I still residually identify as fat. I say residually because I took on my fat identity when I was still identifying as female. As a female, I was fat. I haven’t worn women’s clothing in a few years but I’d wager I’m about a size 16 in them. That’s fat. Plus-size. “Our store has nothing for you, go over to the fat store because if we allowed fatties to wear our clothes then our clothes wouldn’t be stylish anymore.” Fat.
I am (approximately, give or take a few pounds and some fat redistribution due to T) the same size as I was when I identified as female. But I feel less comfortable identifying as fat, because my size (38-40 waist depending on the material), while not small, is in the average range for men. I can shop for clothes in a regular store, and my size is not relegated to some secret section off behind the maternity clothes. If I don’t find my size available in a store, it’s not because it was the biggest size; I usually see pants ranging up to at least size 44 and shirts ranging up to XXL.
Basically, my fat identity has changed because as a woman, society considered the size of my body unacceptably large. As a man, with the same sized body, I’m considered average. So I don’t know whether I identify as fat anymore. I don’t feel pressured to diet, as a man. I don’t feel pressured to be a size smaller in clothes. I may not fit everyone’s standard of attractiveness (does anyone?) but I don’t fear that I will be rejected by everyone forever because of my weight. Men of my weight are not ridiculed in every TV show and movie I see. Men of my size are represented in positions of power in society, and men larger than me appear in the media for reasons other than “let’s make fun of the fatty”. I cannot say the same for women of my size.
I just wanted to call attention to this difference because my fat status has changed without me gaining or losing a pound, simply because my gender changed. If that doesn’t shed light on fat as a feminist issue, I’m not sure what will.
ETA: Wanted to add that my fat status changes once I enter the gay male community, which I don’t really spend much time in because I don’t feel I fit in there for a variety of reasons. But I’m definitely fat enough to be excluded by “no fats or femmes” and fat enough to be considered a bear cub. So I want to put that out there too; the gay community has its own standards for men that mirror the standards for straight women. All of it is rooted in patiarchy and the idea that one’s body should be designed for the male gaze. But in the eyes of mainstream society, men are allowed to be much bigger before being considered “fat”.