In my previous post, I was wondering about a personal issue. The issue was mostly about interracial relationships and don’t think I talked enough about intra-racial gay relationships. This is going to be a relatively short post about my thoughts on intra-racial relationships amongst gay people of colour.
The current media landscape has come along way in showing gay relationships. Most relationships are either interracial or intra-racial. The intra-racial relationships are of the caucasian kind. The validation of gay relationship among other racial minorities, however, is hard to come across in the media. Wouldn’t it be nice if a prominent gay person of color was dating someone of his race? I honestly believe more people would be able to see that such relationships are possible, real, and beautiful. We see it almost everywhere in the straight media so why can’t we see that in the gay media?
“Do you even like Black guys?”
“Of course I do”
“Really, I always thought you don’t like black guys”
“Oh my goodness, like seriously”
“Yeah, I mean all the guys you’ve dated are white”
“That does not mean I don’t like Black guys and for your information I have hooked up with guys of almost every race except for Native Americans…I think”
“Wait. Wow so is it true about ummm what they say about Asian guys…like the size”
The aforementioned snippet is a conversation I had with my older sister when Michael Sam (the first openly gay man drafted to the NFL) kissed his boyfriend on national television. It was simply adorable. Everyone round me knows that I find interracial couples and relationships very fascinating. As a kid, I wanted to be part of an interracial family and used to envy my friends and relatives who had one parent of a different race.
While majority of people watching Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend on TV were nonchalant, others sighed as Michael Sam became just another Black athlete with a white significant other. It is also worth nothing that all three of the newly openly gay Black male athletes are in interracial relationships. What were the odds?!
Looking back on my dating life, my sister was right. I have only dated mostly white guys. Is it because I am stuck on the whole idea of interracial pairings that I refuse to date people of other races? Alternatively, when I see gay people of colour in relationships I get giddy because they are rarely shown in the media. I used to visit a tumblr blog solely dedicated to showing Black gay couples and queer couples of colour.
Watch the UN’s first Bollywood music video for gay rights! The video, “The Welcome”, tells the story of a young man who brings his boyfriend home to meet his family for the first time. It stars Bollywood actress and former Miss India Celina Jaitly, who was last year named a UN Free & Equal Equality Champion for her support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities
This video is insanely adorable and I am glad the UN is spearheading this wonderful initiative
Il est fini.
It’s finally over. I am officially done with my Master’s degree. I have been euphoric for the past week and it has been great. No more school for me for a long while. So what’s the plan now? Well I have no idea. I will be taking things one day at a time and hope for the best.
This summer has been a whirlwind of emotions. From happiness to anger and sadness to euphoria. It will probably go on down as one of the most memorable summer of my life. For those who read this blog, I apologise for the lack of updates. I have not abandoned this blog and now that I have some kind of free time, I will continue to update.
I turned 23 about a month ago (2 years away from a quarter life crisis…le sigh) and while I was excited, I began to wonder what I was doing with my life. Don’t get me wrong but I love my life but there is still some sort of emptiness. I look around and see friends from college who have began their careers with Fortune 500 firms, or started a Ph.D program. I am just gallivanting across Europe and blogging about relationships. I am still figuring out what I want to do but the grace period for the loans from my undergraduate years are coming to an end. Whats a young man to do? I know its not healthy to compare oneself to others but I can’t help it sometimes…
“Where are you from?”
“I’m from the United States, Boston to be exact”
“No I mean where are you from, from”
“Okay where are your parents from?”
“They are from Ghana”
“So you are from Ghana then”
“Yes I am but I live/grew up in Boston”
“So why do you not say you are from Ghana”
“I don’t know”
The aforementioned conversation snippet is usually how conversations start with some African people I meet. I recently got into a contentious debate with a Cameroonian guy about the intersectionality of my gay and Ghanaian identity. He asserted that I can’t be a gay African/Ghanaian since its an oxymoron. He said I had to choose one. As in, If I wanted to be gay, I had to stick with my “African American/western” identity and live openly.
I have always had an existential identity crisis growing up. I didn’t know where I belonged sometimes. I was either too “white” too fit in with the “blacks” (I was mostly referred to as an oreo throughout high school),or I was too bourgeoisie to understand the plight/struggles of “African-Americans”. And my favourite was that I was too “westernised” to call myself Ghanaian or African. Include the gay bit and it complicates everything.
As I have mentioned several times on this blog, I wasn’t bothered with my racial identity when I was growing up. Heck I used to select “other” or change my “race” on every standardised test I took. For all my university applications, I didn’t check my race section (I still get a lot of criticism for that as most people claim that it would have enabled me to get loads of scholarship since I’m considered a minority). While I didn’t care about racial politics, I cared about my Ghanaian heritage and Pan-Africanism. I got offended when ignorant remarks were made about Africa or when people called Africa a country. I remember when I came back to the US after spending a few years in Ghana , I was asked by a couple of guys if I slept in a hut and chased lions for fun. I was soo mad that I just gave them deathly stares. Yet I still identify with my “Americaness” when I am outside the US. Every time some asks me where I’m from I say Boston, U.S. instead of Accra, Ghana. Why is that?
So I’m in love. There I said it.
With who you may ask…well its a long and bizarre story. Recently meet a guy and I have concluded that he is my future husband. I have already pictured our life together and our future mapped out. He is smart and very handsome and is the total package for me. We have some mutual friends in common on facebook and lets be honest I have been stalking him although we are not Facebook “friends”. Truth be told,
we have not had an actual conversation we had a little mini conversation (but it doesn’t really count) I know crazy right?. But from what I have gathered, we have a lots of things in common. We need to meet and get married like now! I am not even kidding.
On a serious note, he is a very smart guy from the looks of it and i’m scared to make the initial move for the fear of rejection or something even worse (like to find out that he’s taken, or he doesn’t date “blacks” or he’s straight [that will be highly suspect] #gayboyproblems). I don’t know what to do. I may message him and start a conversation to see where things lead.
Wish me luck
After my long rant about being sexualised (see previous post), I decided to tweak my gaydar profile a tiny bit and see what happens. The change in question was to include my “sexual position”. I decided to indicate “bottom” (and no I am not a bottom…or am I?) as my sexual position and boy has that altered the course of my gaydar journey. Firstly, the amount of arse pictures and unsolicited “hey you wanna fuck messages” has drastically dropped. I haven’t received one in 2 weeks. Secondly my profile view has dipped quite low. I used to get over 30 views per day but now its more like 3 views on a good day. I reckon its good since it weeds out all the bad ones. Thirdly, I recently got this message from a faceless profile “Your a fucking dull boring blk idiot”. I didn’t even have to respond as the person blocked me. People are very weird these days…
Besides my gaydar “adventures” nothing much is happening. Classes just ended for me so I’m mostly resting and will begin to study for my finals and begin writing my dissertation. Hope my life stays this calm for a while.
Lately, I have been doing loads of thinking about the role of my skin complexion (notice I didn’t use “race” here…) and how it shapes people’s perception of me. I never really took the racial discourse that has plagued America very seriously. While people often times have countless stories of having experienced racism, I almost have none and couldn’t be bothered about racial politics. I grew up in a very “colour blind” household and my parents never once mentioned that my skin complexion will hold me back. Going to university certainly opened by eyes to the widespread nature of institutional racism in the United States but I figured I will probably wont be living in the United States so I could be bothered with it. In college I came across the seminal work of Frantz Fanon titled “Black Skin White Masks”. In the book he asserts that the color of his skin shapes the white perception of him and thus the white man does not “see” him since the white man only sees his body and the color of his skin. He posits that such intra-racial encounter between whites and blacks is enslavement upon sight. Arguably he believes that the body of both black females and males plays a crucial role in the formation and development of their racial consciousness. So why am I discussing racial politics if I couldn’t be bothered?
Imagine my surprise when I received a text messeage from my
Spanish lover Italian (turns out he’s Italian/Brasilian my bad ooops and I will keep refering to him as “the Italian” henceforth) hook up buddy on saturday morning stating;
“Sorry babe, I have been so busy and forgot to message you. What are you doing tonight? Do you want to stay over? I honestly really like you”…
I didn’t know how to respond to his message. I just sat there staring at my phone (I got a smart phone after two days of living with a dumbphone. I tried. #firstworldproblems) and wondered, if we have only hooked up once, why is he calling me “babe”. I also began to think back to the day we hooked up. It was one one the best I have had in a while. I reckon we both needed it really badly. I just assumed it was going to be a one time thing with no strings attached. Guess I was wrong. I kept thinking, do I want to see him again? As I was trying to figure out a response to the text, he called me and said he had found a flat he thinks I will like so we should meet up and go to the viewing. I went to meet him at his flat and we walked over to the flat he was going to show me. The flat (its a studio flat) and location was perfect. It’s one block away from central London and it perfect for walking (which I love). The neighbourhood is also very gorgeous. Apparently its a very “posh” area. The price would have been perfect if it included internet and electricity. While the flat is quite expensive , the price is within my budget so I need to make a decision soon. The Italian said its expensive and I should move in with him…
My search for flats is proving to be quite futile. I just can’t seem to find anything within my budget. They are either too high or the commute to campus is over one hour. I have lowered my standards (i.e. living with more than 5 people in a house) but still nothing. My options so far is to suck it up and live in a dorm with first years or use all the money I dont have to pay for an expensive studio apt. I am aiming for the latter as it will give me a piece of mind. Who knew finding a flat in London will be soo freaking difficult.
While flat searching is proving to be quite the pain, my social life is proving to be fun. I love my cohort in my Master’s program. They are a very funny bunch. We now have pub crawl tradition every Friday after class to find the cheapest pub. We are all broke grad students and no one wants to pay more than 4 pounds for beer.