What is cancelled? Racist. White. Gay. Men.
Racism does not start or stop at abusive comments towards a race that you do not belong to. Racism comes in many forms, your so-called “preference” is a form of racism and I am here to tell you why. You look at my Grindr profile picture (the same as the header image on this article) and you think to yourself, “look at his beautiful tanned skin, I bet he has a huge ****” “I wonder if he is an escort” “I wonder if I can ask him to come to my house, f*ck me, take my money and leave”. Believe it or not, that is a form of racism. Your mentality of our penis sizes, our so-called rough nature come from stereotypical views of what it is to be a person of colour.
It is Friday 13th April, I’ve finally pressed the delete button on Grindr and let’s face it, that app can be addictive. It’s the first thing I open when I wake up if I see a notification I immediately check it and even if there isn’t a notification I’m there, just scrolling away. For what? validation.
Philip Henry’s article, “Dear White Gay Men, Racism is not Just a Preference”, was the turning point in my brain. I grew up in an extremely comfortable environment to a black father and a white mother. I attended a private boarding school in the deep countryside of Hertfordshire and I was also the only person of colour in my year group and one of a few in the whole student body. Whilst I was extremely successful in my school years, taking the position as head boy, captain of sports teams and on top of all of my grades. However, I was whitewashed. This lasted with me and it reflected in the men I dated for the years that followed. (I’m 21 now). My addiction to Grindr was a frantic search for validation from white gay men.
I was probably 16 or 17 years old when my Grindr profile said; “White guys only, just a preference.” Looking back on it makes me cringe, but this was the environment that I was raised in and it was all I knew, I was not exposed to my Brazilian or African heritage. It was easy to shrug it off and just be “white”. It took me some time to understand that I all I was to these men was a big penis and a rough bad boy, and when that fantasy wasn’t the reality, I’d be dropped faster than I could even ask why.
I think porn is a big part of the problem, straight, gay, whatever. All these websites with titles like BBC, black top and white bottom and ebony are examples of racial fetishisation and individuals believe that it is acceptable to base sexual expectation upon these horrible websites. I began to stand up to horrific messages on Grindr from white gay men and the responses were extremely disturbing. To be told to “f*ck off back to my country” “return to your poor country” or to even be called the n-word by a white person shows that racism truly is still rife in this world. When racist white gay men are rejected by a person of colour, they feel it as an attack on their stance in this world and the only way they can respond is with abuse. They enjoy the sexual thrill of interaction with a person of colour but are not able to understand and support the day to day struggle, discrimination and difficulty that it is to be a person of colour.
I have dated white men, who are genuine allies and are rarer in their existence. In the past year, I have been making up for lost time and have had such incredible sexual and romantic interactions with other men of colour and wish the same for any other queer man of colour that may be struggling to date other men of colour because of white supremacy.
It’s hard out there and we really have to educate ourselves and be our own teachers because no-one is going to do it for us. I found such a new love for my Sierra Leonean and Brazilian roots in this tough year of self-education. Whilst I still am comfortable in dating a white man, I’m able to do it knowing that if I do, he supports and understands some of the difficulties that come with being a queer person of colour. I am not with him just to feel self-validation. I don’t want to be that person that preaches anti-white and still dates a white guy, because let’s be real there is enough of those kinds of “activists” out there, but all I am saying is, date who you want but for the RIGHT reasons. Date because you genuinely like or love that person, don’t date them because you perceive them as a trophy. If you find yourself dating a white man because it makes you feel validated, more successful and above other people of colour, then you are showing signs of internalised racism.
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