I’m 50lbs Overweight & Still Get Laid

Image by David Robert Bliwas

I own every layer and fill it with love


Originally published at GayGuys.com

By Jerry Plaza

I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 23 years old. No one, not even my best friends, saw me without a shirt until I was 22. There is a struggle overweight people have but as someone who’s overcome it, I can tell you it’s not a struggle—never was—it’s a challenge.

I was told as a child that I had a good “face,” which is a polite way of saying I have an atrocious body but can probably get a husband if I smiled more often. My entire adolescence I tried to get guys to see my face rather than looking down at what was beneath it.

When I became a teenager it was clear I was different from the rest of my friends and the people on TV I idolized, but it was never me who pointed it out. Family, classmates, even teachers, taught me how to compare myself to others—a child doesn’t notice that kind of stuff until it becomes a concern.

I had a lot of weight on me. Unlike my sister who was gorgeous, popular and athletic, I was fat, dramatic and always made an impression in the hallways. I knew my body was the first thing people noticed, and soon it began to define me. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get people to see passed it. It was an effort to win people’s loyalty, especially in the town where I grew up.

But I refused to let anyone get to me.

You see, I had a drama teacher who said the world was like a play: everyone has a role to be. We’re all given a place in society; we all have needs and wants, intention, but it’s us who choose how to play it. People give us roles and expect us to play them based on what our cast type is (just like a play). Once I realized this, I understood the lesson she was trying to teach me.

Everyone is too busy worrying about matching up to what people want them to be, but it’s the people who go against type that surprise the world. It’s those who choose not to be boxed in by a type who end up writing a new kind of role—one that is unique, majestic and alluring to everyone because it’s yours. We are the playwrights in our own show. We make the rules.

When I first moved away from home I was bombarded with groups of people who rarely look pass what they see. A body is everything in gay culture because it represents how desirable we are—if no one can imagine having sex with us, we’re considered worthless. Our bodies are our currency.

First of all, we have to own ourselves inside rather than letting the world tell us any different. We know what we’re worth and teach people that; when we think we’re worthless, we convince others to think that way.

Listen, I’m fifty pounds overweight and I still get laid. At the end of the night what I bring to the table is much more valuable than what any idiot with a six pack non-smiling pretentious know-it-all can offer—genuine character. I’m me. That’s all I have and ever will be, no amount of sleepless nights and hours of beating myself up can change that.

The struggle isn’t a struggle nor is it a dead end, but a challenge. We must listen to our own voices because only they tell us the truth. Our family, friends, and coworkers don’t know how we feel—they will give us encouragement but won’t ever know what’s truly best for us. We are the translators of our heart and only we can determine what it needs. The first thing we must do is silence ourselves. Listen to our intuition speak, which will always be the truth.

I used to think I’d never make it in life because I was programmed by the world to think that way. I knew I wasn’t worth that little, and over the years the biggest challenge has been to peel those toxic layers of thought away to revel the real me—the boy inside I always knew was there, vibrant and free.

Own yourself in every pound, every ounce, every layer, and know that you aren’t defined by an idea. You write your own role in life so make it fabulous, and trust me when I say the world will follow suit. Before you know it, you’ll have a collection of followers dying to be apart of the show.

David Artavia


David is an award-winning journalist and editor at The Advocate, Plus, and Chill magazines. His work also appears at Pride.com and OutTraveler. He lives in Los Angeles where he lives vicariously through his friends.

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