Author Terrance Dean (Hiding In Hip-Hop) explores the intricacies of being a black gay man in a white gay dating world in his latest piece for Advocate.com. Dean tackles the highly controversial topic of interracial dating and explores the various reasons why many black gay men are opposed to the idea and prefer to date within their own race rather than be reduced (in some cases) to mere sexual objects.
An Excerpt From Advocate.com
Growing up, many black people are taught an emphasized sense of pride and self-assurance of loving oneself that their white counterparts are typically not. White men do not need validation in a world that already justifies their existence. Then again, some whites appreciate dark skin, but it seems too often that it is out of novelty or fetishism, rather than pure connection.
“There are white men who think that just because they are attracted to or sleep with black men, they can’t be racist,” says James Earl Hardy, 42, a writer in Atlanta and New York. “It’s as if their ability to deep-throat black dick means they don’t have a prejudice or bigoted bone in their body. They oftentimes feel the need to tell me they love black men. I always have to correct them. No, you love black meat. That is what you have reduced us to.”
Darian Aaron, a 29-year-old writer and activist from Atlanta, says the media’s shallow portrayal of black gay men is a key ingredient in the roots of the problem. “Black men are often obsessed and glorified by white men. They buy into the myths that black gay men are well-endowed and hypermasculine. White men tend to worship and seek after that and nothing else. I don’t want to be anyone’s object. We are smart, intelligent, and more than our penises.”
The fascination with the black male physique can be pinpointed to centuries ago, when slaves were stripped nude in public view of white men and women. Slaveholders boasted of black men’s penises, stating, “He is good for mating with negro slave women to produce virile offspring."
“Some of my white friends will hook up with someone black or Hispanic because it’s like a trophy,” says Jeff Brauer, 38, political science professor in Scranton, Penn. “They wouldn’t date or have a relationship with them. They think black and Hispanic men are only interested in sex. It’s a sexual thing, so they think they have nothing else in common with them.”
“Black gay men have not been out of the closet or comfortable in their own skin as white gay men,” says Lee Hayes, 35, a Washington, D.C.–based writer. “Black men are not out to the same degree as white gay men. We have a need to blend into society instead of standing out. To date outside our race makes that particularly difficult.”
Have you ever dated outside of your race? Would you consider doing so now? How do you feel about black gay men who only date white men and vice versa? In the post Obama era should race even be apart of the equation when looking for a mate?