RMNAAFA Member Spotlight: Joe Obrin

Rocky Mountain NAAFA is quite fortunate to have Joe Obrin as an active member. An advocate for size acceptance long before RMNAAFA reorganized, Joe Obrin established his own "Fat Persons Homepage." His extensive background in computers and the World Wide Web enabled Joe to develop this web site in 1994, long before other size acceptance groups had web sites. Joe was even out on the web with his size acceptance message before our national associate had a site! On his Fat Person's Home Page, Joe has listed many links, but more importantly he has concentrated on writing essays about fat acceptance. His most rewarding experiences have been with the response he got from his essay on Redux. He heard from several people that decided not to go on the drug after reading his essay. The FDA later pulled the drug due to its life threatening side effects. Joe may very well have saved some lives with his web site. Referencing his web site Joe states "That is why I am so proud of the page. I have a strong belief that it is changing minds and changing lives. Even with all of the other fat acceptance resources out there, it still has its purpose. After all, the fat advocates are still a voice in the wilderness. I like to think I'm still heard."

 Joe's page has received a couple of awards from the fat acceptance community and USA Today has interviewed him because of it. He has been featured in "mainstream online press" and is listed in Judy Sullivan's resource book Size Wise.

 RMNNAFA has benefited greatly because of the web site he created for us, as well as the online list he established and monitors for us. The web site helps to keep our members up to date on our activities and is an excellent source of self-promotion for us, and a forum for our views. His experience with the Fat Person's Home Page has proven that a surprising number of people will find this material and be touched by it. The online list is a wonderful resource for both our members as well as guests that support our cause. The online list sees daily postings on everything from advising on where the best fat-friendly theaters are, to helping someone find the right way to express their needs and concerns to their doctors. It has proven to be wealth of information for the fat community and a forum to be heard in a safe environment.

 Joe names his family as the most important thing in his life. He met his wife Debbie in 1985 and they were married two years later. Their son Nick was born in 1992. Both of these events changed his life forever. His offline activism has included three essays he has had published in Rump Parliament, an internationally circulated magazine dedicated to fat acceptance. Professionally, Joe has worked in the aerospace industry, telecommunication industry, and in the computer storage industry. Joe currently works at Storagetek and works on designing controller (computer) cards. He has finished the design of the second-generation card and is starting the design of the third-generation card. One of his innovations is an Ethernet tap, which will allow for the maintenance of the system over the Internet from any point in the world.

In addition to the Fat Person's Home Page and the RMNAAFA Chapter web page, Joe also maintain a web page for the Rocky Mountain Amiga User's. Amiga is a computer that is not like the standard IBM compatibles or the Apple type computers. He is currently the Vice-President of that group, and has been on the Board of Directors for about 10 years, in various capacities, including two years as president.

 I continue to be amazed at the depth of knowledge Joe has. He is well read and well spoken in the area of size acceptance. In this age of ever changing computer technology, Joe keeps RMNAAFA at the cutting edge of cyberspace. Much of our chapter's strength is due to his dedicated work on our web site and his establishment of our online list.

The Member Spotlight column is the work of Patti Kelly.

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