My ex-client set out to market his app, hitting up every pride celebration from sea to shining sea. He thought the marketing would be easy, until he, the straight man who created the Black gay dating app, realized a secret truth that the vast majority of gay men refuse to acknowledge: Black gays and non-Black gays are not the same.
Before I go any further, let me state the views in this piece are mine and do no reflect scholarly work or research of any accredited body.
Black gay men have a unique racial burden to bear. On the one hand, our bodies are lusted after. I can hear our gay forefathers bantering about how BBC is all the rage among the kids now-a-days. Black bodies are paraded across porn and adult content. There are even porn houses committed to the satirizing and fetishizing the policing of Black bodies. But the moment when we can see the pornographic value in the plight of Black and Brown queer and gay men, we have culturally taken a turn for the absolute worst.
A part of us, culturally, blames our administration. #45 (whose actual name will never be printed on this site) has normalized hate speech, and acts of hate and violence. He’s pardoned bigots, damn-near-sided-with the doctrine of neo-nazis and attempted to shame those who live and advocate against the plight of Black and Brown people in our criminal justice system. But the statement is true–#45 has normalized a behavior, meaning the behavior existed. But, in LGBT culture, its much more covert.
Preference is the weapon that non-marginalized gay men use to justify their racist views and stereotypes. It’s the same as having a Black friend, neighbor, in-law, or any other accessory your wear your Black peers as. Preference is the catch all umbrella that White men (and others) use to be racist without actually saying they are racist. On its face, preference allows you to hold your own biases that should be honored as individual, while you disrespect the individuality of others. Terms like no Blacks and snow queens have created racial barriers that we’re hard pressed to overcome so much so that it’s no longer enough to be woke. We must be up-at em-active-and angry.
The difficulty with our experience now, however, is that our experience is not captured. When race relations in the south ran high, it was in the newspaper, Dr. King wrote letters from jail, marches and news casts were reflection of the time–slanted but reflection nonetheless.
Now, however, our experience is wrapped in tweets and posts that are buried in timelines and last only until our next refresh. We march and galvanize, the shelf life of the woke-ness of our advocates is short. We have a unique opportunity. ProfileD is a study out of Michigan that is aimed at understanding racialized sexual discrimination–capturing the Black and Brown experience as the recipient of “I don’t date Blacks”.
My hope is that this study will allow us to better see the common threads of our experience in a way that Black cultures and others that love us can understand. It’s no longer enough that we’re pissed off; we have to aim ourselves at solutions that ease our cultural tensions. Join the study by clicking here.