YoungGiftedandFat: Performing Transweight Identities

In “Riot,” the personal is political, beckoning collective resistance. Again, I am solo, while at the same time representing many women who struggle with the burden of losing weight. I speak from within the border, and on both sides of the border. In this piece, my liminal identity is exploring my haunted past of being neglected and abused by men, while working to make sense of what has happened to my body. Skinny admits that she feels as though she is living a lie, but she knows that teaming up with Fat would surely strip her of her privilege. Skinny is dreaming of an imaginary world in which size doesn’t factor into how she is valued.


Father of black back
Mother of strong bones
Consecrated in the middle to create my song
Within me, his wit
The curve of his smile
pearly white teeth
legs that run for miles
Not to mention my mathematical genius
Goes unused
But who needs chemistry when u’ve got the blues
Too much pressure
In the crock pot
To be like her: hot
From Jane Eyre to Elizabeth Taylor,
From Beverly Johnson to a fine black woman, just name her
Nothing like her
The woman who bore me pain
Nothing like, yet identical all the same
A thing for men who didn’t love me back
A thing for boys that scolded my fat
These rolls on my back
This meat on my thigh
cut it off and it’ll stand a mile high
Big, black, bitch
That was my name
Big, black, bitch
All the lil n*ggas would proclaim
Threw me into silence
Forced me into shame
Ran from me while playing
“take yo fat friend home”
“take yo fat friend home” and don’t bring her back the next day
I think those boys made me hide my song