Tag Archives: bullying

Diary of a Fat Girl, Part 2

Take Up Space by Heather Keith Freeman 8×12″, pen and ink on vellum

I had gone to a department store that was popular during this time period.  It was called Rich’s.  I think I was around 18 or 19 years old.  Now, in this store…there was a department called (I believe I remember it correctly) the Regency department.  My mother had sent me to pick up a dress they were holding for her.  Now mind you, this department was very “exclusive” and they only carried “normal” sizes.  I spent a few moments looking around before going up to the counter.  Before I even had the chance to get to the counter, a woman approached me almost mowing me down!  She looked me up and down and with a reproachful look on her face said “Miss, we do not fit YOUR SIZE (she emphasized the “your size” part) in this department!”  I just looked at her.  Did I really just hear her say that???  “Well lady, I said…I am not here for me.  I am here to pick up a very expensive dress my mom has waiting to be paid for and picked up”.  I wish I could describe the look on her face just then.  It was really quite priceless.  I almost called my mom right then and there to tell her what had happened.  I know she would have told me to tell the lady to put her dress where “the sun don’t shine”.  But, I didn’t do that.  I just stood at the counter while the sales lady fumbled around ringing up the dress.  It was apparent that she was flustered…but not for the reason you would think.  Rather than being embarrassed about being so rude to me, I think she was more worried about losing a sale.  It sort of reminds me of that scene in “Pretty Woman” where Julia Roberts goes into that swanky shop looking for clothes and the sales ladies were rude to her because of how she looked.  I waited until I was out of the store for the waterworks to be turned on.  I cried all the way home.

A couple of years later, I was invited over to my boyfriend’s place of employment (Days Inn) to go swimming.  As usual, I dressed in a pair of cut offs and a t-shirt.  I would not wear a swimsuit.  To this day, I still don’t.   Everyone was already out by the pool.  I hated that, because I knew I had to make a solo entrance.  So there was no “blending in” with the crowd.  I noticed there were motel guests there swimming as well as my boyfriend, his brother and the rest of our friends.  I walked across the pavement and descended the stairs, smiling at my friends and waving.  There was a guy in a floating lounge chair with some girls surrounding him.  They were all staring at me.  I started to make my way across the pool to my friends and heard the guy say “Wow, I did not know they allowed hippos in this pool”.  His gal pals all giggled at his joke.  I was mortified.  Embarrassed and hurt, I turned around and got out of the pool as fast as I could.  I ran all the way to my boyfriend’s room where I cried my eyes out.  I later found out that the guy had been a paraplegic.  That amazed me completely.  Here is someone who is handicapped and is probably familiar with staring eyes and whispered words…making fun of me.  Searching for an answer, I could only come up with the reason that perhaps he was trying to take the spotlight off of himself and put it on me.  I don’t really know.  I do know that it hurt.  It hurt deeply.

These are two examples of discrimination, ignorance and how words can cut deeply.  These were not the first, nor would they be the last that I was to endure.  Keep in mind that I dieted for years…enjoying  success at times and finding failure at others.   But it seemed that when I came up against people like these, I spiraled downward.  It was a constant struggle.

In my next blog, I will talk about my high school experiences….some of them the most painful.  Kids can be cruel, they say.  They, whoever they are, are correct.

Wolf Mom


Were You Born That Way?

Were You Born That Way?

At the age of 5, I knew in my heart that my son was gay.   There were little tale tale signs, mostly…but I guess a mother just seems to sense things about their children in that innate, deep-down way.   I resolved to raise him in a manner that he could figure things out by himself.  I did not lead him in one direction or another.  I simply let him be who he was going to be.

He was a shy child, having mostly female friends and not playing with very many boys.  I speculated over that quite a bit.  Was it because he was attracted to them at such a young age and did not know how to interact with them?  Was it because he felt more inclined to do things that girls do?  One question kept going through my mind…were you born that way?

My answer to myself was YES!  As he grew older, he started to come out of his shell a little.  He interacted with boys more, but he started “dating” girls.  In retrospect, I realized he was testing himself…figuring out for himself who he was.  I think also, that he was not yet ready for anyone to know his proclivity towards boys.   When he was about 12 or 13, I tried bringing up the matter…in a sensitive way, of course…by asking him if he might be gay.  His reaction was very strong.  He denied quite vehemently, that he was not.   So, I dropped the subject.  When he was 15, he came to me on his own and declared to me, after pussy-footing around a bit…that he was bi-sexual.  My reaction to this was total acceptance.  I told him that I knew he was gay and that it was ok.  You were born that way, I said.  He was amazed at how easily I accepted it.  I think that he was expecting a negative reaction from me because so many other parents are not accepting of having a gay child.  He was fearful that I would have that reaction too.   I told him that he was my child and that I loved him more than anything in the world.  I also told him that I would stand behind him and support him…come what may.  I could see the relief in his eyes.

Since that day, my son and I can talk about anything.  His gay friends have a “safe house” to come to when they visit him here at my home.  They can be themselves and don’t have to hide away.  I remember an afternoon when one of his lesbian friends told me (she was 15 years old) that when she came out to her mother, her mother informed her that she “wished she had aborted her”!  I was horrified!  How could a parent say something like that to their child??  This child, who came from them…who was a part of them…who they raised and nurtured…could so easily be cast out??  That was a sad day for me.  There were many more to follow as I heard different coming-out stories from different children.  I asked them “Don’t your parents realize you were born that way?”   The answer from them was that they were told they chose this path.  “They think you CHOSE to live a difficult life…that you CHOSE to be harassed and bullied…that you CHOSE to live in fear?”  All I could do was shake my head and cry.

I know I may open up a can of worms with this blog.  I know that there are people out there that do not think people are born gay.  But you know what?  I will stand up to them any day of the week and defend the gay community. I will stand up to them until the day I die to support my child and his human right to be who he was born to be!   Am I straight?  Yes, I was born that way!  Is it ok?  Sure it is!  I was born that way!  Is it ok for my son to be gay?  Sure it is!  HE WAS BORN THAT WAY!

I love you, Brandon!


**photo courtesy of Rainbow Alternative shop on Etsy**


*****Editorial comment:  This blog, in no way, shape or form…points fingers at anyone!  It is merely a product of my desire to relay my point of view on the hardships of gay children everywhere and how raising a gay child has affected me****