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When was a superbly satisfying love story for us — and what did we love best? But then, over and over, we’d dance and lip-sync and sometimes even sing “You’d better shape up!
We were observers and supporters and yet, we were also Travolta — the leading man in our own minds. I became Travolta, in the way only a fat girly-girl can.We didn’t even discuss it — that’s just the way it was.Someone had to be Travolta and it was going to be me. We took our roles from Hollywood and did our best to divvy them up and act them out in our child-bodies. You won’t get it and you’ll only humiliate yourself trying. Some girls learn to be pretty by reading the fashion magazines, using make-up in just the right way.But I was even more uncomfortable when that young woman cried because Travolta hooked up with someone else. Under no circumstances did I have any questions about that film. He’s really the only male actor I’ve imitated with any regularity — and I became Travolta across a range of characters. The Bee Gees were dreamy and the Gibb brothers were the hotness of the day.Andy Gibb performed the first big stadium concert I ever saw.Though the film was important, not all of my friends were allowed to see it — because it was rated R — and the night club bar-scene it depicted was a little complicated and disturbing for some of us.
We mostly listened to the music and ignored the film.
And I didn’t just become Danny Zuko in — I became Travolta.
He’s had a long and varied career with lots of different roles.
Our adolescent experiences stick with us — and I could’ve done worse. Even after I was grown, some part of me still expected the leading man role — after all, I’ve also two-stepped with Debra Winger in Romantically, this versatility served me too.
When the time came, I knew how to be hot like the leading ladies — but I also knew how to prompt my butch lover to be the best Travolta she could be. I didn’t want to take that role, but I did it until I didn’t have to anymore.
The teachers wouldn’t know what to do with a body like mine and besides, it would just be cruel to put a girl like me in leotards and tights to be laughed at.