It has been well over a week since my last post here on Fat Heffalump, and with good reason. I’m afraid that I was just worn out by the sheer level of hatred I have received over the past few weeks, and needed a bit of a break from the world of fat activism. It started with the incident that I wrote about in that last post, blew up into some serious street harassment a couple of days later, and then I was hit with a whole lot of hate mail, troll comments and some fuckstick on Twitter who had nothing better than steal a photograph of me and create a fake Twitter account (of me) to harass me.
I also had this post on Tumblr go somewhat viral, and LOTS of people responded to it with their own horrifying stories of street harassment. Unfortunately a lot of people sent me links to other horrific stories, examples of fat hatred and misogyny and generally triggering stuff, without really thinking about how that might affect me. It really was just too much to take in.
Add all that shit to the general shit I get for being a visible fat woman, and I was EXHAUSTED. I really just needed a break to regroup and
I haven’t had the spoons to be able to respond to all of the comments on my last post, but I did read them all, and I really do appreciate the kind words, support and compliments that have been left for me there. I also appreciate all of the support, pictures of puppies/kittens/Tom Hiddleston sent to me on Twitter, especially to all of the people who took the time to report the fake Twitter account which was removed by Twitter fairly quickly. I appreciate the people who sent me lovely emails. And I appreciate the people in my local life (I don’t say real life – all of you out there in Internetlandia are real too) who stepped up to make sure I was ok.
I’m grateful to the friend who spent a day with me last weekend to give me some respite from the bullshit. I’m grateful to the colleague who let me vent when it boiled into far too much for me to carry on my own. I’m grateful to the friend who didn’t really know how to help, so he just spent all his time being silly trying to make me laugh, and he did and I felt LOADS better. I’m grateful to another friend who took me out for a coffee so that I could clear my head then go back to work and focus on the job that I am passionate about. I’m grateful to the people didn’t tell me to just get off the internet/not be so visible/cover my tattoos/stop colouring my hair etc. I’m grateful for the support I get from my workplace. And I’m grateful to my fellow fat activists who understand what the pressures are like being such a visible, outspoken fat woman.
I am a very lucky fatty. Not everyone has the support base I do, and I am proud that I have spent the past years building up that support base and not tolerating people who put me down instead of building me up.
I’m very grateful that I have so many wonderful people in my life to support me in my activism, because no matter who you are, or what method you choose to do fat activism, it’s hard work, and it is exhausting work, as all social activism is.
So to everyone out there who did their little bit over the past couple of weeks to help me get through a tough time, thank you. I do appreciate it and I hope I can be there for you when you need it, even if it is just to send you a picture of a puppy on Twitter!
Bless you all, and there will be posts again soon, in fact, I have a competition to launch in the next day or so!