I had nothing in common with the gay men represented in mainstream media. I think that black men especially, have always felt the need to act manly, dominant and sometimes even, aggressive. Maybe this is down to a long history of mistreatment and repression; maybe we feel there is a need to assert our strength and authority in a world that has constantly tried to pit us as unequal. However, this mentality directly opposes the general stereotype of homosexuals, as people who embrace their femininity. As a black, gay man I suffered an identity crisis.
I searched for a gay role model that looked and acted similar to myself, but had no luck finding one.
I struggled to find relatable personas within the Caribbean culture too. This convoluted self-identity started to have its implications. This affected my ability to make meaningful friendships and find my niche within the gay community. The more I rejected my true self, the more I became an outsider.
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I was living a lie, and people were becoming suspicious. Every year, the students in our class would change, and it was a new opportunity for me to meet other pupils. Eventually this would lead to people teasing me, but it never escalated further than that. I would never claim that I was bullied; I had a quite a big frame and I think people were intimated by my size.
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Still, it was a very lonely time for me. As I slowly came to terms with my sexuality, I started going to gay bars and clubs. I have always admired gay men who are confident in themselves. I definitely find a lot of black men, like myself, to be more reserved about their sexuality, in comparison to gay, white males.
I question where this confidence stems from: Does it come from within?
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From family support? There are too many of those in Sydney… and Cape Town… and New York City… and pretty much everywhere with thriving gay nightlife! She was definitely my kind of girl. And as it turned out, I was her kind of guy. One of the first things she told me was how attractive she finds black men.
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As I mentioned, we were in a gay bar. She had absolutely no ulterior motive and no shot with me. She was just making conversation, and she was doing most of the heavy lifting, so I let her flex her stuff.
Actually, I find them more attractive than white people. I also like white men.
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I find them beautiful, too. But I just find black people to be better looking. The men are just hotter.
She must have read my mind when she made the disclaimer about finding white men attractive, too. I hate any kind of exclusive or discriminatory thinking when it comes to race and sex, even when it works in my favor. I have no problem with racial preferences. But in reality as well as on TV and in movies, the highest-profile interracial couples have been white women with black men. I have a theory about white women and black men, and it goes a little something like this.
However, once their curiosity is satisfied, their long-term behavior is probably less likely to be racially motivated. And I realize there are always exceptions.
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One can probably say the same thing about gay black men who date white men. Again, this is not a blanket theory. I once presented this idea to a friend a white guy who dates black men exclusively , and he had an intriguing response. He said it probably has to do with the male emphasis on the physical.