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As a dark-skinned Black man, I have faced both overt and subtle instances of racism from white gay men.
It can be frustrating, but also deeply enriching, to teach someone about my cultural upbringing.
When I finally came out in college, I was at a predominantly white school.
Many queer folks were closeted, and of the few who were out, most of them were white.
And when I scroll through Grindr’s grid of faceless torsos, I find myself only messaging guys with complexions lighter than a paper bag.
Even in person, when I’m trying to muster up the courage to talk to a cute guy, I first wonder if he’s "into black guys." I hate myself for even having to contemplate these things, and I’m now left asking myself: And the more I think about it, the more complicated the answer seems. The only gay people I saw in the media were white, and the few Black queer celebrities that I knew of, like Wanda Sykes and Michael Sam, were in interracial relationships.
But the older I get, the more I find myself wanting a partner who can relate to me without needing to be taught.