Beth Ditto on coming out and possibly losing weight


In a recent interview with Germany’s version of In Touch magazine, lesbian singer Beth Ditto revealed how she came to the conclusion that she was gay, dishes about her possibly gay ex-boyfriend, and discusses her insecurities about her weight.

Caveat: I’ve been told that the interview in In Touch is somewhat garbled. It is most likely a German translation of an interview with Ditto in English. The following is an attempt by a native German speaker and me to translate the garbled German back into English. (We also have a bad case of food coma, so please bear with us.)

In Touch: What do you have to say about people being intimidated by you?

Beth Ditto: I haven’t noticed that yet. But I think that many people may be afraid of me. Maybe they’re intimidated, because I am a lesbian. Most men are scared by that.

IT: When did you know that you liked women?

BD: I wasn’t sure until I was 15. I started hating my friends’ boyfriends and was jealous of them. Then I knew that I couldn’t be with men.

IT: Have you ever been with a guy?

BD: Yes, at school I had a steady boyfriend for three years. We broke up at least three times, because somehow I always knew that I liked girls. Fortunately he was very understanding, but I was sort of just dating him because I thought he was gay. [laughing]

IT: Were you afraid of coming out?

BD: No, I always thought it would go well. The problems with my coming out started much later. I don’t want to be labeled as such, but I’ve been suffering from depression.

IT: Why so?

BD: I’m just not pleased with my looks, especially my weight. I’m 157 centimeters (5’2″) but I weigh 110 kilos (242 lbs).

IT: Were you made fun of due to your weight?

BD: Well, I was never mocked, and I was always able to defend myself by joking around. But sometimes it has been painful and it has hurt my feelings.

IT: How did you cope with that?

BD: I just didn’t let it show. I was always cheerful. That’s the way we fat people are. If we were not grinning all the time, then we would probably be totally frustrated. [laughing]

IT: Would you ever consider going on a diet?

BD: Well I have been contemplating as to whether I should go on a diet. I cannot ignore the whole world, but I want to accept the way that I am and I don’t want to change. Life is too short for that! [laughs]

The websites that have picked up this story have focused on her comments about her weight, which, sadly, isn’t surprising. See, for example, “Beth Ditto concedes she must lose weight.”

“Concede”? To whom is Beth Ditto “conceding” that she should lose weight? The public? The forces behind Trimspa? Vogue? Oh wait, I don’t think so.

Beth Ditto is plus-sized. OK, we get that. But since no one is affected by her weight except herself, it was a bit presumptuous to assume that commenting about her own insecurities about her weight was a concession to anyone.

As Ditto said, “Life is too short for that.”