Fat is Floating (2011)

Title (as given to the record by the creator):  Fat is Floating
Date(s) of creation:  July 9, 2011
Creator / author / publisher:  Austin J. Austin
Location: Oakland, CA, US
Physical description:
A handwritten zine that’s one sheet folded to make it 8 pages
Reference #: FatIsFloating-2011
Austin J. Austin
Links:  [ PDF ] [ Print your own, PDF ]

Fat is Floating

By Austin J. Austin


[Image description: cover page is drawn with pen in blue and black. There’s a simple beach ball surrounded by stars and the words “Fat is Floating” on top and “by Austin J. Austin” at the bottom. The remaining pages are handwritten in black ink.]

Outside my door, there is a courtyard, there’s a railing/fence decorated with crepe paper streamers. Inside the fence is a pool.

[Image: crepe paper streamers hanging on a fence above a swimming pool with hearts in it.]

Inside the pool are fatties.


Fat people swim all day long. Fat queers, trans* people, and allies laugh and float and pass beach balls over and under and talk and lounge with books and babies and there is laughter, all of it is laughter. Even the memorial service late one night ends with remembrances, laughter.


I am allergic to chlorine, but I am not allergic to laughter. Nor am I allergic to fat people, which is lucky since I am a fat person. I listen to the laughter, the water, the ripples of voices, flesh, and liquid; I listen to it all day long. I love it. [all caps] I LOVE IT.


I learned to swim when I was three years old, and I was told then, and again when I was seven — relearning how to swim — that swimming was good for fat people because fat floats. This was explained to me as in incentive to get me to swim more and slim down.


This is not what I want for myself or for my communities or for my world: the promise that if I don’t lose weight, the class will use me as a floatation device.

[image of one row of waves across the page]

Meanwhile, I hope other fat people will call on me like this:


Floating, floating above the sea of bullshit, we need one another to float, float, float. We join together, link our bodies and our minds and hearts together, we float and we laugh, we float and we cry, we float and we sing, we float and we make everything big and we float through


space and we take up space. Survival is a floatation device. Let’s survive together and thrive together, and I will dream forever of fat belly laughs and splashes, and the love in that pool outside. 

[image: a row of 5-pointed stars crosses the page]

July 9th, 2011

Fatlandia/Oakland, CA, USA

[email address]


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