It’s been just a little over 8 months since I received a text from Heather Boyle about our mutual friend AJ Confessore, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out that he’d taken his life.
AJ was a Renaissance man, born at the wrong time. He loved heavy metal music, loved Star Wars, loved comic books, and LOVED fat chicks (he never was comfortable with the term BBW). He worked tirelessly to bring those worlds together, as that was his idea of heaven. While he toiled working parties as a clown, or other characters, making a meager living, he thought BIG. In all of those small worlds he was involved in, he WAS big. EVERYONE loved AJ. When we were running the NJ Bash, AJ would make it a point to show up, and spend time with the fat community who attended our events. He would arrive as himself, ultimately ending up at some point in the evening going into the mens room and changing into his legendary CC Banana costume, where he’d again make the rounds, giving every woman (and even a few of the guys) a photo op. He loved sitting on the laps of his fat chicks, and while some of the women might have thought it creepy if any other men had asked, the general consensus was that AJ was harmless, and it was all in good fun.
Truthfully, the only person that I know he’d ever hurt was himself, and believe me when I tell you that our mutual friends were saddened by his death. Recently, my close friend and size acceptance brother Gabriel Leal recently commissioned his friend and great illustrator Scott D M Simmons to draw a tribute of our deceased friend. With information provided by Gabe, Scott managed to capture the essence of what AJ was all about, especially note that AJ’s last project, the “Whole Lotta Love” album is included in the lower left corner of the drawing.
I want to thank both Gabe and Scott for this tribute of a man who worked for size acceptance in his own unique way. For those of you who knew him, enjoy this illustration, and think back fondly of the happy times we all spent with him. RIP, brother.