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Fat, Black people with bodies like mine are ignored, fetishised or an unfortunate burden.

By Mary Brighton I write this piece as someone who easily (and painfully) passes for cis, as a transmisogyny exempt nonbinary person. I write as someone who is neither very fat nor very dark-skinned, but is often the fattest/darkest person in the room. I write as an able-bodied person, as a naturalised British citizen and native English speaker. I write as someone who grew up in a decidedly middle-class home. These privileges, and doubtless many others that I have not considered, will inevitably shape my experiences. I was a devout and traditional Catholic until my late teens, with many of the sexual attitudes that would suggest. Therefore, my early sexual imagination was shaped less by porn than by TV shows and advertising. It was formed in the extrapolation from the fade to black in a 12A rated film, or the racy scenes in YA fantasy novels. Long before sex itself interested me, I knew what sexy looked like. I knew this just as surely as I knew that unremarkable brunette white boys are destined for greatness or being liked meant having no emotional boundaries. I knew that people like me, the fat Black people with bodies like mine, were either ignored, fetishised or an unfortunate burden taken on out of pity or desperation.

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