I’m a bit of an anomaly among younger queer men. I’m not killing myself in the gym to have pectorals as hard as Pam Anderson’s implants and I’m really not interested in starving myself to be able to squeeze myself into a pair of tiny William Rast jeans (though God bless little Justin Timberlake for creating the line and for having the twelve inch waist and tiny ass to pull that kind of gear off). Fashion incidentally, in general, is the one area this particular gay man could care less about.
It’s become a bone of contention for me lately as friends, descending like vultures, have been pecking me to death about my lack of style, because they, reveling in the success of my ongoing weight loss (as of this writing, I have shed sixty five pounds in six months through the wonder and awe that is Weight Watchers), are extremely eager to take me under their wings and make me over. I would just as soon square dance with Maggie Brooks than step foot into a clothing boutique with one of these well meaning, but hopelessly frustrating friends.
But because I’m completely whipped when it comes to actually making these proclamations out loud, with the urging of my friend DJ and his bestie Anton practically dragging my big ass through the door, I found myself standing where fat boy’s dreams go to die, Abercrombie and Fitch.
“This is ridiculous,” I bellowed entering the store.
“Girl, you need to lighten up a little,” Anton chimed in throwing his arm around my shoulders.
“This is supposed to be fun.”
“We need to get you out of those tents,” DJ began, “and put you in something more fitted like this,” he continued holding up a sherbet orange colored Polo.
“What’s wrong with the shirt I’m wearing,” I questioned.
“Oh, no, honey. You ain’t wearin’ a shirt. That’s a muumuu,” Anton responded.
“A nice shirt should shape and define the upper body,” DJ continued. “What you wear does neither. Its way too big and its way too long. You’ve left the house wearing a nightgown.”
I’m in hell.
Next the boys modeled the latest and allegedly greatest in jean wear. Truth be told I have never understood spending eighty dollars on something that looks like it’s had the crap beaten out of it (“Distressed is all the rage, honey,” Anton tried to explain) and in most cases, barely cover or contain your nether regions. If you’re going to purposely let your ass hang out, why even bother wearing pants? It would be cheaper if you just wore a towel. Now this could be years of big boy resentment for not ever being able to fit into these so-called fashionable jeans coming through, but I’d like to think my theory is more economically sound as well. For that much money, I want excellent construction work, full coverage, and fabric that doesn’t look like my neighbor’s dog just ejaculated all over it.
“But everybody wears them like this,” DJ reasoned, showing off the pair he tried on for me.
“Well, thank God I’m not everybody, because I would kill myself.”
Just as The Great Jean Debate 2008 was kicking into high gear, my greatest fear about participating in this fashion odyssey was about to come true. Just beyond the sight of DJ and Anton’s arm swinging and whining that I was being a sore sport about our Show Robby Fashion Day, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a figure sweeping by a display and knew that I was about to be confronted by the worst of all of my adversaries, he with the perfect hair, teeth, and body: Abercrombie Sales Boy.
“Oh, Jesus Christ,” I grumbled.
“Hey!!! Do you guys need any help finding anything?” the boy asked, supposedly to three of us, but it was hard to tell as his gaze was fixed upon Anton’s rather prominent and inviting ass cleavage.
“Yeah, do you guys have anything in here that would fit someone who weighs more than ten pounds and is older than twelve?” I asked him, reaching over and yanking up the back of Anton’s pants.
“Well, there’s a Casual Male across the street,” he answered before sashaying back to his counter.
“Don’t let that little bitch get under your skin. Boys like him are so yesterday,” Anton replied as we made our way out of the store.
“Please. Boys like him will never be yesterday,” I replied. “He’s the standard that most homos hold themselves up to. Someone will always want to be him.”
“Or be in him, “ DJ added playfully.
“Well, not this big queen, thank you very much, “ I continued. “I don’t need clone clothes to make me feel good about myself. I’ve never been trendy as a fat person, and I have no plans on being one of those trendy little bitches down the line. I’m just going to keep on doing my own thing, and keep being my own person”
“Even if you’re look is busted?” Anton asked.
“Even if my look is busted,” I answered, though I had no idea what the hell he meant by that.
“Hey, let’s go check out the Gap!” DJ suggested.
Seriously, I’m in hell.
Essential Download: "In These Shoes"
Artisit: Bette Midler
Available On: Bette!
Originally published in the July 2008 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.