In other words, things that are not traditionally appreciated by black people makes someone a nerd.
On being left for white men
Is a black male nerd a person who wears glasses, hangs with honor students, listens to rock music and stays in for the weekends? If so, it shows that our understanding of blackness is linear and needs to be explored. Nonetheless, many of these black male nerds understood Glover and even began telling their own stories of black girls who did not want them.
My high school experience taught me the social caste system of self-segregating based on who people felt they were and with whom they should be associated. Therefore, many times, people dated within similar circles, apparently except nerds. Often, who went on dates in high school was about attractiveness and popularity, which was not necessarily mutually exclusive with being a nerd, a term frequently used for a person with good grades.
In response to black male nerds sharing their stories, the self-identified black female nerds shared some of their own. Their male counterparts did not want to date them. So the question becomes: Who, then, were these male nerds attempting to date? Were their hurt feelings a result of thinking they were entitled to date a particular girl? The prettiest girl? The most popular girl? The relationships with these men were hostile and unsustainable. The ending was inevitable.
On being left for white men - The Black Youth Project
The pain still persists. My last relationship ended explosively and the one before ended more reasonably. The one thing the two had in common was whom they chose as their partner after me: I dealt with breakups before, but these two breakups after which my ex-partners found love in white men were the first times I cared about the aftermath.
This was the first time I experienced heartbreak because of something that happened outside and after the conclusion of the relationship. We are all socialized to see whiteness as supreme and to see blackness as less than through media and cultural productions. This socialization influences what we think is beautiful and desirable, and this follows us even in dating.
I used this fact to gather my own ideas on their choices. They hate themselves and this is internalized anti-blackness, I concluded. Sadness being a deeper, more spiritual darkness than rage that is fleeting and impulsive. Once I removed myself from the situation as best as I could, I still was left wondering why these black men would date big, black me and replace my body and mind with a white, smaller one.
Essentially, black men loving white men can be seen as the last yearning to melt into non-marked, white manhood. When I think of the realities of anti-black violence and all the ways it shows up, not just physically, I understand why this longing and this attempt to melt into white manhood would be desirable consciously and unconsciously. Sleeping with me is sleeping with the poverty you want to outspend, the black parent you lost from systemic violence, and the assumptions around your body and mind you fantasize about transcending.
Even when I think of black radical heroes that I hold dearly to my heart and mind like Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Marlon Riggs; I have to recognize their white partners.
How can somebody with scathing critiques on the wickedness of whiteness, later find themselves with the very folks socialized to administer this violence? Could these white partners serve as a type of escapism from their work that so heavily centered black identity and white domination? Or is it all about memory? Was the bedroom, the intimate, the erotic a place for these black folks to forget in a world that would always remind them of their color and the contemptible place they had to assume because of being black?
I also know that black people dating interracially, particularly dating white people, is an uneven thing. I am routinely shown more interest in long-term relationships by people outside of my race, usually white people. Because of desirability politics, my options inside of the black gay community are slim. I do not know for sure why this is the truth, mostly because these are subjective experiences that vary, case by case.
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My theory is that in black gay male relationships, our relationships are also doing the work of more than just sustaining love, but expressing humanity to those that are gazing at us often equipped to strip us of humanity re: Finally, it happened. I had my first date with a white man. Chef Hungary and I met on Grindr. He just moved to Georgia from Maryland.
White Women, Black Men
I felt a bit uncomfortable on our second date. The patio was filled with dozens of black gays, and I felt awkward there with my white date. I felt like eyes were on me, and I was being judged. Race was never a factor or issue that I was conscious of while dating in the North. I did try to avoid eye contact with anyone besides my date that night, but I did feel eyes on me when I did look around. Surprised me with flowers.