Straight Skinny, But Gay Fat.

straight skinny gay fatHere’s something you’ve probably heard: Someone referred to as “straight skinny but gay fat.”

This statement, of course, refers to the differing standards in appearance for straight and gay men. In other words, a few extra pounds on a straight guy isn’t a big deal. But in the gay world, it’s a different story altogether.

Now here’s something you probably haven’t heard: Among men who have eating disorders, 42% identify as gay.

When we hear the term “gay fat” in reference to the double standard in body image, the tendency is to laugh. It’s often used as a punch line. But I’m not laughing. Maybe the idea of “gay fat” wouldn’t bother me so much if it wasn’t killing people.

Here’s something else you probably haven’t heard: Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die. With treatment, that number is still 2% - 3%. Eating disorders are deadly.

Eating disorders are a real problem in our community, and we’re dismissing it as a joke.

As I’ve mentioned, I was anorexic in middle school. Growing up overweight, I tried to take control of my situation by starving myself. It was easy to outsmart the doctors when they asked about my weight loss, and even easier to deceive my own family. In fact, to this day, my mother refuses to acknowledge my eating disorder.

The reality is, it’s not easy to talk about eating disorders. And that’s especially true for men. In a world that sees eating disorders as a problem for teenage girls trying to fit into prom dresses, it’s all of our jobs to decrease the stigma and be constructive with our words and actions.

When someone is referred to as straight skinny but gay fat, I’m not laughing. Because what I really hear in that statement is the struggle that all gay men have of looking in the mirror and seeing someone they love. And to me, that’s not a joke. And if it is, it’s a punchline that some of us are paying for with our lives.


About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Christian king says:

    I don’t like it how TV seems to be making more and more jokes about gay people it’s like they always show them as very flamboyant and camp and it’s not the case can’t they just show normal gay men which most of us are

    • Solaris31 says:

      Dear Christian king, I’m sure it wasn’t your intention because this happens to all of us but, considering the article is basically about acceptance and double standards, could you please elaborate in what you believe are “normal gay men”?

  2. I understand your point. But still, I consider myself «straight thin but gay fat» cause many thin muscular gay men told me that I was fat… even if, in the straight world, I would be consider really thin. This is not a joke, this is a reality.

    • I hear you. I was described as such: “You know… he has a really pretty face and eyes and hot arms, You would think his body matched but he’s sorta fat.”

      Fat meaning that I happen to have an extremely hard time losing midsection weight aka muffin top. I work out 30 minutes to an hour every day or every other day and am not lazy by any means, nor do I eat unhealthy. I have a firm chest, arms, and upper torso but have a little pudge around my belly button. I’m fat in the gay world. Really fat. I m 5’7″ and weigh 165. I’ve been 130, my “ideal” weight and it was so absolutely hard to keep up and I was ALWAYS hungry. Instead, I’m “ok” with being a little thicker because I work out frequently, eat healthy balanced meals, and occasionally splurge. I hate that saying “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” FUCK that. Skinny feels like starving. I struggle daily with being ok with how I look because of sayings like that and like “gay fat”. It hurts and hurts my relationship with my partner because I’m constantly worried he’ll see me as fat and be unattracted to me because of the boys on tumblr and in porn and just boys on the street that are naturally thin, the ideal twink like body, or toned gym rat. I know he loves me and finds me very attractive. I don’t find myself unattractive, However, I see that extra weight I carry around the middle and am so self conscious around other gay guys. They talk, they judge, they won’t even treat you the same as their toned twink friends. I have a pretty solid small group of friends whom I love dearly. Out of the 8 of us, I have one of the least attractive bodies. It’s crushing mainly because a few of them, my man included, don’t do much other than breathe and they are 30-40 pounds less than me with tight bodies and at the same height. Genetics can really suck. I work out so hard some days and try hard to stay active. I see little or no progress and I still feel as though I’ve been hit by a freight train after some workouts. Some days it all seems for naught and is very discouraging. My man says to just keep at it, so I do. They say you shouldn’t work out for anyone but yourself. I find myself more often than not working out so that society will find my body acceptable. So that I can take my shirt off at the beach and not feel like the world is looking at me in disgust, so that I don’t get side-eyed comments when people are talking at parties about my unfortunate situation with my pretty face and “obese” body.

      Yes, these boys are just jerks that don’t have shit to talk about other than people they don’t know. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean I don’t try. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying, it just hurts to hear comments about my weight when I DO try SO HARD.

      • Solaris31 says:

        “I have a firm chest, arms, and upper torso but have a little pudge around my belly button.” - are you kidding me? that’s my definition of a hot man!

        See, we all love abs and those porn-star bodies, who doesn’t? But that “little pudge”, in my eyes, makes you real.

        • Thanks! That’s good to hear 🙂 is one of those “I hate my body” days.

      • You should explore the tenets of the original bear movement. Whether or not you identify with its “scene” (which, mind you, is growing separate from its original ideology), it has some very sane approaches to body image issues and is (historically) centered on acceptance of all body types, leaving the more important aspects of being a human, like actually being a decent person, to shine.

        You’ve gotta learn to love yourself. It can be hard with all of the crappy idols and image-fueled platforms we have in this world (I see you daveywaveyfitness and ever Instagram account featuring a muscled out gym rat), and it takes lots of dedication and habitual practice, but it’s crucial to being happy.

  3. Frederic says:

    I’m kind of following your blog for some time now. When starting to read this one, I was thinking, well that’s easy to say when you look the way you do.
    As in the gay community I believe we focus to much on the perfect body, rather then the perfect person.
    So it was interesting to read that you have/had an eating disorder. Admitting seems to be the first step. And it seemed this was a step you need to take to come where you are today.
    Myself, I’m not the skinny type. For straights I’m still just ok, and for the gay’s I believe I’m “to ignore”.
    But I still believe we should focus on the person, not the body. I believe no-one should tell me how to look, but myself. Even if I’m gay fat. I guess that also makes me gay-kind and not gay-bitchy 😉

  4. Crimsun Viper says:

    Well me personaly I dont want to be fat or skinny .I want a … Beach body

  5. Esteban says:

    Really Dave? Really? That’s what I call a double standard. Your website and videos promote nothing but the superficial stereotype of Gays based purely on looks and now you criticize this? Hahahahahahahaha. Please don’t be such a hypocrite.

  6. Crimsun Viper says:

    Dang 165 Im 174 I would definatly be considted fat.

    • I’m just a weird build. I hate how I look in clothes. I couldn’t care any less about the weight, it’s more about how I look in the mirror. I hate it. Everyone carries weight differently.

  7. Shane marquis says:

    Davey you should go further with this line, and point out that part of this problem is, I’m sure inadvertently, yourself and other media.
    I’m 46 I go to the gym 5 times a week and weigh 73kg at 6ft tall. In short I’m not unhealthy - but when I go out everyone still expects me to look like you - personal trainers rarely acknowledge that they spend their lives working on their bodies. Not all of us have that luxury, we have jobs to do, domestic duties to accomplish etc and don’t get to spend 8 hours in the gym per day with6 meal breaks timed just right. For many of us iris simply not feasible to look like the guy on the advocate cover. Unrealistic body images are not being propergated by a line that indicates that gay men tend to take better care of themselves than straight men. It’s more likely to be the constant bombardment of shirtless guys selling pt programs and skincare product.
    Just some food for thought.

  8. We as a community do this to ourselves. The gay community at large is probably the least “body positive” out there. The heteromedia as something to do with it, but ultimately, we do it to ourselves. Look at all the gay magazines and such out there and the constant labeling within the community(bears, twins, otters, etc..) so much based around body type and appearance. To be perfectly honest, i got over most of my body issues by staying away from the gay community and focused on what I needed to do for me, to make me happy and healthy person. I’d rather be “gay fat” and happy than thin and miserable.

  9. I have a eating disorder. I feel pain all the time from my back to my legs. Chest pains. I try to eat better or starve myself etc. But I can’t help it. I think I’m just not strong enough.

  10. I’ve been morbidly obese my entire life; I started gaining weight at 3-1/2 while my twin brother has been thin his entire life. I was bullied throughout school; you can’t imagine the things that were said to me and done to be because I was fat.

    Because of my weight, I have never dated; no one wants me; no one will accept me for who I am, or even support me in trying to lose weight.

    I came out of the closet at 42 when I fell in love with a man I thought God had sent to me as a gift for all my suffering. It was not a gift from God at all, but a curse as the guy only wanted one thing, and after he had it a few times, I never heard from him again.

    Since coming out I have tried many different gay dating sites and have never received a response to an e-mail, wink, etc. that I have sent. I live with so much rejection from men I just can’t take anymore.

    At 47, I’ve had it. The world has crushed me; they won! I’m heading home to Heaven very soon where I will be loved and accepted for who I am and not for what I do not look like.

    To all the people who bullied me; all the people who reject me; all the people I am a slave to so I can feel some sort of love, etc. There are no words for the pain you have and continue to cause me.

    I’m done!!

  11. Patrick howard says:

    I’m not sure what to say. I realize that life is a bitch. I had my own bullying issues. I hope you can find someone to talk to before you take your life. I wish you good luck no matter what happens.

  12. Moved past this stuff says:

    We are a fucked up bunch. I’m slender but I see people
    Calling themselves and others fat when they’re actually not. Gay gay as we would describe. Sick of it. If we are going to care so much about what others think then we are going to end up eternally unhappy. The jokes on the clowns new calling people fat! Enjoy a shallow life.