Fat Discrimination, let’s talk about it

I had an amazing day at the HAES® training. I always wondered what kind of people earnestly say “I’m just so excited to be here!” People like me, I guess. I think there are over 50 people in this room, just eager for information about how to teach their patients, coworkers, and community how to better support health for people of all sizes. One trainer is from the UK, and participants are from as far away as Australia.

There are quite a few registered dietitians in the room getting their eyes opened about the kinds of bigotry and hurdles fat people face, in healthcare and the world at large. The gal sitting next to me went wide-eyed when I said that I can’t do things like zip lines or indoor skydiving because business owners don’t bother to make those activities available and safe for me. My money isn’t worth it to them.

I didn’t talk about the fact that I carry-on my luggage so that the airlines don’t lose my clothes- my clothes are far too precious to me to let them out of my sight, because they’re far less replaceable than straight-sized clothes. Or that I have to be conscious of how I am perceived in job interviews, or at the airlines, because I could lose a job or get booted from a flight. I didn’t mention that I got turned down for better health insurance last week. And that I have to call ahead to new doctors to make sure they’ll treat me like a human being instead of a disease, including having equipment that will accommodate my body.

People in the community call not having to deal with these issues “thin privilege”.  

The dietitian I was talking to said “well, you chose to go out and deal with these things anyway”.  Well, yeah.  I deserve to do fun things, have nice things, dress well, and be treated well.  The fact that that doesn’t happen is fully fixable, and I’m just angry enough to cause trouble until things change.

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