It's frustrating that gender dysphoria and fat shame bleed into one another, because for one the answer is changing your body, and for the other answer is accepting your body...
... and we bend the science to get them backwards, out of, just, pure prejudice
Nobody taught me to hate my body for being too masculine. It was just a biological inevitability.
Everyone taught me to hate my body for being fat. Hating fat bodies is a cultural imposition.
The bleed-through between them is hard to separate:
Did I wear baggy clothes to conceal my fat body from others, or so that nothing touched the places where my body *should have been* but wasn't?
Did I go into fight-or-flight mode at the words "hair cut" because I knew that long hair hid how fat my face was? Or was it because it was my only lifeline to femininity, and my mom insisted on crew cuts that made me literally unable to recognize my reflection?
Did being brought clothes shopping make me cry because my parents threatened me when my sizes went up? Or was it just the wrong section?
Did I stop hugging people because I thought my fat would disgust them, or because having my flat chest touched made me stop breathing?
Did I hate gym changing rooms because it meant exposing my fat body, or because I was alone surrounded by boys/men?
Did I hate athletics because I was fat & bad at sports, or because pushing my body meant being more present in my dysphoria? (Or b/c competition is "for boys?")
When I lost weight, was I miserable because I knew everyone was being nicer to my thinner body than they'd ever been to me? Or because conforming to the body I was "supposed to have" made it feel even more wrong?
... "Both" is the answer to all these questions, by the way
Hormonally transitioning as a fat transfemme?
It seriously owns bones!
I don't really wanna get into how fat bodies are simultaneously de-gendered and hyper-gendered? I only want to say that transitioning isn't just for thin people.
Fat bodies can be feminine with or without HRT, and what estrogen does to a fat body can be *very* gender affirming!
Obviously T&A are all about body fat (I don't feel like that needs explaining), but also, if you've gone through a testosterone-driven puberty, you have a larger skeleton and more pronounced ribcage. You're *literally* big-boned, for a woman.
Being fat helps round all of that out? Having a wider jawbone than a cis woman matters less when you've got chubby cheeks. Having a belly makes a bigger ribcage look like it "fits."
Lots of fat cis women have broad shoulders, or are tall, or have unusual and striking features.
Thin trans women can chase the cultural ideal of womanhood in a way that we can't, but I think it may actually be easier for us to pass as... average-looking women?
Like... a third of all cis women are fat. And fat women get harrassed and policed, but they also get ignored.
... And all the little things that make fat cis women feel insecure about how they fit into the cultural weight/gender complex-- like underarm fat, cellulite, back rolls-- arrive, when they do, with a surge of gender euphoria, because these are *~women's~* body insecurities!
In conclusion, fat women are hot, trans women are beautiful, and fat trans women are hot and beautiful, so don't put off transitioning until you've lost weight
This thread really spoke to me. I’ve written in the past about the conflicts that one can meet trying to reconcile fatness with gender dysphoria.
Yes, there are a LOT of societal influences that affect our perceptions of our bodies, both for men and women, and trans people do internalize the messaging for our true gender long before we may even know what that gender is, but there is so much more deeply physiological beneath that psychology. What outwardly may seem like body issues from cultural indoctrination may be much deeper than that.
Hating your fat body may not always a case of learning to love yourself, and it’s important to self analyze when examining these feelings (Is this dysphoria, or is it just cultural?) and to give space to others with their own issues. If someone, especially a trans person, complains about their body or their fat, responding with comments that they’re just internalizing beauty standards can be extremely dismissive, and even by gaslighting of their struggles. Even statements like “Oh, your body looks just like mine, you’re fine” can be detrimental (and I’ve even been guilty of this myself). Gender Dysphoria doesn’t care if the shape is within cis norms of our true gender, it cares about if it falls in cis norms of our assigned gender.
It’s also important to acknowledge that things you might be self-conscious about may actually be very affirming for others. LB mentions how underarm fat and back rolls can be euphoric, even tho many cis women are self conscious about them. Personally, I am extremely aware of how large my upper arms have become in the last year, and sometimes it bothers me in certain outfits, but it’s also EXTREMELY affirming to have it. It’s quintessentially female fat, and it makes me feel so good. Photos from behind of me in my yellow swimsuit make me feel AMAZING entirely because of the back fat I have developed.
It’s a difficult balance to reach, managing these dual body images, but there is a lot of peace to be found as a trans fat once you figure it all out.