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Some things I know for sure, & some I don't.

Just the beginning of one of my stories and some SF-Bay-Area-Fat-Community History.

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Betty Rose

Just the beginning of one of my stories and some SF-Bay-Area-Fat-Community History.

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I believe it was 1982 when I first came out here to visit. I was visiting my friend Eddie. She is a little dyke, as were most of the other dykes I met back then. It was a nice vacation, but I felt rather left out, mostly because of my size. Everyone was nice enough, but I definitely did not feel like lover material. I felt doomed to be the fat friend, possibly forever.

Then Eddie and her friend Pat were going to a protest in Livermore and Eddie was rather excited that I should meet her friend Sylvia. Eddie was always excited about her friends, so I assumed it probably wasn't going to be that big of a deal.

Then I met Sylvia Kohan. She was a tall fat woman with gray hair and she wore a white jump suit. I was impressed. Sylvia had presence. And she started telling me about the SF FAT community.

I need to leave work now, but this will be continued. I want to tell my stories about a community that has both saved and shaped my life. I have a friend, Bettye Travis, who is a writer. She is about to die, and with a sad tremor I realized I don't know all of her stories. Are they written down somewhere? Bettye has been an activist for years and an important part of this community.

There is so much that has changed and people who have died. Even though I can't tell their story, I can tell you their role in mine. There are so many names that ought to be written down.

And I hope to hear all of your stories, too. All of the fat women and men and their friends and family living here in the Bay Area have formed a very accepting community. I didn't know it that day, but Sylvia was opening a door for me that has shaped the life I have led. So, over many posts to follow, I am going to tell you about that life. It's has been, and continues to be both personal and political. And in retrospect I realize just how much I have loved and continue to love my life.
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