Author: Rebecca Bedford; Editor Crystal Knight
Hello everyone! Welcome back to BeingAnSSBBW.com. Today we will be talking about Living Large Chicago-Milwaukee (LLCM). As my YouTube viewers know, I did an interview with the owner, Jessica Heflin on my channel this week and it is a group that is very close to my heart.
LLCM is not the first or only plus sized group in the Chicago area. As I have mentioned many times, I was unaware of the plus sized community until a man I was seeing took me to an event for Linda’s Big Connections (LBC). My long-time viewers know that I have done videos about her group in the past. Sadly, Linda passed away and the group did not survive long past her untimely death. Everyone who knew Linda loved her and she touched thousands of lives, not just in the Chicago area, but also through the work she did in plus-sized community nationwide. She was a beacon of light to many people and is very missed.
Living Large was founded in 2014 after Linda’s passing. Recognizing the gap and having a vision of what she wanted the plus sized community to be in Chicagoland, Jessica stepped up and quickly gathered a staff of admins and volunteers to bring her vision to life. I attended their first event in July of that same year and found I really enjoyed the atmosphere they created. The staff was very friendly and welcoming, they had plenty of security on hand, and the music and prizes were phenomenal. I remember thinking if their first event was that great that I couldn’t wait to see what the future held.
Jessica approached me about working registration for their first Halloween bash (now known as the BOOty Bash) and, excited to see what they had planned, I agreed. The following year, at the first Memorial Day event, she again approached me and asked if I would work on their social media team in order to get the word out about the group. Since then I am the person behind most of the posts seen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube, and Feabie. I also continue to work registration at most events. It is a LOT of work, but I love doing it.
What I love the most about our group is how welcoming and supportive everyone is. Newcomers are surrounded and made to feel like family. I have never felt the “meat market” vibe at our events, and whereas I am sure hookups happen, (to me) the atmosphere is one of friendship and real, lasting connections. An LLCM bash or event is a chance for me to relax and spend time with the friends I’ve made from all over the world. Of course, any bash is what you make of it. If you involve your self in drama or scandal by being gossipy and jealous, it will likely not be a positive experience. I choose to stay in my happy Rebecca bubble, and whereas I know people have said terrible things behind my back, I choose not to take that on. I love meeting new people and being involved in the plus-sized community and find my energy is better spent focusing on that.
My circle of loved ones is ever expanding. Without LLCM I would never have worn a bikini, wore a costume made of plastic wrap, or strutted down a runway. Whereas my journey into self-love was an internal one, it was LLCM that helped me come completely out of my shell and break down my social barriers. I am so thankful for the friendships and connections I have made.
As my job is to promote LLCM, I could go on and on about how great it is, but I encourage you to find out for yourselves. Info on the group can be found at LivingLargeChicago.com and all social media is linked on that page. You will also be hearing more about the group on my channel as I plan to do live streams and videos from our events. I am very excited and looking forward to that.
So, what do you think of plus size groups and/or events? Are you a member or have you ever been to one? Why or why not? Send me your comments or questions below or email me at Rebecca@beinganssbbw.com.