“I am urging the parents of Black and Latino youngsters, particularly, to not let their children go out wearing hoodies.”

I moved to Sanford, FL from Buffalo, NY about ten years ago. The first thing my wife wanted me to do was to get some clothes that would actually be “Florida” clothes. You know….shorts, flip flops and short sleeve shirts.
“Nah…I am ok with my hoodie.”
I have worn a hoodie ever since I can remember. When I was a kid I would always wear them out. It could be 90 degrees in North Carolina and my hoodie would be on. My mom used to get so angry with me about it. Not because of the fashion, but because it was so hot outside.
“Tony…you look RIDICULOUS! Put on a tank top!”
“Nah…I am ok with my hoodie.”
When I lived in Buffalo, NY, wearing a hoodie was easy. it was always cold. I actually do not remember a time when it was not. In fact, I think that winter there was all year long.
Florida was a different beast. Hot….very hot. My wife thought finally she would get rid of my hoodie obsession and finally get me in some normal clothes. Sadly, she was wrong.
I have dealt with obesity my whole life. I was always the chubby kid. Funny how chubby turns to fat. Fat turns to obese. Obese turns into Morbidly obese. I think that is where it ends.
I never felt comfortable in “normal” clothing. When I am at work, I always tug on my shirt or pull my pants because I feel awkward. I feel like people stare at me because of my weight. Because I was 400 pounds.
The hoodie hid it for me.
I feel right in a hoodie. I always have. When I was over 400 pounds, my hoodie hid some of it. I looked like I worked out although I did not. I felt like a sports star.
When I got my weight to 420 pounds in 2008 I decided to make a change. I lost a lot of weight. Over 200 pounds. I documented it here on this blog. In almost every picture I wear a hoodie.
My wife was so excited when I lost weight. She was one of the main reasons why I did. In fact, she wanted to take me out shopping for some new clothes. After losing weight, she was ready to take me out and get some new clothes.
“Nah…I am ok with my hoodie.”
A hoodie to me is much more than a hooded sweatshirt. Every one of my hoodies has my sweat on it. Hard work and dedication. I own more than fifty of them. I wear them out everywhere I go. I could care less if it is 100 degrees or 10 degrees….I wear my hoodie.
I have written this before, but a hoodie symbolizes hope. It is not sexy, it is not cute. It hides imperfections in my figure and it makes me feel comfortable. Comfortable in a body that took me over 30 years to feel right.

Geraldo’s statement is wrong.

This week my hoodie has gotten different stares in Sanford, FL. I will always wear a hoodie out. Treyvon Martin’s death happened in Sanford, FL. A city that is upside down from this.

Today when I went to the store, some guy was yelling at me about my hoodie. He was telling me all the facts he knew about the case. He was asking me if I was trying to make a statement with my hoodie.

I have always been the crazy hoodie guy.

Well…..I guess I made a statement. I have been judged my whole life.

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