Disclaimer: This post is a long one. If you are going to start frothing at the mouth because you read the title and a few paragraphs, please save your breath and/or keyboard fingers. I chose not to split up this article as I wanted to be sure that my thoughts were appropriately fleshed out and connected together. I do not wish to be taken out of context, so please read the whole thing before you come for my neck and call me out of my name.
I have been seeing quite a few threads on social media, and I have wanted to respond. Life gets busy though, and I do not always get a chance to say something. Those posts will come soon, but I have to write about this. Before I begin, I will add a few more disclaimers to his post. I know that we live in a world of cancel culture – you dare say anything that goes against the hegemonic groupthink and people find ways to silence you. People have been sued, lost their jobs, lost their places to stay, lost endorsements, etcetera, etcetera. This happens mainly when people discuss issues pertaining to the LGBT community. (They do not call you all the gay mafia in the internet streets for nothing, just saying.)
Anytime anyone has any critique for the alphabet community, you are automatically given the label “-phobic.” To be honest, this seems like a dog whistle tactic to keep people in line. However, there is a difference between how people are performing out of fear and a need for acceptance, and what they truly believe. My favourite quote by Dale Carnegie seems à propos here: “Those compelled against their will, are of the same opinion still.” For this reason, I have taken pains to censor my thoughts and feelings on any topic surrounding LGBT issues. I also think it has nothing to do with me. The situation I will address below is different.
While I feel my personal beliefs regarding the LGBT community as a whole are irrelevant, people may try to assign bias in my commentary. All I will say is this: I know what I believe for myself, and as for me and my house, and that is my personal business. (If you want me out of your bedroom, stay out of mine too, thank you VERY MUCH, à la Brie Larson.) That said, for society at large, I believe that everyone has the right to life, love and the pursuit of happiness. As a Canadian, I love that phrase. People have fought ardently for the right to love who they want to love. Laws have been enacted to protect such people from discrimination and retaliation, and rightly so. In my book, we live in a secular society. In a secular society, everyone is entitled to equal opportunities and should have the right to live their own American Dream as they see fit. As long as your right to life, love and the pursuit of happiness does not impede or limit mine, I honestly do not give a row of ten pins. If you like it, I love it.
That said, I think that this issue is one to discuss, as it keeps circling back, for black women specifically, every five years or so. I do need to speak to black women, and the LGBT community at large, as we are yet again in a conversation about dating preferences, specifically concerning black women and bisexual men. Netflix released a clip from their Love is Blind television series, and it is taking Twitter by storm. (This will be my disclaimer that this video is highlighting a black love couple, as an illustration to my point. I will also include an infamous video of a white trans-woman as an example as well. If you do not want to see that, then please stop reading now, or skip to the end.) Please enjoy the clip and we will discuss this more below. (The clip also has captions for anyone reading this at work. Shame on you, lol!)
— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) February 20, 2020
I do not know much about the show Love Is Blind, but the premise is that single people look for love and get engaged, all before meeting in person. They communicate by audio and build up fantasies in their heads before they finally lay eyes on each other. For more details, the Variety article has a good summary of the show. I will note that the male contestant, in the video above, got engaged to this female contestant without disclosing the fact that he was bisexual. An argument ensues. At the time of writing this piece, according to the clip, they are no longer together, but we’ll see when the finale is discussed on Twitter. People online have had a lot to say. This one Twitter user has created a viral thread telling black women that is is homophobic and biphobic to not date a man because he is bisexual.
Black women…its homophobic AND biphobic to not date a man just because he's bisexual.
Follow me for a second. pic.twitter.com/m7PD4CaYqk
— Optimus Fine (@sunnydaejones) February 25, 2020
I have noticed that a lot of people seem to co-sign this “logic.” I must say that I am confused. I will add my two cents to some of the points this lady shared in the thread, to see if we can work through my thoughts. Before I address her points, I felt that the man in the clip was so disrespectful to the lady. He called her the “b” word and really started speaking to her in a disrespectful way once he realized that she would not “accept him as he was.” Well sir, if you wanted her to accept you for who you were, you should have told her who you were from the start. It is literally that simple. In the thread above, the original poster (OP) states the following:
I know we live in an “anything goes” society, but as a person who appreciates a more celibate life, I have questions. Do you all really believe that is kosher to put the most intimate openings of your body together with someone else’s, and not tell them something that might be a turn-off for them? If I am having sex with someone, ideally, as a married couple, I want all the tea. I want to know what your kinks are, what’s your body count, if you have ever had an STI or STD, the works. You do not need to give me a detailed itinerary, but I should have a general overview of what is the deal. This woman commented before realizing that this conversation was about the “Love is Blind” clip, but I assume her opinions would stay the same whether this is a casual sex situation or a marriage. I personally think it is despicable to lie or omit facts that could impact someone’s sexual or relational history with you if it is a dealbreaker in someone else’s book. That said, for those of you who engage in casual sex, how much do you need to know before you knock boots?
It is nice to think that all that matters in life is the here and now, but all of your life experiences make up the person that you are today. If it has the potential to impact today, then it should not be a skeleton in the closet. Maybe I am confused. I thought that we all wanted people who loved us for us. How can people love you for you, when they do not know who you really are? I also thought it was very ironic that the same people in the thread who claimed that all you should care about is your relationship now, were the same people who argued that bias against dating bisexual people was rooted in past childhood experiences and social conditioning. So which one is it? Should we care about the past, present and future, or simply live in the here and now? Does the past only matter when you are not getting what you want out of this?
As a weird side note that I feel almost compelled to include, just before I heard of this story, I was talking with my best friend. In the past, she has helped me edit my posts for the blog. (Thanks Natalie!) I remarked that was so bizarre to me the majority of men I was attracted to, just so happened to resemble the three leading men from my most-watched movies growing up. I lived in a very religious household that did not have cable, save for high school, when one parent had a job that tied in with media work. Computers were limited too, so the options I had for entertainment were reading books, writing, watching VHS tapes and DVDs, playing with toys and relying on my own imagination. We can all pretend that our past, the way we were raised, our interactions with others, the rhetoric we hear, the way we were socially conditioned and the media we consume do not affect us and our dating preferences, but I believe the rabbit hole goes deep. We all have preferences that are rooted in something positive or problematic. (For those who are wondering, I will include pictures of the leading men below. Do not judge me, lol.)
I do have to wonder, why would you want to be with someone who would not necessarily want to be with you? Every so often, I see posts on the internet talking about how they were not their spouse’s type, and vice versa, but it worked out in the end. Or you will have posts going on and on about how they dated a bisexual man, or a felon, or cleaned up a homeless man on the street to be their man, and everything is hunky-dory. I wish I was joking about these posts. We have covered these topics on the blog numerous times. Penny has covered struggle dating, hobosexual season, dating felons and staying true to your deal-breakers. Both Christelyn and Penny have touched on dating bisexual men specifically as well.
I need to know: why is there a constantly recycled rhetoric that black women must not expand their dating options to include non-black men, who could potentially share the same values and outlook on life, but we must date black men that do not meet our standards or share our values? It is like the world is literally upside down. Instead of character over colour, we must value colour over character. Does this not read as “settling” to you? WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS IN 2020?! I know some of our readers think that we should be past covering certain topics by now, but people out there are still not getting the memo and are opening their big loudmouths to pollute the public sphere with their half-baked harebrained rhetoric. There are girls growing up that are drinking the Kool-aid by the dozen because they think this will give them their happily ever after when they could literally be signing up for a life of misery.
Now, let me give you another side-story/analogy. One of my favourite shows in high school was White Collar, starring Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay. I mainly started watching the show because I was attracted to Matt Bomer. (I still am, lol. Someone, who will remain unnamed, visited my office space, took this photo of my monitor and sent it to me. The second one is Henry Cavill. Do not judge me, lol. Whatever gets you through the day, right?)
When I first saw Matt Bomer on television, I was obviously very attracted to him, but my internal gaydar was blaring like a foghorn, so I did some googling. I quickly found out he was, in fact, gay, and had a Luke Skywalker moment. It was all good though, as I kept watching, week after week, grew to love the cast, the story arcs and how everything came together. Now, this is a safe space, right? Matt Bomer does not know that I am alive, and he will never read this, so I can be as flippant as I want. (I want to be clear that I have the utmost respect for Matt’s relationship with his partner Simon. What comes next is what I like to call, “an analogy.” Observe.) So let us say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided that Matt Bomer was supposed to be my man. Would you all think it would be okay for me to just buy a plane ticket, hop on a plane to Los Angeles, find this man, and get my Fatal Attraction on? No? Why not? After all, love is love, I love him, and we can work through anything. So what if he is into men and I am a woman? Love can conquer anything. He should just accept me as I am.
You all know that I would not be able to get away with that ratchetry of the highest order. I would be dragged to Pluto and back – rightfully so. Matt and Simon found each other, love each other, and people outside of their relationship should respect that. Whether you think two people should be together or not is your business, but if both parties want to be together, and are each consenting adults, who are we to get involved? That said, we know that the situation from the video above is not exactly the same case. Why do we as a society know to respect two gay men’s relationship, but we cannot respect black women’s preferences? Why does this black woman not have the right to choose the man that she would like to be with, and stand by her values? If she finds that he is incompatible, why is she not free to walk away without scrutiny? People online love to talk about the interracial dating agenda out there. You cannot go anywhere these days without seeing a black woman paired interracially. (I have a few posts up my sleeve to discuss some movies out there, so stay tuned.) However, there is another insidious rhetoric to have black women marry down and accept less than we deserve.
I do not see what is wrong with us believing the thoughts above. Yes, it is not everyone, but where there is smoke, there is fire. These situations happen often enough that they are justifiable stereotypes. I constantly see articles around the place that highlight the high numbers of STIs in the gay and bisexual male community. Unfortunately, even though their rates are on the rise, they are not even the ones contracting the disease the most: that would be black women. (By the way, Penny has a post on HIV prevention tips for black women as well, if you are interested.) For the second and third points, these are just points of pride to me. Everyone wants to think they are the most amazing person out there and that they are with the perfect person for them. Many women do not wish to be with bisexual men, worrying that it might be a cover for being gay or that he might one day leave her for a man. Families are getting broken up these days because men are finally deciding to “live their truth.” While I commend these men for their honesty, I wish it had come before these women fell in love and before there were children involved. I could imagine that the ladies who go through this would be devastated.
Going back to the first subpoint under argument number three, something isn’t adding up to me. If black women are mainly looking to be with black men, to the point that they are excluding other men from the dating pool, and the black men who stay in their race are only pursuing black women, where are these STI and STD rates coming from? Let us not pretend that we have not seen story after story online, in the news, and in real life, of black women who were surprised to find out that their man was actively playing for the other team and using them as a cover, or hiding their sexual health status while infecting them with diseases. (This story is my personal favourite.) Let us not pretend that cities like Atlanta are not infamous for the high rate of black men on the down-low with thousands of single sisters in their wake. Somebody is out here lying! Speaking of lying, let us get back to the points of that Twitter thread.
It is so weird to me how we live in a world that downplays honesty. Why is that not important? Why do people feel entitled to have sexual or emotional access to someone when they do not meet their standards? People are allowed to have preferences. No one should have to do anything they are uncomfortable with but we also shouldn’t call them phobic. Just be respectful about your choices.
Dating a transwoman, a bisexual man or straight man is not the same thing, but that is a whole other can of worms. However, this is the rhetoric that is being pushed in our faces. I still remember four years back, when transwoman and YouTube star, Riley Dennis, argued that if you do not date transgendered people, you are transphobic. (Oddly enough, I only see this entitled attitude with the groups listed at the top of the paragraph.) As I wrote this post, this image below was being shared across multiple accounts on Twitter. (Apologies if the caption attached triggers you, but please note that profile is a satire account.)
Students at @LivUni bravely reminding us that genitals have literally *nothing* to do with human sexuality.
Only the most transphobic of men would refuse to be penetrated by a female penis. pic.twitter.com/V5ZLPHMJSA
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 1, 2020
If homosexuals only want to date each other, that is your choice. If someone wants to date bisexual or transexual people, again, your choice. However, it should also be cool for heterosexual people to only date each other. It is the same thing if you choose to only date inside of your race, only date outside of your race, or choose to date anyone.
The OP did make points in the thread that I could definitely agree with:
I will end this with the thought I wrote on Twitter: I am tired of people in and out of the alphabet community telling us that we have to date them or we are a -phobic. How entitled do you have to be to demand sexual and emotional access to someone when you do not meet their standards?! Find someone who wants you and be with them. There is plenty of fish in the sea, and there is someone for everyone. Black women, it is time to burn the cape. You do not have to settle for anyone or anything that you do not want to. Keep looking until you find the perfect person for you, who will love all of you, for all that you have to offer.
Thank You For Coming to My Ted Talk.