CURRENT CRUSH: CALEB LUNA


Caleb Luna is a fat, brown queer, writer and burlesque dancer (!) who resides in Oakland, California which is apparently the destination for every radical unicorn on the planet. I'm definitely not that sad to be here in Tucson though (<--Lie. Oakland, you stole my heart years ago.)

Caleb is a PhD student at University of California, Berkeley, where their work explores the intersections of performance, fatness, desire, fetishism, white supremacy, and colonialism from a queer of color lens. They also have a heart shaped FAT BABE tattoo on their arm that deserves a moment of recognition as well. Can I get a dozen Hands In The Air emojis for this above list of fabulous things please? (Ask and ye shall receive: πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ!)

Caleb writes for multiple sites including Black Girl Dangerous, The Body Is Not an Apology, and Everyday Feminism. I can almost guarantee that you've read at least one of their articles; they are often very-much-needed posts that push you farrrrrrr outside of your comfort zone and are full of complex subjects/ideas that you never knew you needed to read... which then presents you with the opportunity to process them three (or ten) times over. You don't want to miss out on them..

Count me as one of the people eternally grateful for their writing and the contributions that they offer.


Because everything Caleb writes is  more than worth reading, I'm going to share a few of my favorite excerpts with links to every brilliant and sparkling article!

Ugly is how I move through the world, how I am viewed by strangers, coworkers, potential lovers, employers, family, community members, doctors, professors, service industry workers, et cetera, and this perception affects how I am treated daily. I have been denied job opportunities because of my body. I do not fit into restaurant booths, airplane seats, or school desks comfortably—which serves as a constant reminder that this world was not built to accommodate me.


(Photo by Michelle Ramirez)

A product of the fat acceptance movement is a bigger and more diverse group of people embracing their bodies and claiming fat identity. There are so many reasons to claim fatness and so many ways to be fat. It’s an embodiment that is contextual depending on other variations like race, gender and ability especially. I don’t think that the destigmatizing and expanding the boundaries of fatness is necessarily a bad thing, but it can become complicated for me when the vast majority of these people are on the smaller end of the spectrum of fatness.




I’m a fat, fat-positive activist – and I don’t love my body. I have spent the past several years thinking and speaking quite a bit about fatness. I’ve written about it both publicly and academically, participated in conferences, and co-wrote and performed in a play about fatness. I dress intentionally and strategically to show off my body and challenge presumptions of fatness in those around me. And I’m sure that, for many people, these things leads them to believe that I do, in fact, love my body. And while I do have a tremendous amount of self-love, that love is tied more to who I am than what body I exist in. 
(Photo by Beverly Bland Boydston III)

Critical television engagement remains an important aspect of my personal-political practice, and my inclinations are, of course, colored by my own positionality as a fat, queer, femme of color. This means that I still gravitate towards shows that feature people of color, fat people, queers, and femmes in my curation – and why shows like The Mindy Project and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for example, remain important to me.
Despite their (many, many) shortcomings, outside of Mindy Lahiri and Titus Andromedon, there are so few other places I could see a fat femme of color portrayed at all, but much less as a legitimate love interest. I value that.
So while there’s clearly some forward momentum toward showing fat people to be fully realized, three-dimensional characters, I still yearn for a character whose fatness is part of them.



This experience really helped me see how white supremacy manifests in subtle ways in activist spaces, even by folks who identify strongly as people of color and/or as anti-racist and anti-oppressive.I now see how even cultivating activist communities and spaces that consist of primarily young, thin, cis, and non-disabled people is a product of white supremacy, even if the people are not all white.


And my personal favorite article-

I am tired of fighting my friends. I am tired of trying to convince them that I matter as much as their romantic interests and partners. In many ways, who we choose to love is also a decision of who we invest in, and who we distribute the resources necessary to keep one another alive—including care. I am tired of trying to get people who love me to see that I am worthy of love, care, investment and attention as much as their romantic partners. I am tired of trying to make those who love me see that I am worthy of care, time and attention as much as the whiteness and thinness they invest in through their partners. I am sick of reminding them of the simple fact that who we choose to love and, by extension, invest in is political. Investing in people is also investing bodies and this does not exist outside out of historical priorities and possibilities. We can stop politicizing desire when we stop distributing our love and care based on it. When we stop using our desire as a rubric for who we are keeping alive—or at least making efforts to.
------
I'm fairly certain that the only thing better than this world having one Caleb Luna is the world having THREE Caleb Lunas.

The above wish is now officially on my birthday list. Make a note, y'all.

You can find Caleb on FacebookTwitterTumblr, and Instagram (which I literally just spend 90 minutes oohing and aaahing over) and I suggest you follow each of their social media profiles STAT.

Thank you Caleb for gifting us your talent and presence in a world that honestly deserves neither. SENDING YOU ALL THE LOVE.

P.S. You can check out other amazing crushes here!

No comments

Back to Top