PRESS RELEASE: Ladies and gentlemen, boy-girls and girl-boys, welcome to the Immaculata Series by Larry Leiva. In this atuobiographical series, Larry Leiva documents his long term struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia, Heavenly Creatures, and Japanese Kitsch. Although Larry is not the Virgin Larry (or Jesus Christ,) he has stuff to share with the world and he will do it on Almost Dorothy. Ma is super pistol-packing psyched-out and pumped because Leiva (also known as Leyva) is a heavenly creature fond of 80’s music and Mr. Zebra. She’s also excited because Leiva is not afraid to talk about life as a guy (or boy) (or man) dealing with multiple eating disorders (ED). He is not afraid of dispelling the myth that ED only affects girls. It can affect anyone. And it’s freaking hard to beat.
I thought it would be cool to conduct a Potty Mouth Interview with Leiva and he said yes when I asked him so here it is. Enjoy.
Almost Dorothy: How long have you dealt with ED? And how/why/when did you come out of the ED closet?
Larry Leiva: I have been dealing with ED for three years now. Soon to be four. I remember the time I told my dad that I had this problem, though I knew he had already known or had a hunch that I had an issue. I purged in the bathroom that was next to where my father and my sister were talking at a table. I did it on purpose, you know. I wanted him to hear me, so he could ask me, why? I really don’t know. I think it was just the anxiety tickling me.
AD: What is the immaculate version (or vision) of yourself?
LL: I seem to picture this guy that looks alot like me, with a somberly jubilant stare. Lips drenched with a crimson appetite (what does this mean?) that never takes a bite. Charitable cheekbones. Hair that sings in such an attractive jet black tone it makes the nighttime around him jealous. No gel, no mouse (or mousse), just dowdy intimacy. His body is awry fulfillment. Sartorial gluttony in his onyx pea coat. Obsidian dress pants that makeout with his legs all while the dark balmorals he has on stare in felicity as if watching something naughty. All this while walking down fascination street.
AD: What’s it like being a boy?
LL: Being a boy has it’s ups and downs (obviously). I wish I could be a girl in randomly disarranged moments of my life. Just so I can walk in a pair of high-heels. Wait. I can do that anytime. Nevermind.
AD: What’s it like being a boy living with a disease that is stereotyped as a ‘girl’s’ disease?
LL: I was sitting here thinking about how to answer this and simply all that comes to mind is that I feel powerful. I’m a cookie-cutter with no shape to mold. The one thing that does get annoying is when I read articles about ED, and they forget the boys. I can understand if it’s an article specifically about a woman with an eating disorder. But if it’s just an article talking about eating disorders in general, and they just mention the female population, it bugs me, because it just keeps perpetuating that frame of thought that ED is just a female issue.
AD: If you could be a heavenly creature, or a creature that is heaven-like, which one would you be and why?
LL: I would be the conductor of that bewitched ferris wheel with the immaculate seats. I want to gain control of my life. Not let ED continue to control me.
AD: You’ve written about sexual identity and gender identity and how it complicates your conflict with E.D. What is the connection and how does it complicate your life? Explain.
LL: My sexual identity and I have had this thing (denial ) going on for a very long time, and it’s only recently that I’ve been able to come to terms with it, even though I’ve always been pro everyone. It was just another personal issue I had to endure, not just because of the fact that “Oh my god, am I gay? am I bisexual?” It was “oh my god, I think I might like boys as well.” Plus I have this issue, this “female” issue. It wasn’t pretty, because the media pigeonholes ED as a girl “phenomenon”, and if you are a boy with ED, they pigeonhole that boy with ED as gay. I never liked to be pigeonholed (wait that sounds wrong). Anyway, you can ugly much get a picture of what was going on in my head during those days. As I’m typing this now, I’m Larry who likes. Meaning I like boys and girls. I don’t label myself for anyone. If someone wants to call me gay, straight, bisexual, go ahead. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, when it comes to my sexuality. Now every time I pass that bus stop sign that tells me to “admit it!” I just smile even though it’s talking about a gambling problem.
AD: Gamble on, boy. Gamble on. When someone says, “Larry, eat, it’s so good!”, what does that feel like? When you’re in a room filled with food and people chowing down, what does it feel like, what do you think about, how do you cope?
LL: I get envious. Sometimes I watch my cousin eat this gigantic plate of asshole food, and I think to myself, wow ,I wish I could do that. And yeah I could but not really. I miss eating anything, and just eating it, not having to think thrice about what I just put into my mouth, chewed and swallowed. And I miss feeling full, and continuing on with my day. I don’t remember how that feels to just eat until satisfied and just go with the flow. Sometimes, I’m eating with my family, and we all finish, and they go about their business, and I just stop in this very uncomfortable place that is overwhelmed with sadness. That is when I decide to go for a walk, until I don’t feel as full. When I feel full, I’m constantly reminded that I ate. So the less full, the better.
AD: The solution to ED seems simple: just eat. But,it’s not that simple. Why?
LL: Because ED isn’t about the food and that’s the hardest part. Food is just how we cope. It’s all our problems in a raw and physical form that I cannot escape because I need this problem everyday to survive. Food is every mistake, every not good enough, every slip and fall, every scar, every could of done better, every bad memory, every tease, every it’s your fault, every fuck you.
AD: Biggest fear?
LL: Letting myself be loved.
AD: Biggest hope:
LL: Letting myself be loved.
AD: Aawh, Shamu! Ma just got emotional. Last question: Favorite color?
LL: Midnight Blue.
Larry Leiva: I want to wake up one morning at 3am, and suddenly randomly be in one of those gigantic Japanese seafood auction places just so I can see the cornetfish up close and personal. This is all I have to say. However, Larry will be documenting his life on Almost Dorothy for the Immaculata Series.