Those who know me, know that I have sort of a love/hate relationship with NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). But whatever my opinions of NAAFA, the organization is, I will tell you that attending the NAAFA annual convention is WORTH it.
Kudos to NAAFA for getting the information for the 2010 Convention out early enough for folks to plan for vacation time and start saving their pennies. If you haven’t heard, the 2010 Convention is set for August 5-9, at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel. Room rates are $89 per night (a huge bargain in the Bay Area). For more info go to naafa.org.
What makes a NAAFA Convention worth the cost (and it isn’t cheap – between hotel, travel and the convention itself) are the people you will meet at the Convention. The people who attend the NAAFA Convention are people who either love their fat-selves or are learning to love their fat-selves. It is the safest fat place on the planet.
These are your people! Come meet them.
The Convention is about you – you learning to love your fat self, you getting to be around other fat people who love themselves, and making and meeting fat friends. I have made friends from all over the country at NAAFA Conventions and these people are so wonderful and inspiring and have made my life so much richer. It is a joy to me just knowing that these people are in the world making it a more fat friendly place. (And yes, I am tearing-up right now just thinking of them.)
NAAFA has always had a bit of a split personality about what kind of organization it wants to be. It started out being essentially social in nature, and now is more about activism. But don’t let that scare you off. You have a whole range of activism and fat acceptance here from 101 to post-doctorate.
Usually, the Convention includes pool parties, a fashion show, a vendor’s fair (clothes you will find nowhere else), and 2 dances – one either costume or casual and one fancy dress. Looking at the website, it appears that some, if not all, of these NAAFA Convention social mainstays will be happening.
The Convention also includes various workshops – usually not set until much closer to the Convention date, but usually including some physical fitness workshops! A poetry workshop (and reading)! And workshops where issues important to fat people are addressed.
I will give you a warning. Do not come to a NAAFA Convention thinking you are going to meet the man/woman of your dreams. Could happen. Probably won’t. Again that’s not what NAAFA Conventions are about. That’s not to say you can’t get laid if that’s what you’re after. Again, could happen. However, be realistic and take responsibility for your own choices — if you meet a guy at the pool or at one of the dances, and he’s on the prowl, and you have a romp in the hay with him, don’t be surprised and get your panties in a twist if the next day he’s looking for a new conquest. I always figure – you both got a good time out of it – you “used” each other in a manner of speaking. And as long as everybody plays safe, plain old sex for sex can be a good thing.
Most of the general complaints I have heard at NAAFA Conventions come from people who had a problematic encounter with someone else – and did nothing about it. They did not report it to anyone – NAAFA’s Board attend the Convention. They introduce themselves. They tell you, if you have a problem with someone – report it to them and they will deal with it. But if you don’t report it until long after, don’t blame NAAFA. Again responsibility for your own choices.
Again, whatever my issues are with NAAFA, I have no issues with the most important part of NAAFA – it’s members. They are wonderful, interesting, vital people, and I can’t wait to see you all at the 2010 Convention!