Dangerous Compassions



Hey, I would like to express a preference to you.  It’s that you don’t use heavy to mean bad.  I don’t want to be language policey, but it hurts me.  Thanks for considering.

Heavy can be really good, like me.  This is my body–I love my body, and if you don’t, that’s ok.  But please consider it works well for me.  All bodies are valid bodies.  We all have worth, at any size and weight.

Heavy can be really good also for whales, cows, elephants, rhinos, hippos, neutron stars, trains, a sack of beans or potatoes, a vehicle trying to not slide on snow.  Dense rocks, bricks, lead, equipment.  Water and other liquids.  A massive sculpture–a brick of gold.

Light can be easy, and I have no problem with light.  If you want that, go for it.  I’m not hating on the non-heavy.  Just saying please don’t hate on me.

Heavy suits me.  I’m substantial and solid, and one of the happiest people I know.  You can’t know my issues and challenges just by looking at me.  Please don’t assume I eat hamburgers, never exercise, or am lazy.  I exercise every day and work hard at zines, activism, family, and radical mental health organizing.  Veggie burgers and hugs are some of my favorite things.

A pregnant person can be heavy with child.  The pregnant person is doing a specific, important task.  Breasts could be heavy with milk.  A huge pot can be heavy with tamales to feed many people at Christmastime.  Heavy can be so appropriate.

new age language

I hear people say, when someone mentions an intense or painful situation, “Wow, that’s heavy,” in a serious tone of voice.  They often mean bad.  But they don’t say bad, leaving more room for other interpretations?

In that context, heavy seems vague, but bad.  I feel uncomfortable, hearing a descriptor for my body used as a negative value judgment.

Some ideas of other words to use are challenging, horrible, unfair, intense, painful, wild, difficult, overwhelming, scary, weird, bad, or destabilizing.  Or if you don’t want to summarize someone else’s experience or put a value judgment on it, you could ask them for a word.

Kittens, clouds, thin cloth, a feather can all be light.  I love those things too.  Thank you for considering my word needs.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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