Sarah Thompson, Portland, Oregon
"Growing my business is what’s on my mind, it just takes so much time! Because there’s so many things and you’re one person and it grows so slowly. My business is a lot of things- it’s called Resilient Fat Goddess and I started it initially as a project to educate healthcare providers on how to treat people in larger bodies well. Through consulting and training and I also have a medical advocacy piece for people in larger bodies how are having a hard time getting care through our healthcare system. The language and things that needs to be said and used with healthcare providers know. The last six months I added eating disorder recovery coaching which is really amazing. I knew I liked working with people but I didn't know what it would feel like and it’s been such an honor and really amazing to be able to educate people and tell them things can be different and help people to trust their bodies especially when so many people have been discriminated against and had that trust taken from them along the way. To think about what that means and being trans. What does trust in your body look like and sound like and how to talk about that. So many people can feel be betrayed by their bodies.
Transilient: I haven't been to Portland before, but I imagined its very outdoorsy, so I imagine it has a certain idea of bodies and it could be kind of hard to do that type of work here.
It's kind of a yes and no. No, because that definitely exists. Columbia and Nike headquarters are here. A couple of years ago a lot of businesses in the area will have a day or two that gives them time off to go to the employee store which is great but not if you can only buy three things in your size. Water Resistant and waterproof jackets are kind of important if you wanna go outside for six to eight months out of the year. So, it’s kinda shitty to be in a really beautiful place and have a hard time finding clothes beyond a x or 3x. You end up having to buy things online and you can’t try them on and some people don’t have stuff in their sizes and end up not going outside or being wet. Also, a really amazing things about Portland that I didn’t know until I moved here is that they have a kick ass fat community here. Different pockets of communities it’s not just one. We have a fat consignment shop! Its owned by queer people and its predominantly femme clothing but they have a masc. section and sell shoes and art by Shoog.
Transilient: I love Shoog!
A lot of people have done activism over the years and have really done a lot to create community here when it’s kind of an odd environment for it to have grown out of. There’s a fat hiking group, fat dance group, fat dance classes, fat yoga, and actually taught by fat people. I don’t think anyone would expect for how good that feels."