minority in society. Inside our own culture or subculture, there are subgroups within a subculture. Being overweight is such a group. Surely being the biggest one in a group of skinny bitches cannot be fun. I’ve never been overweight or plus sized, but I have been bigger than my current 160 pounds before and seen the difference I get in certain attentions now that I’m slimmer. I’ve never worried about my weight either. I belong to no gym, I work out sporadically, and I eat whatever I like and still manage to stay slim. I measure my weight not by a scale but rather by how my favorite jeans fit me at any given time. However, I have friends and associates who struggle with weight and whatever pressures they feel to be thin in a community that places a thin or physically fit physique above all else. Oftentimes, I don’t think they’re overweight at all and prefer almost anyone with a little more meat on their bones. But I do understand that mine is not the typical response.

While I’m sure some overweight gay men do feel like outsiders in clubs and amongst friends, many more than embrace their size and stature. There are groups all over the Internet dedicated to larger gay men and their admirers. Bears, chubs, gainers, cubs, chasers; all have a place. I’ve been accused of being a “chubby chaser” myself, but even the chasers on occasion get shot down by big guys who only want other big guys. Call it reverse size-ism! I guess it only makes sense as the gay community at large is not at all shy about exclaiming “no fats” in personal ads and even certain party invitations as easily as the guy in a club line exclaimed a stranger was ”too fat for him.” Where is one to turn?

Unfortunately vanity and superficiality is so prevalent in our community that even common courtesy and politeness is sometimes ignored. One never really understands why. I think as a gay man you’re just thrown into the ways of the prevailing community. One’s personal beliefs and preferences come out eventually, but the facts still remain be they good or bad. I’m not sure if our emphasis on weight is based on health, or just appearance or even ones ability to fit into European sizes, but a larger gay man definitely faces a different set of circumstances than his more slender or muscular counterparts. Even in jest, it’s an issue. I’m guilty myself. My thinner friends and I call each other names when we fit better in a medium shirt than our usual smalls and when one of us realizes we can’t fit into our size 30 jeans anymore. I myself am a 33 at some European stores, and while I get teased for it, I actually like it! I could use a little more weight. But not too much, though. I like the thick boys but, like I said, I don’t want to share their clothes.

  • P Diddy

    Hmmm, I’m actually used to being one of the more slender members of most of my social circles. While none are obese, most are definitely 34 waist at the smallest. I guess while I hear the disparaging comments about overweight folks and have even teased my friends a bit, they never seem to have trouble finding dates.
    Similar to you, I actually prefer my guys a little thicker, and find that none seem to have esteem issues fortunately.

  • Tracy Grant Jr.

    Well put Mr.Fallen, I’ve been accused of being a twink but it’s not true! Although I like my weight and body type I prefer guys bigger than me! The sad part is so many “FAT”guys want to be skinny; I don’t think they realize they have a crowd of adoring fans…LOL

  • Arnold Fallen

    Thanks for commenting guys! I actually know plenty of larger guys who don’t lack in confidence at all but i also know plenty who struggle with their weight and self image and i know even more who aren’t “fat” and have a negative body image and are constantly worried about becoming fat and or undesirable. Maybe it’s because i like thicker guys that i notice all the comments from smaller guys who don’t get it or don’t agree!

  • Arnold Fallen

    And Tracy, I think plenty do realize they have an adoring crowd. Unfortunately, many of them only look to other thick guys for that adoration! Damn them!

  • Jak

    About the only thing my boyfriend and I can share are shoes, and that’s just how I like it.

    I actually prefer my men a little thicker, more average build as well. I thought most gay men did (especially us tall, lean folk) but maybe I’m wrong lol

    I can’t do bodybuilder types because they are usually more into their looks than I am. I can’t take too much narcissism.

    • John

      The problem with tall lean folk is that tall lean “big guys” don’t get that same love…I would love to have a tall lean guy but they don’t seem to flock to me but the shorter thick guy, which makes things more complicated.

  • Edie Huggins

    Good article GD! I love larger than life men myself. I thick shorty as myself loves stocky built guys darker than my caramel tone and it is hard for us 34-36 waist guys out here, I’ve been called fat all last summer by sum of my closet friends..

  • http://comingsoon.com Reggie West

    this article was GREAT! Not only did it keep my attention but it kinda hit home. I’m the “big guy” in my group of friends and although I don’t get as much “attention” as they do, it honestly doesn’t bother me. I guess you can say I’ve learned my place when it comes to hanging out with my friends. I’ve never wanted to be the stereotypical “all big guys are nasty” type but it just so happened to be that way.

    I don’t struggle with my weight, but nor am I proud of it; I’m just lazy. I hear the comments but I’m not phased at all (anymore). I’ve found myself almost complacent with my situation and I make the best of it.

    I, myself, like thicker guys (36-37-38 waist), broad shoulders, a nice chest, and facial hair (please) but I’m either always approached by younger (another story) thinner guys or guys who [should I say] don’t compliment me as well as I would like them to.

    Either way, we always have fun when we go out. There’s never a dull moment. Give me a vodka & cranberry & 2 patron shots & WE RUN THE CLUB! Besides, my crew & I are usually the best dressed ones in there anyway. and THAT, not even u skinny ones can take from me.

  • Klein

    Who are you people that think a thicker guy has a 36 inch waist?!? A thicker guy has a 50 inch waist and the intense pain of a life at that size in the gay male community isn’t something to wish upon your worst enemy.

    • Brad Booskie Royal

      I agree lma 36 inch waist and I’m looked at as small in the big boy gay scene.

      Thick is 40 – 44 plus sized big boys are 46 and up. Hell there are beer bellys that wear 30 inch jeans. Miss me with that. lol

  • fawzi2000

    hi my love chubby my skype:chubby1530

  • Brad Booskie Royal

    When will straights and gays learn that humans can’t control physical arousal any more then the food, paint colors, music, movies etc that they like.

    u can’t just wake up and choose/decide to like the color red, the movie the matrix, carrots and Brussel sprouts and vice versa choose to not like ur current favorite color movies and decide to not like Coca Cola. U either like things or u don’t IE ur either attracted to attributes or ur not. #nochoice
    I can’t control that Vince Wilfork is the sexiest man in the NFL nor that I’m not attracted to any NBA player and only the larger sizes linemen in the NFL. #75 On damn near every team. lmao

    Some str8 men are ass vs breast men. Some women prefer hairy chest vs smooth. Some gays are into big boys only like my self. #nochoice

    There is a % of humans that literally have no physical type so they are not limited to that which I feel gives them a wide range of options. skinny big tall short Harry smooth, doesn’t matter to them strictly personality.

    I on the other hand am restricted as I am only into men 280lbs and up with some belly. Just because someone is small doesn’t make them ugly just physically in arousing to me.

    I’ve been turned down for being light skinned, not old enough, not tall enough, not feminine enough (he wanted a feminine guy), to skinny (he liked other big boys) etc etc.

    I have had the chance to explain this to homophobic men even republicans and they agreed that they can’t control what type of women they are attracted to not what body parts of women, I.E. legs, breast or thighs, #noKFC

    When will they learn probably Never!

  • SethBlizzard

    But… I love thick men! Thin guys don’t do anything for me at all. What gay guy in his right mind would turn down all that meat?