Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Interracial Relationships and the stigmas that surround them

As if being gay isn't hard enough try dating outside your race and you are going to add a whole new set of variables into the mix.  Trust me as a gay man who prefers to date black men there are a lot of different stigmas associated with that preference.  You have a cultural difference to contend with first. Then there are social stigmas that also accompany the cultural differences. Believe it or not there is also a slight language barrier as well.  Plus there are stereotypes and other barriers that have to be countered and discarded.

Now this applies to any type of interracial relationship.  Not just black and white, but hispanic and white, hispanic and black, asian and white, asian and hispanic, asian and black or any other combination you can think of. Plus it really doesn't matter if is a gay relationship or straight either. Each culture is raised differently, have different values, sense of community, they have a certain mindset, language and philosophies.

Though in recent years you see more and more pairings cross the racial divides than in years past. But there are still a lot of hurtles and obstacles that must be overcome. Plus no matter what race you are from and which sexual oriented group you identify with, you are going to occasionally run into bigotry, intolerance and hatred.  You may have to overcome racial concepts that are aimed at you that you just don't understand.  An example of this is that most African-American men view gay white men to be "pansy's", "powder puffs" or "effeminate""sissy boys", "punks" or some other derivative that paints them as weak, non-masculine, effeminate people.

There is a different sense of community in the African-American culture that seems to exist that puts pressure on the men that differs from the white community. I can't actually explain it adequately. But, I believe it is what makes it more difficult for men of color to come to terms with their sexuality and be totally open about it.  This is something that I plan to explore further.

I do know that it seems to be frowned upon by society to cross the lines of races.  Even though we are supposed to be such an enlightened society. There are still those that think dating outside your race is wrong, and the looks and comments that are still given today are ridiculous.  Yet, as I have said earlier there is still so much intolerance, bigotry and hatred out there that makes dating outside your race hard.  The slang and jargon that is used sometimes needs and interpreter to be understood.  I was lucky that my boyfriend didn't mind me asking questions and had no problem explaining things to me.  Though still sometimes I get lost when he talks.  Imagine that!

There are so many things it is hard to put them all down. But, in my experience African-American males are more closely guarded and don't talk about their feelings as much. They are more private and reserved compared to the whites.  Motivations are different and so are boundaries.  Identification and labeling is also a big difference.  Younger males don't like to label themselves for fear of being outted. Most black men that I have met refer to themselves as bisexual though as they get older may come to identify themselves as gay.

Once you get past all of that you have all the drama and stigmas associated with being gay added on top.  No matter what anyone believes the gay lifestyle is not the easiest in the world to deal with.  You have to deal with the same types of hate and intolerance and even bigotry as before. Plus, a whole slew of other types of drama that seem only to dwell in the gay community. Part of all of this dwells in the fact that there seems to be a solidarity and unity in the black world that doesn't exist in the white world.

Even in the gay community there is a separation of cultures. Maybe it's because people consider gay to be a sub-culture itself.  What I do know is that the gay community calls for unity, yet divides itself along lines. Basically the gay community classifies itself internally by sex, sexual identity, and gender assignment and so forth.  Inside of our own community we don't do everything we can to promote unity and acceptance.  Why have we drawn lines?  Shouldn't we all identify as gay or same-sex partnerships? What is the reasoning for the distinction?  Shouldn't there be acceptance of others within our community? Shouldn't we love each other? Haven't we been persecuted enough because we are different from societal norms?  Does it matter what color skin you have?  Whether you are a man or a woman, you love the same, work the same, have the same dreams and ambitions. We want the same things! How can we tear down these walls get past the differences?  Shouldn't there be some way to cross the cultural divide? Why the gulf, the gap, the separation?

Unity is the key. Love is the answer and society is the lock. How do we fix what is broken?  As I am sitting here I wish I had someone here that I could ask about these things, someone who would try to help me understand just a little bit better the differences between the black world and the white world and how we might be able to bring them together and combine the two into one seamless one.  I started out taking about interracial relationships and opened a huge can of worms. Thoughts and topics that I want to explore and understand more fully.  To understand why some black hate whites, why some whites would never consider dating a black and so much more.  Because aren't we all the same? Aren't we born the same way? Live and breath the same? Sweat and bleed the same? We all have worries, bills, needs, preferences, opinions and voices.  We are all going to die!

No one is better than anyone else. No one has the right to choose or dictate who I choose to give my heart too.  Take away the guilt, the stigma, the shame and we are the same.  We are all one people nothing else matters. Does it? Help me to understand. I just want to make the world a better place and love, be loved, respected and cared about. Don't You?

As always my hope and dreams are with you,

Uncle B