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Dear White Gay Men: Please Respect Safe Spaces

Dear White Gay Men,

As a black gay man in recovery I attend Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings at “The Center” which is predominantly white. I attend meetings at this site primarily because my crystal meth addiction is wrapped up inside of sex addiction, and I am still at a stage where sexual stimulation can sometimes trigger me. I like to attend meetings where I will be the least sexually stimulated, hence why I choose this location. I am primarily attracted to men of my own race. I am protecting myself from myself.

At a recent Crystal Meth Anonymous meeting at “The Center”, as predicted (and hoped for) most in attendance were primarily white gay men with a sprinkle of people of color here and there. Just as we were ending the meeting a brother approached me, abruptly grabbed my hand, and began to recite “The Serenity Prayer”. There came a rough tug at our hands, coupled with this white, gay, man asking to “Please let me in so I can be the filling in your Oreo.”.

What assumptions did he make about my fellow and I other than us being two people looking to support each other in our recovery? We are at “The Center” working to overcome addiction to the meth(od) that has long aided our twisted relationship with intimacy; what entitles you to turn a healing and safe space into a place to play out your fantasies? You don’t get to absolve your disrespect by claiming it to be a joke. And just like that we are off to the racist…

These types of things are not funny to me. Nor were they funny to my fellow — another black gay man. We are coming to these meetings for the sake of sobriety, not to fulfill any racist fantasy that you’ve found on porn and look to emulate. I am not your “Mandingo”, I’m not your “home girl”, and I am not here to be your “gurrrlll” hunt-y.

The 2015 UK-based FS: The Gay Health and Life Magazine survey had the following results:

-Black men have large cocks: 78% of white gay men in our survey believe this to be true.
-Asian men have smaller than average cocks: 75% believe this to be true.
-Latin men are crazy, wild and passionate: 70% of white gay men believe this to be true.
-Mixed race men are more likely to be accepted by white men: 67% believe this to be true.
-Black men are more active, strong and dominant in the bedroom: 60% of white gay men believe this to be true.

 These beliefs and fantasies fuel an invasiveness masked as curiosity. White gay privilege would have you believe you have the right to ask me if I sell drugs, or if I am an escort. While these things were true in my past, they have no place in my life today. And you have no way of knowing who I was in that past life anyway. It is not ok for you to assume because I am black, and in your “hood”, acting on these assumptions is ok. It’s White Gay privilege.

And while I am asking you to please stop seeing us Black Gay men as the answer to your most recent pornographic fetish let me make another request. Can you please stop trying to appropriate the culture of my Black Cis Sisters? Yes I went there.

Gay white men often do this because they somehow relate to the black women, and feel connected to them in a way they don’t any other member of the black race. That’s a great sentiment, really it is. Got it. The problem lies in the fact that this connection is usually due to a simplification of the persona of black women. They are reduced to the “independent black woman who don’t need no man” archetype. An image that is disrespectful to the historical rape of black women, to the barbaric narrative that they liked sex that way, and to the experience of seeing their protectors (black men) beaten into submission and ripped away from them.

My questions for gay white men who feel they have an inner black woman inside of them:

Have you experienced over 400 hundred of years of racism, colorism, and misogyny inside of you?

How do you determine just which black woman you will embody when there are so many different kinds of black women?

Why can’t you just be yourself and not appropriate the identity of black women?

White gay men’s white privilege allows them to on take black gay culture as their own identity, and then put “whites only” in their Grindr, Jackd, and A4A bios. Where they do that at? Oh yeah, right here in America… no matter your sexual orientation.

About two years ago an article detailing this phenomenon created a tsunami of controversy. Author Sierra Mannie complained gay white men often appropriate the culture associated with black women. As Mannie eloquently put it “You are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.” Ain’t nothing changed. You are still white. You are still male. Play your position. Stay in your lane.

To be clear I am not in any way against interracial relationships, or unity. Love is love, but we, blacks- men, women, gay or cis- deserve to be and will be shown some respect! You do not get to be entitled to our intimacy and to our lives. L O V E and R E S P E C T please!

 

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