I’ve been coming across this sentiment more and more often. It’s a play on the “hate the sin, love the sinner.” trope from Christianity. The idea being that people who don’t like part of who we are can simply, for their convenience, consider that part to be separate from us and insist that it’s fine that they hate it, because it’s not really who we are – because obviously other people know better than we do what our true sexual orientation, gender identification, body size etc. are.
Said another way “Currently part of you displeases me, but just as soon as you do what I want you to do and/or look how I want you to look, I’ll love all of you. Aren’t I gracious and benevolent.”
No, I don’t think so. As a queer woman I completely reject people’s insistence that my being queer is something that they can separate from me, and actively hate, while still claiming to love me. Screw that. As a fat woman I reject the idea that someone can wage war against my fat but not against the rest of me. I am not a thin woman covered in fat, I am a fat woman. A war on obesity is a war on me – the weight-based stigma, bullying, and oppression that stem from it affect all of me – not just my fat.
I’ve recently heard various people suggesting that those of us who have people close to us who subscribe to the “Hate the … Love the…” theory of personal relationships should try to “agree to disagree.” While I completely support people’s choice to make peace with those who do not accept who they are, I reject the idea that it’s the only option, or the best option for me. Some people choose to agree to disagree and that’s entirely their right, but some of us choose another option – we choose to walk away from people who choose not to be in total loving acceptance of us. We decide that we deserve better than to be loved as a fat person but hated for our fat (or whatever “sin” people feel we’re committing by existing, which cannot be conveniently separated from who we are.) We demand that those who want to continue to interact with us examine a society that teaches judgment and intolerance and find it wanting. We demand that, if they want to love that society, they do so while hating its sins of judgment, intolerance, stigma, bullying and oppression, while fully supporting and celebrating who we are.
Nobody is under any obligation to love me, but nobody gets to be in my life if they claim to love me but in reality only love the person they wish I was.
Ask Me Stuff! I get a lot of reader questions, so I thought it would be fun to start a new thing on Saturdays on the blog where I’ll answer those questions, kind of a “Dear Dances With Fat” you can ask for advice, or ask me a question about me – anything goes. I’ll do it on video (and of course publish a transcription as well. If you’d like to ask a question, please leave a comment here or e-mail it to me at email@example.com.
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