Gays are still shaming interracial dating. WTF? !
A couple of weeks ago, NFL veteran Ryan Russell came out as bisexual in a powerful interview with EPSN.
Plus, heās Black and an incredibly bright athlete with an impeccable way with words. Talk about putting some much-needed points on the queer representation scoreboard.
If that wasnāt enough, it was quickly discovered that his Insta is filled with sexy and loving images of his handsome boyfriend, to whom he composed love poems.
Could we have minted a better role model who could help break through teams sports closet? To this day there is not a single publicly out LGBTQ athlete in any of the four major teams sports: NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL. With so few high-profile, openly bi sporting men out there, this is a breakthrough moment for everyone to enjoy.
Well, in true internet fashion, social media trolls, some gay, some straight, were quick to rain on Russellās coming out parade when it was revealed that his partner is none other than professional dancer Corey OāBrien, who happens to be white.
āHaving the white partner ruined the entire moment, ā wrote one Twitter user. āWanted to be excited that Ryan Russell came out as bisexual. As a proud Black, East Asian, and Caribbean bi dude, I was happy that another person of color had broken down that wall but alas, you guessed it, his partner is white. This shit is sick and an epidemic at this point,ā replied another.
Having the white partner ruined the entire moment.
ā Ty Spencer (@1blackpololover) August 29, 2019
In many queer corners of the ānet, gays were quick to share photos and memes of gay, black celebrities from Shaun T and Karamo Brown to Laverne Cox, Billy Porter and even Michael Sam with their white partners, shaming them for dating outside of their race. It was oddātons of famous straight athletes are dating interracially as well, so much so that itās practically the norm. And of course why not? This is reflective of the world of young athletes. They are living smack in the middle of the countryās first generation of a minority-majority rule. Why not embrace a kind of racial fluidity when it comes to dating, just like we defy boundaries in the rest of our lives?
So, in the immortal words of Hillary Clinton I ask, āWhat difference does it make?ā
OK, Iām not that naĆÆve to believe interracial dating should go unnoticed. I get it. Itās interesting and itās a thing. Before I clicked on the article abo ut Russellās coming out, I low key thought to myself, I bet heād be dating a white dude.
I mean, the proof is already in the pudding. In 2017, Pew research found the amount of straight Black folks marrying interracially is increasing. Black men, in fact, are twice as likely to date interracially, and Black men are increasingly more likely to do so as they become more educated. And on top of all of that, white supremacy and this heteronormative, oppressive Trump-ass world we live in has done a number on all. Sexual racism on dating apps (āNo blacks, no Asiansā) doesnāt help either, fucking with our mental health.
Which is a way of saying, of course, itās possible some of us may have swallowed and internalized enough anti-blackness to impact his dating choices. But unless you psycho-analyze these f olks, you arenāt going to know that, so itās best to mind your own beeswax.
Thinking about this backlash Russell is facing, Iām reminded of two separate conversations I had with Karamo Brown and Dear White People creator Justin Simien, whose hubby is white.
I remember Brown telling me about the hurtful comments he receives because heās engaged to a white man and him telling me that just because heās dating interracially it doesnāt mean his fears as a Black man such as discrimination and police harassment go away.
And Simien straight up told me, āYou can date a white guy and still be black as fuck.ā
Hereās why I donāt give a shit who Russell dates: Itās not my story. Itās not my life. Itās not my truth. Itās not my experience. Itās his.
And on top of all of that, do you know how hard it is to even find a gay man who actually wants to meet for something more than a quickie behind a 7/11? It seems most guys today only want to meet up, get off, make plans, flake, meet up to get off, watch your Instagram Stories everyday, and pretend they donāt see you in bars only to hit you up later that night to, yes, get off. Kudos to anyone finding love in this hopeless place we call Earth. And the internet expects a guy lucky enough to find a match to throw it all away because they arenāt similarly complexed? Give me a break.
Iāve written for years about my experience dating and have documented many of my unsavory experiences dating and having sex with white menāthe fetishiz ation and objectification, desired for fantasy and dismissed just as quickly, and the blatant, out-and-0ut racism.
Iāve seen many queer people of color share similar stories while discussing Russellās story. But Iām not going to project my painful experiences onto him. Again, itās not my story. And his experiences with his partner may not mirror. And Iām able to do this because Iāve done the work on myself and healed the wounds and trauma Iāve experienced.
My advice to people criticizing Russell or Porter or Cox or whatever Shaun Tās last name is: heal yourself. Heal your heart so it can know love when it sees it and instead of shutting its door thinking love is a stranger.