Tag Archives: black stereotypes

How Sports Can Teach A Gay Man (And Everyone Else) About Relationships

gay helmet

How often do you think about what attracts you to another person? Better yet does what attract you to someone affect how you treat others? What about how you view people that have relationships with different groups? These are questions I ask and write about a lot because I feel that once we truly understand what these questions mean along with all that encompasses them the closer we are to being able to truly have meaningful dialogue in recognizing if there are issues involving a prejudice towards a group of people.

It’s a mouthful while also being the opening to a very long-winded rant that involves being gay, being an African American and loving football but they all seem to relate to each other in my rambling thoughts. And I’ll try to show how sports are a lot like life in how we communicate with each other in our relationships. Improve your skills by playing at 918kiss the best online casino games.

You see the reason I’m on this topic again is because today, while watching the Titans game, I received a message from a so called friend who just casually wanted to chat and catch up (aka gossip). This guy loves to talk about who’s hot and who he’d like to date (and hell I love doing that too) but the Titans are my home team that I root for even when their defensive line is abysmal and offense is all over the place. So I wanted to watch (also scream at my TV when they’re doing great or awful or both) without any distractions.

But my friend is persistent and somewhat of an inquisitor of the human condition (or maybe I’m a pushover). Anyway, I yield on watching the game to focus on what he’s saying. He then asks why I don’t like black men (…what). Naturally the question both confused and angered me at the same time because for one it was random and came completely out of left field and secondly because I always know how conversations like this go. Someone will say something completely untrue and downright dumb followed by me very bluntly stating that their opinion is not only false but also dated.

They will then quickly try to recover by providing some “empirical evidence” to support their lofty opinion. But I will then proceed to pass over any reductive laundry list of examples to addressing why the question itself is out of bounds leaving them stumped and angry because they realize that the way they asked the question was insensitive and more than likely prejudiced.

And wouldn’t you know it the situation went exactly like I predicted it would. He went on saying that it bothers him when people don’t date their own race while I pointed out that sounds like his problem not mine. But I couldn’t leave it there and had to expand on it and figure out what this dated opinion came from so I asked for clarification.

He couldn’t think of a way to explain his point without making it sound worse so he then talked about tastes are innate also leading him to the conclusion that sexuality is concrete with no fluidity meaning he believes there’s no such thing as bisexual men. So he choose to go all in on his ridiculous small minded opinions.

If you follow football, or rather any sport, this conversation and ones like this are a lot like the game. Two opponents standing their ground making large plays to score points and win. Either opponent can fumble the ball (or the point they were trying to make). Either opponent can intercept the ball (conversation) to score another point (in support of their opinion). The time runs out and the person who’s made enough right points wins the game (argument/debate).

So at this point of the conversation it should be enough when I say that you know what? Even though the majority of men I’ve dated have been Caucasian that I’ve not only attracted to but have also had romantic relationships with every race and a diverse amount of a different ethnicity. That yes I am aware of race and color and ethnicity and aware of the differences and while I acknowledge those differences it does not inhibit arousal or sexual attraction.

But it doesn’t. Saying that will only add to his warped way of thinking.  My explanations or reasoning would only exacerbate whatever closed minded opinion someone else is voicing while making me doubt how aware I am of these cultural aspects when dating.

If I had brought up how at one time I was foolish enough to believe that the societal norms, including sticking to your race, did not extend to the gay community when in fact in some settings it is amplified. Maybe that is due to not wanting to stick out more in society by engaging in an interracial relationship on top of a gay relationship. In my experience this is more true here in the south.

And some may say the same can be said about acceptance of the gay community by the African American community but that too is subjective. Fair points but in this setting it would’ve come off as trying to give all the responsibility on society when ultimately that decision will always be mine and mine alone, no matter the lifetime of influences.

Why do we even care that they have an opinion on who we should do/be/say/date/have sex with/love/marry could’ve been another point to win this argument. I could have expanded on how sexuality is a breathing changing entity of our being and as our tastes change so may how we define our sexual identity. Yet talking about it will always seem like defensive bitterness and frustration. And it is that, but not for the reasons some may think.

Because it’s not for your pity. Never for that so you can keep it or throw it away or better yet not pity people because its degrading and treats someone like they’re subhuman. But it’s important because we do need to know how and why people are drawn to each other. It helps us in a very delicate, subtle way understand where our negative beliefs began. While we are not initially hate and attraction are innate how we perceive them is learned. But bring that up still would not have proven my point. 

Do you see now how conversations like this become a game? You on defense trying to make as many points to defend your opinion and your pride before the conversation ends. There’s interruptions (interceptions), Hell sometimes there’s even snarling. The only thing that really sets it apart is that there’s no gentle slap on the ass at the end.

The only time you should be concerned with who someone dates or what their dating preferences are is when they stereotype or categorize an entire group and completely exclude them from based on that backwards opinion. Like Grindr profiles that have “no chicken (people of African Decent) rice (Asian) but spice (Hispanic nonblack) is alright”. Those are the “it’s just a preference” people you should direct these conversations towards. I am not one of those people. But again that would give a point to him because it would appear that I may subconsciously do the same thing as the inept men that have racist dating profiles.

The whole conversation made me defensive as it always does because I never want to be made to feel like I have some quota to fill and should have to seek out other gay African American man in order for it to “look right”. And I don’t want anyone questioning the legitimacy of bisexuality. But either consciously or subconsciously that’ll be what runs through people’s mind for a split second when they don’t understand. That logic would mean that I question whether the next time I’m attracted to another African American man is that guilt or actual physical arousal.

This should be entertaining to the outside observer and the victor afterwards but conversations like this don’t turn out that way. It’s life. Because even though I won the argument I don’t feel like a winner. Especially when this exhausting exercise in logic always leaves you feeling on guard for the decisions you make solely based on your race or sexuality or both. Then you hopefully reach the moment of asking yourself why the opinions of others matter in what a person sees in a race or sexual orientation.

In the end I didn’t use the points that I knew both from experience and studying human behavior meant that instead of answering a question we have to ask more questions. Ask why it feels right to you when two people of the same race are together and uneasy when it’s two different races together. Ask yourself why you need to define what someone else’s sexuality is for them and why that bothers you when it’s different from your beliefs.

My point is that it’s circular and reductive and repetitive and you will again have to go out on the field and be ready to defend your position every single time you’re challenged if you go into conversations like this with that mindset. And the thought of having to repeat the same plays can at times be daunting leading up to confusion and doubt and uncertainty that anything was accomplished at all.

All puns intended when we take on this dynamic in discussing race or sexuality it sets up an us vs them mentality rather than exploring why some have these inaccurate convoluted beliefs. And even when they are right in questioning a person exhibiting self hating tendencies or homophobia (ie not dating one’s own race or trying to define someone else’s sexuality) we have to ask what lead them to see this and open the dialogue even more.

So sports can often reflect the strategies we partake in when we have these types of conversations.  Like how some people need to fight in a relationship to prove they’re right just for the sake of argument because it gives them power rather than actually having a legitimate point. Now while I’m not saying life is a game but the way that we interact and choose to have these conversations do take on these dynamics.

Even though this form of communication is the way we are taught to settle debates it is not the way we should be discussing race or sexuality. We need to examine where these questions come from before answering them because when people have questions like my friend that is where he’ll find the answers.

And next time, let me enjoy the damn game in peace.

Confessions Of Gay Men Of Color, Your One Night Only Fantasy

gay love

We are yours, completely, to do all that you desire for only one night. One night only do we exist upon the same plane. We are your conscious come to life. A sexual yearning that needed scratching and the awakening of sexual arousal to satiate your physical appetite. The one wish you dare not speak aloud. But we will fulfill all that you require for just one night. And we will disappear in the first light of dawn, by your request, as usual. Our only purpose is to satisfy you for one night. Only one night.

We are selected from various social venues then inspected to ensure we meet the vision of your specifications. Your fantasies. We do not exist outside of the concepts of double rainbows and blue moons. Only between your sheets and between your thighs are we made salient. We are judged to make sure we can lift you and grab you, squeeze you tight in the rare moments when you seek our comfort. Your eyes calculate and measure to ensure that our mythical horn is what you’ve heard about behind closed doors.  But if we appear too wild, surly, or untamed we are asked to leave because we may be too dangerous for your tastes. Then you relay this to us, politely, covertly, or bluntly.

Our mahogany, ebony, caramel skin absorbs the soft light of midnight, the only time in which you have the courage to summon us. While the rest of the world sleeps so they dare not discover this sinful encounter. Few words are exchanged both in text and in person. But we don’t need words because we will let our bodies speak for us. As the descendants of Mother Africa society sees us as the beast of humanity and throughout time has always been reduced to sex. To fuck. We have only one task to perform tonight. Just this night.

Our desires are made into yours. Our dreams of closeness and family and picket fences and soulmates and..love are extinct in this moment. We are not to be seen in daylight. We are the sexual beasts your fantasies yearn for. Our shaft your thighs our hands your sides. Smooth long strokes that shock and bounce you into place. You want us to massage and excite. We see the fear mixed with intrigue and desire in your eyes but we pretend to not notice. We are a mystery you dare not investigate beyond the faint breaths of passion to separate myth and lore from the real being inside of you. A man. You marvel at how much it aches to feel this good. This is your version of living on the wild side. For tonight only.

Our fingers electrify and excite you as you wonder what will happen next. Soft lip biting as our bodies groove into one. Our tongues explore and sensually sear the skin, igniting your body and mind. Then we stride inside, hard and slow, fast and rough. Each thrust and stroke to make your pulse race and raise your body temperature. The sweat only makes us work harder. It’s an elaborate dance we have done time and again. To you, sex is our only purpose only for tonight.

Standing up, sitting in a chair, tied to the floor or bed, pulling you up and down on us. You want us to stretch and collide inside your walls. Going as long and as hard and as deep as you wish. Then deeper. Your moans of delight as we await words or body movement to instruct us further. We whisper how good it feels and move our bodies with enough fervor to make your knees buckle. We will continue this mechanical dance until your toes curl and your back arches to the floor and await the moment you explode from inside and the orgasms lead us panting, gasping for air and some semblance of reality. We are your farm boy, your masseuse, chiropractor, doctor, chef, and lover all at once. For tonight only.

Our supple lips trace with excruciating precision all over your body. You have been convinced we are the experts and are to implement all activities while you can lay back and enjoy all of our efforts. To you we are the beasts of night and only when deemed tame enough are we permitted with going through your checklist of explicit challenges designed to stimulate. But only until the sun rises.

You will ask us to role play for you. To be the aggressive representation the media portrays us as. To playfully reverse centuries old roles and be the master while you are our slave. The beast. Soul is only required in rhythm. Because, in your mind, this is our only specialty. Because to you outside this sexual sanctuary we do not exist. We are just a fantasy.

We are artists, doctors, lawyers, mental health professionals, teachers, construction workers, students, businessmen, investment bankers, activists, and leaders but all that fades in the allure of moonlight. Because we can only serve one purpose, you, for only one night.

And you may call upon us again when you allow your mind to think of we satisfied your thirst, when you are ready to drink from us again and require your body to be caressed and satiated with sexual fantasies. We are not to call or text you, we are not to want to know more about you, we are not even allowed to address that we know each other in daylight for fear that it will expose our sinful transgressions.

Because we are not suitable to meet your friends and loved ones because they either come from a different time or would be unable to appreciate our nights of passion. We cannot make them or you uncomfortable. And for the most part, we at one point in time, will silently accept these terms, out of necessity to satisfy our own desires. Or to somehow prove we are more than the shapely figures you passionately hold onto while driving you into ecstasy. Or when we aren’t strong enough to see differently believe that is our sole purpose. That we exist, to you, for only one night. 

The above is a compilation of conversations and submitted writings I’ve collected over the past several months from some of the experiences that gay men of color have experienced. Often we are only seen as sexual beings only capable for having a hot passionate night of sex. We are fetishized and perceived be to voyeuristic and exhibitionists that sometimes borders on sadomasochism. Some of us are but not all just as any other race. But sometimes we are only seen as this stereotype.

Not even necessarily saying the stereotype or rather the hypersexualization of African American men and other men of color is necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, (with the exception of referring to us as sexual beasts cause that is offensive. And racially insensitive). Remember this is the stereotype that is supposed to work in our favor.

But a real problem arises when you only think of us as sexual beings that only want to have sex all the time. That we don’t have dreams and aspirations and goals outside of that. That we don’t want to build lives together with significant others, to someday have families and being a part of healthy, successful long-term relationships when most of us do want that. This is a perfect example of how some so called good stereotypes still work out negatively for that biased group of people.

When only these stereotypes are believed it can make venturing into interracial dating difficult. How are we going to be able to interact with those that believe that’s all we are capable of being? How are we to overcome being interested in someone or trying to invest time into knowing someone who is terrified of introducing us to their parents and friends?

What do we tell the gay people of color that are apprehensive of having interracial relationships when they’ve been told, “This would be so much easier/less complicated/better if you weren’t black”? Can’t tell us to just stick to our race because not only is that racist but also not always feasible, especially when you live in areas or cities where there are only a handful of out gay men of the same race. Is it our responsibility to challenge these misconceptions every single time we come across them?

These questions are why I reached out over the past few months to some of the gay African American and other gay men I knew to talk about some of the issues we’ve come across in our experiences. We discussed how sometimes we are referred to the mythical beast, a belief that transcends sexual orientation. Because sometimes we are sexualized and made to feel like we can only have one purpose, sex. Now don’t get us wrong, the men and myself included love sex. Love everything about sex. But it is jarring to only be seen as a sexual object. That us dating and interacting with interracial relationships it is something we come across from time to time.

While discussing this we were also aware that there are a few gay men of color that may use this stereotype to their advantage. They may play into the troupe to get what they want and it’s so easy to just go with the vibe of having a great night of sex with no anticipation of commitment. It could be that these men have completely bought into this stereotype and see no reason to investigate further that is reflective of a learned helplessness. But I have found that this is likely the exception to the rule.

And the men and I that have discussed this topic are not saying that this happens every single time we involved with interracial relationships but it does happen often. We brought this up for those that do only see us as sexual beings and remind them that no one with self-worth wants to be seen as a robot that only exists to fill some sexual request. We just wanted to shine a light on how marginalizing a group of people to having only one purpose still is negative, no matter how purportedly good the origins.

It is only our responsibility as gay men of color to be aware of this for our own well-being and not have to teach this each time we come across it. We’re saying everyone should actively investigate the perceptions they have about a group of people, even when that stereotype is perceived to be inherently good.

By sharing this unique collaboration of experiences that we encourage people to think about the perceptions they have a group of people and go beyond that. Learn and investigate on your own. To make note of when you only see people that way, you end up missing out on truly knowing us and finding out the things about us that have much more significance than a fun night of sex.

*Special Thanks to the seven extraordinary men that helped contribute their experiences into this article. And as always my journals for helping me recognize my worth early on when I first came out.*