About a year ago, I came across an article entitled "28 Questions for Black Men Who Only Date White Men." Each question from the article was a damning indictment of my apparently not-so-simple dating choices.insecure about my Blackness — which is painful and embarrassing to admit.It can be frustrating, but also deeply enriching, to teach someone about my cultural upbringing.But the older I get, the more I find myself wanting a partner who can relate to me without needing to be taught.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.My childhood in the Black church led me to believe that Black people were inherently homophobic — a myth — and that the only Black men who were gay were on the down low or infected with HIV — also a myth.But while the absence of queer POC-centric establishments is definitely an issue, many of the other Black men I see at gay bars around Manhattan and Brooklyn are booed up with white men, too.
I’m quickly approaching my 25th birthday and have come to the realization that I’ve never been in a long-term relationship. That's not uncommon among millennials, but as a Black gay man, I've begun to wonder how my race has affected my chances of finding love.Many queer folks were closeted, and of the few who were out, most of them were white.After graduating, I moved to New York, and though here I was able to find queer friends who are also people of color, we are still always in the minority at gay bars and clubs.When I’m on Tinder, the men I’m more likely to swipe right are usually athletic white men between 21 and 30.And when I scroll through Grindr’s grid of faceless torsos, I find myself only messaging guys with complexions lighter than a paper bag.