Feeling my suede soles slip just right. Looking into my own reflection and actually seeing it match what’s happening inside my head. The sudden revolt at my body’s surprise appearance waits for me somewhere else. Here, I like what I see. I want to keep looking.
Losing weight only brought on more pressure to be thin and made me even more insecure about physical appearance. I learned that I wasn’t unhappy with my size, but I was unhappy with the way other queer men treated me because of my size. That inflection of hatred became my truth, a truth I never wanted or needed.
Growing up, the relationship I had with my body was distant because I had to detach to survive. My case of eczema was so rare that the doctors used me as an experiment. I would stare at the ceiling and count the tiles while the doctors talked about me like I wasn’t there. I would resist but ultimately go along with my parents’ wishes even though it meant giving away control.