Sexy Surplus by Danyol Leon As we move through life, so many of us restrain our sense of selves to fit a mask. We want to be just like everyone else, and in doing so go unnoticed. That mask, while often metaphorical to represent gender norms, racial norms, class norms, is a very particular experience for people of size. Fitting a mask, obfuscating ones true self by avoiding certain clothes, styles, and situations for fear of rejection is a survival tactic for larger folks. We do it to avoid pain, and to avoid the gaze of judgment from others, and from themselves. Rarely do I see large men in art pieces, and certainly not connected to gender fluidity or pleasure. We are told from a very young age that our bodies have betrayed us, that we carry the fat gene, and that our lives will be a struggle. We are covered up and desexualized to be a piece of the background. It’s my experience that in life, large men are contained to the background, and told that they won’t be admired - especially if you’re also a person of color, transgender, shorter, of femme. My work offers a different perspective. It is a celebration of large, beautiful male bodies exploring their size, their genders, and their relationship to pleasure without any barriers – genetic, or otherwise.