August 9, 2018 - Lesleigh Owen

Image Description: Three smiling, larger-bodied women sit around a table holding phones.

Sometimes activism looks like shaking a handwritten, cardboard sign while chanting poorly-rhymed slogans. Sometimes it looks like rolling down the street in a crop top and shorts, rounded belly bared for the world to admire.

And sometimes, activism can simply involve sitting before your laptop with a cup of coffee and telling other non-normatively bodied folks where their bodies and selves fit in.

Public accommodation isn’t just about fun or comfort; it’s a statement about which bodies belong where. Whether we are fat, transgender, a person of color, and/or have some kind of disability, we’re used to navigating a world that tells us our bodies are too big, too awkward, shouldn’t go certain places, too feminine or masculine, use space incorrectly, don’t have the right parts. This can make us feel like outsiders in a world that we have just as much right as anyone else to use, occupy, and contribute to.

Whether out of ignorance or malice, so many places forget about us or refuse to accommodate our non-normative bodies. This can make a simple trip to the store, let alone a doctor’s visit, an exercise in anxiety, anger, and pain.

Image Description: An African American woman sits with a laptop. She's talking with a caucasian woman. They are in an office building waiting area.

This is why Ample matters. This forum is a space for people of color and/or transgender, disabled, and fat persons to relay information about the world to folks with similar embodiments. This is where we get to rant to our peers about internists that refuse to treat us and rave about unisex bathrooms. This site is an activist tool that bridges our communities and provides us with a map of friendly and unfriendly territories.

So, yeah, you should definitely search the site for info on all the places you need to roam. But don’t forget you can also be a superhero activist by contributing to the database. This site isn’t just about discussing armless chairs, extra wide and gender-neutral fitting rooms, and woke therapists.

It’s about searching and contributing to a list of places where our bodies and selves are welcomed.