Saturday, July 24, 2010

Free Your Mind

“… I might date another race or color,
It doesn’t mean I don’t like my strong black brothers”

- En Vogue (Free Your Mind: Funky Divas)

So during my last two semesters of school, I tried to stay focused on staying focused but as the weeks passed by, I became more restless and anxious. My world crumbled when The Voice and I parted ways and I found myself riding solo through the world.

(Cue Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”)

Now, I’m not the type of guy who likes being unattached so I channeled my breakup frustrations and angst into my studies and soon enough, I began considering something new. I soon discovered he was smart. He was talented. He had the same type of dry, sarcastic humor as me. He was attractive. He was sexy.

And he was white.

Yeah, in all my years of dating and failed relationships, I suddenly found myself checking out a white guy.

Now, let me straighten things out (no pun intended) before I continue: I am hardly a candidate for racism and bigotry. After all, I am African-American and SGL so I have absolutely no right to criticize another person for their religion, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Moreover, I’ve had friends from numerous backgrounds such that if they all gathered in one room, it’d look like a United Nations summit. Plus, it’s hard to be narrow-minded at UMass Boston considering the many students from all walks of life. I enjoy getting to know people from all cultures and backgrounds as it makes life interesting and fascinating.

Nevertheless, I felt some deep confliction then and even now, nearly a year since I admitted I was interested in this guy. However, I had never seriously considered dating a white guy before this “curiosity” began. My “black book” is filled with guys who are mostly from West Indian descent. And the few white guys I dated were flings at the most. Either they were too mature for me (I was exceptionally naïve when I first came out) or I wasn’t serious about them. Either way, it never lasted more than one or two dates. In a nutshell, I don’t have much experience seriously dating outside my race.

I’ve only had about four or five serious relationships, including my first girlfriend and I suppose it was easier to relate to each one because we shared the same racial experiences growing up. Everyone I dated had felt that sting of discrimination. We all knew what it was like to deal with “our people.” We all knew about the “black church” experience. We all heard the ghetto black rumors, knew the black handshakes and drilled every February on our black history. And we all went through the “please don’t let him be black” mantra when we saw a crime being reported on television. But how do you relate when your boyfriend doesn’t have a clue about any of these things?

While I’ve already established that I’m open to new encounters, I somehow have to reconcile with the “traitor to the race” mentality that’s been indoctrinated in our community since long before I was born. I have relatives on each end of the color spectrum but can’t help remembering those echoes of “oh they got them babies with the fine hair.” While most in the community have moved on from that mentality, there are many inside and out the black community that have not. And that’s not even touching upon the racism within the gay community.

Could I have dated too many black guys with issues that it’s turned me off? Does this make me self-hating? While my friends and family may be accepting, what types of ignorant things will we encounter in the real world aside from us being an SGL couple? These are just some of the thoughts swirling around in my head.

I suppose the first step will be to “adjust the vision of my future-self.” For example, when I acknowledged my sexual orientation, I was mostly devastated that my “future-self” would no longer have that all-American scenario: wife, kids, house with a picket fence. In time and as I began to really delve into the gay community, I realized that I just needed to shift that vision a little. The woman became a guy and the kids existed via adoption. Thus, that perfect African-American partner I visualized may become Asian, Latino or white. Or another ethnicity entirely.

Maybe I’m becoming more open-minded as I age. After all, I’m thinking about a long-term relationship and possibly a family the closer I get to 30 while the “me” from ten years ago was all about fun. Who knows where this is all coming from and how it will turn out.

In the end, the most important realization is that regardless of his skin color, I just want the love to be 100% real and honest.

And it doesn’t get any realer than that.


Moanerplicity said...

First, I truly do believe that Love is Love. We don't choose who we will fall in love with and sometimes a soulmate will come in an unexpected package, which doesn't make him or her any less valid or necessary in our lives.

So, I should never judge you for having the heart and the courage to love.

I do, however, have concerns about you or anyone who states that they NEED to be in a relationship, because that signals something other than self-love, self-acceptance, and self-assuredness w/in the host.

That almost reeks of desperation, and desperation can make us do some very uncharacteristic things, most of which are unhealthy to our spirits.

Finally, everything that you penned here would be better said in a dialogue with your potential NEW mate, because when such issues, worries, concerns and realities are expressed and then *discussed together*, they can only lead to a better sense of mutual communication, and a series of Teachable Moments for the both of you.


Good luck, my friend... and Snatch JOY!



K.C. said...

Thanks for your insight Lin and while I was a bit defensive upon first read, I slept on your words and opened up.

Consequently, you've got me questioning my so-called "need" for love. No one likes to think of themselves as desperate but glancing in the mirror, I can see how it may appear to others. I've decided to take some steps back and continue focusing on me before I can share my life with anyone. And that starts by resolving my issues with my past...seems I've got my work cut out for me!

While this individual was nothing more than an infatuation, I do hope that when and if a similar situation materializes, I can use this post as a springboard for that conversation with him.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

borelist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MalinS said...

I love internet!
I´ve started at a friends swedish and clicked at "next blog" at the top of the webpage. Cliked from blog to blog and ended up on your blog.
And you write so good - and interesting!

But this was in july. What happended?

Hope everything went well!
Malin - a Swedish woman blogsurfin'

Erika said...

Hello, K.C! I am loving so much the way you define yourself, as am going to borrow it from you, just changing the genders:) And even though I am the total opposite of you, as being a white girl, who dated for the past few years, black guys, due to the circumstances, I guess, I still relate to you and your posts, so as views you hold and HATE with a passion, heairing about the sting of discrimination that so many people are stil feeling:( I love the way you are opening up and am agree with your new stance-live according to your onw principles and just be real! All the best to you!

milancheto said...

I think that all ppl feel love the same way. love is something that coneccting all ppl

Anonimo said...

Good job, i usually visit your blog and it is so cool, could you visit mine? :P

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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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