I've dated white. Being raised in the suburbs of Southern California I never really saw the extremity of segregation until my adult years. The white kids always thought my curly hair was cooler than theirs and even my clique of elementary playground bandits ranged from pale and Mormon to first generation Hispanics. Years down the line, when I started partying in the streets of West Hollywood, it was obvious that although we played for the same team, there was a division of race, culture and attitude between gay men. When I decided to try the swirl when it came to dating, my eyes were opened to a whole other level of judgment from my both peers and onlookers.
One guy told me I was not black. Not even having met me yet, my yellow skin led him to the conclusion that I couldn't be black even after I told him I was. Now, I could have emailed him a copy of my family tree and come up with a lengthy rebuttal, but I did not feel the need to justify my race to someone I didn't even know.
Why Black Gay Men are Likely to Date Interracially
The spectacle all came crashing down when I invited him, as well as his friend, in town to a club one night. It was a somewhat mixed crowd jamming out to the latest J. Cole, but the promoter that night was black and the crowd reflected that. When he and his friend disappeared 20 minutes after we toasted at the neon-illuminated bar, I texted him asking where we was. I'm so embarrassed. Although we may have both been open to dating, or at least having sex, outside of our race, I knew from his response that he would never be able to digest the culture I was born into. I later dated another guy.
Tall, white and handsome. Because of his previous boyfriends, he was well adapted to black gay culture, and although he could never live a day in my shoes, I could appreciate that.
But here's the kicker. On top of being a different race, he was 20 years older than me.
But that wasn't the case at all. We laughed. We argued.
We had DVD slumber parties that didn't end up with sex. I actually liked him. Despite our age difference, we operated how I would usually operate if I was dating someone my age. But that and race made it seem like he was a creeper prowling on a young black boy. The way my friends digested it was even more eye opening.
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I rarely brought him around my young black queer friends. But when I did they would almost congratulate me as if I won the jackpot; they did this without even having a conversation with the man. What about his personality? Thirty-eight percent of those in suburban areas say the same.
Only 24 percent of people living in rural areas agreed with that statement. Differences in racial composition of metropolitan and non-metropolitan populations may also account for some of the gap: Livingston cites the example of Honolulu, where 42 percent of newlyweds are intermarried and the population is 42 percent Asian, 20 percent white, and 9 percent Hispanic. Las Vegas and Santa Barbara follow a similar pattern. One one hand, Asheville, North Carolina, where only 3 percent of newlyweds are intermarried and 85 percent of the population is white, fits with the idea that diversity—or lack thereof—drives intermarriage rates.
Natasha Balwit is an editorial fellow at CityLab. The Boston suburb now mandates the addition of protected bike lanes on all streets due for planned upgrades.
Interracial Genderless Gay Loves
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