Friday, July 20, 2012

I am a fat Pagan and I have something to say

I woke up Thursday morning and checked my emails, ran through a couple of news feeds and looked at the social networking streams. My good mood evaporated when I saw multiple posts about fat Pagans. It would seem that the death of Dave Grega is being used as a launching platform against fat in the pagan world.

I barely knew who Dave Grega was, so I have no personal stake in his life or death. Many people I know did know and admire him, and for them, I am sorry that his loss is causing them pain. My understanding is that he died suddenly of heart failure at fairly young age. I have no idea if his weight factors into his death, and frankly, it isn't any of my business. His life, work and passing should be honored, as should that of any person. I hate the idea that his death is being used to shame others into being thin. Unless it was his explicit wish to be a rallying cry about obesity in the Pagan community, I think his name should be left out of this.

The use of this man's death to further an agenda is horrifying to me, especially an agenda that undermines the confidence and acceptance of many people. Several of the posts I read were full of subtle put downs and shaming phrases under the guise of deep concern. Others were angry responses to this tactic. For those of us who struggle with our weight, which is very rarely the only health issue in our lives, and is never the only problem we have to devote our energies to, being hammered over the head with other people's advice and issues with my weight is exhausting and damaging to my mental and spiritual health.

I know I need to lose weight. I try, everyday, to be healthier; sometimes, I do well, other times, I don't. I don't need extra shame being heaped on me. I don't need another reason to be depressed and lose my self confidence. Many factors keep people obese from economics to time constraints to other medical conditions. For me, it's a general lack of energy (caused by depression and insomnia), an incurable bone condition that makes my every step hurt (would you go for a walk if it felt like there were shards of glass in your ankles?), and a lack of time.

It does nobody any good to co-op someone's misfortune to tell other people what to do. It does less good to try to shame people who don't fit into a particular idea of beauty and health. Where is the civility, love, compassion and understanding in this community? Our deities love us the same whether we are thin or not, shouldn't we show each other the same consideration?


  1. Speak on it! I'm a Fat Witch, it's not like I haven't tried to lose weight, I have. Lost over 50lbs leading up to my wedding. So I know I can do it. After years of loathing myself and my weight, I've finally said screw it and screw you, judgmental society! For once I actually like myself, I'm eating healthier and loving life. If people wanna judge my character because I'm fat, that's their problem. They're whining about how un-Pagan or un-Witch I am, they need to look in a mirror. Great post. ~)O(~

  2. I hate it when people are mean and focus on one small detail against a person's whole life.

    For anyone who wants to read a tribute:

    1. Thanks for the link! I know there is also an online memorial planned for him, too.


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