Let’s take a moment to look at these words.
Black Lives Matter.
And for me, after living in this gay world, it feels like only white lives have ever mattered.
Despite this movement being about systemic racism, police brutality, and justice against murder, I can’t think about how the lives of my black family members are threatened across the United States because all that keeps coming to mind are my years of feeling invisible.
Seeing “Black Lives Matter” plastered on buildings, in windows, and across social media just draws me back to how this “community” hasn’t shown me that the black lives in their lives do actually matter. So I constantly wonder about the authenticity of these gestures and always get drawn back to “here’s some more hypocrisy.”
And without personal and communal change what does this really do?
I feel awful because I’m making this movement about myself, but in this time when people are finally seriously considering racial discrimination and examining their white privilege, I finally have the platform (or somewhat of a listening audience) to express my frustrations.
Is it my job to shake this narcissism or am I actually just a victim of systemic racism in this environment?
Here’s me no longer being quiet.
These subconscious biases have sent me home in tears weekend after weekend, and I have nearly 10 unpublished articles over the past couple years about these socially-curated forms of racial discrimination. All which never made it to the public because I’ve been so conditioned to keep my mouth shut on the topic and never believed that my story could ever be received well.
But over the past few months, your voices have shown me that maybe it’s okay for me to express these frustrations and my feelings need to be known.
I still feel a little uncertain sharing, but I feel like I’ve tried it all and the results always felt the same.
I’ve taken my shirt off and sailed though the sea of shirtless men, only to lose to the bearded white man (or men) before I was even considered.
On the “dating” apps… I’ve been the face, and I’ve been the torso. And the result never changed.
The face rendered instant blocks, and the torso rendered instant blocks. Well, only after sending my face pic and he realized my skin was actually brown (not tan) and it tainted his whitewashed collage of torsos.
Yeah yeah yeah, that’s the game, but it’s f*cking hard to start realizing that it’s not that way for my white counterparts.
My normal was struggling to even land a date, and that’s all I knew. But after getting closer to more and more white gay men, I was able to see this hookup culture from a different perspective. You know, like seeing the conversations full of dick pics that white guys have collected over the years from random unknown numbers because a friend of a friend asked for their number.
We can’t deny that white normative attractiveness is favored all around us, and as a person of color, it’s hard for me to feel welcomed and appreciated in this environment.
But who knows, maybe I’d feel differently if I didn’t instantly get friend zoned, or didn’t come home alone all those nights, or just didn’t feel like I was a placeholder until a different white man walked by.
So white gay men. Check your privilege.
Maybe you don’t think it’s actually because of the color of my skin, but entertain me for a minute. As gay men, we all want to change things about ourselves to fit in.
Work out more.
Get a different haircut.
Level up in our career.
But at the end of the day, are you still afraid that your skin color is actually the issue?
That is privilege.
Cancel this. Cancel that. But are we ever gonna cancel chasing after another white man because someone “hot for being a black guy” is still not up to your standards? Better yet, up to the standards of all the thirst trap accounts you feed yourself on Instagram?
Fast-forward to starting to dating a white guy, and then all of a sudden I feel visible?
Don’t think I didn’t notice.
I noticed your interest suddenly shift from barely talking to me and never making a move on me to strangely wanting to know if my partner and I “play together.”
You’ve disrespected me and I’ve lost sleep from being worried that I will always lose a partner to your sex-motivated power moves. All because you assume everyone is (or should be) as slutty as you are, right?
Maybe these are my “ass-out-of-u-and-me” assumptions, but do you ever think your commitment issues are because you get such special treatment and attention from everyone and you don’t want to give that up? When you answer “duh,” think about this:
Your privilege says, “You can have it all,” and it’s only making you feel comfortable and validated as you create more and more networks of people that look like you.
Don’t get me wrong, individually some people have been great. But when brought into a group… oh my. I’ve just had to accept the truth.
Thank God for my Native American friend reminding me, “You know why you’ll never be part of them, right…? You’re not white.”
I fell for the trap of what I see all around me and what is impossible for me to be. White.
Who knows how much longer my naïvety would have thrived if I didn’t have that one candid person of color who gave it to me frankly.
Maybe all of us not-as-attractive-as-Zac-Efron guys feel the same and I should have just said “F*ck it” long before getting to this point of bitter resentment.
F*ck your performative allyship.
I see that black square on your profile and that video of you marching on a highway, and I know that it’s not enough for me.
You say “Black Lives Matter,” but you’ve done a sh*t job of making me feel like I do.
So after all of this, how do I know that my mixed-black life will actually matter to you?
How do I know that you will do more than mourn the loss of those lives and actually make change by valuing those around you?
How do I know, that this won’t just be another fad that keeps white people busy from their boring pandemic-locked-down lives, and I won’t still be unsuitable for you to look at… to know… and to respect…?