Dear Queer Black Activists: An Honest Letter About Desirability Politics Among Our Men

Discussion in 'Dating and Relationships' started by mojoreece, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. mojoreece

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    Was reading Huff Post BlackVoices and came upon this article/letter. PS @Ockydub please excuse the word choice of "Queer" lol. :rolleyes:
    Dear Queer Black Activists: An Honest Letter About Desirability Politics Among Our Men
    05/30/2017 04:32 pm ET | Updated May 31, 2017
    By Jeff Baker, M.Phil.Ed., Ed.M., ContributorEducator, Mental Health Counselor, and Public Health Advocate
    [​IMG]
    #BLACKMENDREAM, 2014, FILM STILL., COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, SHIKEITH
    Dear Queer Black Activists,

    As of late, the desirability politics among a lot of same-gender-loving (SGL) and queer Black men in my social network, many of whom happen to contribute some of society’s most groundbreaking racial justice work, has felt inescapable, and as a result, my mental health has suffered. I have wanted to speak up about it for a while now, but it has never felt like the right moment to do so. Part of the problem is that the typical frame for conversations about this subject, especially with regard to internalized racism, almost always focuses on commiserating about the tendency for problematic white gay men to either fetishize or scorn us. While this grievance is valid, an honest dialogue about us is long overdue. The fact that many SGL and queer Black men have felt objectified by one another is often the pink elephant in the room.

    To be clear, this is not a self-righteous indictment of SGL and queer Black men. My intention is neither to assign blame to anyone in particular, nor to overgeneralize my experiences to each and every individual in our community. My aim is to encourage others to embrace the healing and transformation that self-reflection offers, as opposed to the short-lived ego-boosts that call-out culture and woke performances afford us.

    Day in and day out, I observe the same archetypal “thirst traps” glorified: the light-skinned, racially ambiguous, or non-Black, “pretty boy,” who looks young and fit (or sometimes thick, but rarely plus-sized); or the “trade,” who is typically darker-skinned, muscular, tall, and bearded, with ostensibly more passing privilege. These aesthetics seem to infatuate a lot of us. And by “us,” I am referring to many of the queer Black people—particularly men—who demonstrate a commendable dedication to racial justice.

    Day in and day out, I witness otherwise vociferous and opinionated public intellectuals, scholar-activists, organizers, and creatives, turn a blind eye to the problematic actions of folx with these aforementioned body types, for no other reason than colorism, effemiphobia, and sizism. Yet a double standard applies to community members who do not emulate the mystique of modelesque guys on Instagram. Folx who typically have less luck converting their perceived desirability into social capital, such as Black and/or fat femmes, do not get humanized after missteps. Instead, they usually get dragged unforgivingly. It takes little to nothing for these folx to get their intelligence underestimated; or their character attacked; or their confidence mocked.

    Such observations upset me, because what I witness is immense potential for solidarity being squandered, and a communal lack of radical self-love impeding our momentum for liberation. I am dissecting the politics of the consciousness-raisers among us, especially those who do public work on large platforms, for this reason. I am critiquing some of us, from a place of love, for not always helping one another work through the low self-esteem borne from our oppression, and for sometimes all to eagerly preying upon one another out of insecurity and peer pressure. I am taking some of us to task, from a place of love, for deflecting from the bitter truth that it is not justwhite men who belittle and erase us, based on our perceived sexual capital. I am calling out some of us, from a place of love, for downplaying the fact that “the personal”—who we choose to DM, hook up with, date, and even whose work we respect and take seriously (as an example, possibly my writing and this letter)—is often political.

    Make no mistake, I do not underestimate the complexity of unlearning internalized racial oppression. There is no shortcut around decolonizing one’s own desire; and, frankly, it can be a shameful process, especially for those who dwell in ivory towers and can intellectualize systemic racism with admirable sophistication. But before we take on our work, it is imperative that we embody the values we espouse. Or else we will never get free.

    African American psychologist Dee Watts-Jones, who studies the emotional underpinnings of internalized racism, has written extensively about two layers of shame that can inhibit Black folx from discussing internalized racism openly. Firstly, there is a core shame that is directly related to anti-Black oppression itself, and secondly, there is a shame about feeling that shame. It is the latter that often leads us to grapple with the cognitive dissonance of our pro-Blackness and our self-loathing, in silence. The taboo surrounding our intracommunity desirability politics—from denial about the nearly ubiquitous preference for Eurocentric features, to the tacit association of certain skin tones and body sizes with “tops” and “bottoms”—is a testament to the fact that deeply conditioned internalized racism, particularly internalized misogynoir, needs to be acknowledged and addressed candidly.

    Our queerness and our Blackness already relegate us to the margins of the margins of society; if we further marginalize ourselves, there will be no where to go. From here on out, it is imperative that we renew our commitment to solidarity by prioritizing our self-awareness, just as much as our fluency in deconstructing white supremacy. Introspection is one of the sharpest tools we can use to dismantle the hegemonic systems around us. Moreover, each and every one of us, especially those who struggle to walk the walk as much as they talk the talk, must hold ourselves accountable for complicity, for each other’s sake; and, more importantly, for the generations to come. They need not inherit the world as it is now.

    With love and solidarity,

    Jeff
     
  2. mojoreece

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    Even though I don't consider myself as an "Queer Black Activist" this letter kind of make me think about the men I find desirable and what I want my future partner to look like. I think twinkish light skin pretty dudes are cute and could be fun. But in a long term partner. I would ideally like him to be vers, muscular, medium brown to dark-skin, have a full beard/mustache (any length), maybe look something like these

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I guess I'm guilty. I'm I wrong for wanting this?:patrice::lupe1:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. NikR

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    Ok so, the gist was that we should treat each other better? I agree. But if I missed the point, well, I'm mildly confused lol
     
  4. mojoreece

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    I was kind of confused by the article also lol. Like I get the whole wanting only white guys or little skin (damn near white) pretty boys internalized racism thing.

    But I don't get why is liking masculine dark skin men wrong?:patrice:

    @Champagne_Papi @takeyourmeds91 @sekou @NikR @Infinite_loop @DreG @Luke Evergreen @ , @OhSheit @African King @RolandG @ControlledXaos @Dante @SB3,@BlackExcellence, @BlackguyExecutive, @Omega Level, @DC., @NickAuzenneNOLA, @Ockydub, @Nick Delmacy, @Cyrus-Brooks, @Rico, @bpaisle, @hannibal, @Michael, @Nicholan, @questforknowledge, @JodyBell87, @mogulmister

     
    #4 mojoreece, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  5. OckyDub

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    My observation when reading this...

    "Who talks like this in real life?"

    "Did this muthafucka say his friends / associates differing opinions are making him suffer mentally?"

    This comes off as pompous and pretentious.
     
  6. Winston Smith

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    I'm spent on the subject. I would just refer everyone to the interview that @Ockydub did with the (if memory serves) straight Asian guy whose significant other was a black female (I don't remember if it was a CA podcast or not.). He pretty much covered the whole thing in a nutshell, including the preference thing.
     
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  7. Omega Level

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    Yeah, I was confused as shit with the article as well. I appreciate you sharing it tho.

    When I read these kind of articles, I usually check out within a few sentences once I get what they are trying to say. Im done with dudes wanting to be accepted by everybody. I really don't care about fetishes, if someone likes light skin or dark skin, fem/masculine, etc. Who gives a fvck? They have the right to like and fetishsize who ever they want. I don't care if its coming from their "colonized" mind or what ever.

    Get over men not wanting or desiring you because you are not their "look type" and focus on the men that accept you.
     
  8. alton

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  9. ControlledXaos

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    This does read like a "why don't nobody's want me?" Type of deal.

    Everyone has to face the fact that we are all going to be reached by other people. Some of us will get more rejections than others. Usually we don't get rejected for just one thing, just like people usually just don't get approached for one thing. But we tend to focus on the things we're insecure about and de facto think that that's what we're getting rejected for.

    Meanwhile we're rejecting people too. A fit guy who probably would holler at me if I drop 30 pounds on my left while the thin guy Yi my right would meet me for some quick hoe shit in the parking garage right now.

    Everything is pretty much balanced.
     
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  10. BlackguyExecutive

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    I am always confused with this kind of think piece logic. Instead of narrating a story from a positive disposition these kinds of writers always resort to the negative. I feel like if these brothers focused their efforts on who wants them versus who doesn't then we all would be in a better place. I also think people need to broaden and expand their horizons for god sake, too many of these broken hearts close themselves off to men because they too are looking for something that is quite frankly unobtainable.

    If you are looking for your masculine, intellectual, muscular, extra woke, brown skinned, no baggage, upfront. insta-handsome, prince charming...then boo boo you are likely going to be waiting a LONG TIME....
     
  11. mojoreece

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    So true! :umad:

    Baaah! lol
    [​IMG]
     
  12. mojoreece

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    True. When I start daing Im going to have to keep dating preferences open.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. takeyourmeds91

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    Hmmmmm...

    Yea, I've got nothing to really add to this one. His piece is so pseudo-sophisticated that it actually sounds dumb. It's almost like what does want me to say?

    I feel similarly to @mojoreece. There are archetypes that I undoubtedly find attractive but in terms of actually pursuing those types, not sure I would anyway. I think most people are like this of all demographics.

    I find it hard to understand his point when he addresses colorism, masculinity, etc because he made combinations of each of those aspects. It's almost like, well damn, I think we covered everybody. I will say though, the community does have a size problem. I'm guilty as well but I also maintain myself in the same way that I'd want my partner to. Sorry, not sorry.

    The reality is that there are going to be people who are extremely attractive and capitalize on that but the vast majority of dudes still get their fair share of play. This is human-nature.

    If you're not snagging anything, maybe the introspection that needs to be had is on your part.
     
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  14. Omega Level

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    That part!!! Well said, @takeyourmeds91

    See when it comes to ''attractiveness'' and the men that are looked at as ''gods'' in the gay community or the most desirable , i.e. the men with great faces, amazing bodies, masculine, etc., it kills me when the overweight effeminate gay guy wants to date that most desirable gay guy. And then they get mad when that guy isn't interested in them.

    To have a leg up, it would be wise to BECOME THE PERSON YOU WANT TO DATE!!! Once your on the same general level of the guy you find the most desirable, it would be much easier to obtain what you seek. Level up bro, level up.
     
  15. NikR

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    Right here. Right. Frigging. HERRRRR!!! Lol

    I keep saying this to peeps. I'm busy becoming the person I wanna meet, date and settle down with. I think I'm getting there-midly hilarious, moderately charming, not too unfortunate-looking, getting better at cooking, cleans, has nice teeth, vers, open-minded, traveller, becoming established in a career while still growing and looking for more opportunities, values education, family, service and religious bonds... Still haven't found a truly complimentary dude- so far they've been damaged, unready, or remarkably self-serving or insecure. I don't think I'm making myself "unattainable" or putting myself on some pedastal. I'm simply being the best that I can be so that I can be taken home to meet the parental units with pride. I want dude to say, "Mom, this is NikR", with a big bright smile. I'm not looking for *me* just someone who compliments me. Maybe I'll meet one or two in DC. I'm not holding my breath tho- DC dudes are weird as fuuuuuuck.

    So, all together now- be the person u wanna meet. At worst, you'll become a really great person and a leader in your community.
     
    #15 NikR, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  16. mojoreece

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    :umad:Touché to all of this.

    This is why Im not dating now. I really have to become the same person I want in a relationship. I think a lot of ppl (my self included) want this dream divine St Raphael the black Angel/Black God looking type man lol.

    But we really have to ask ourselves are we bringing the same aptreputes to the table. I got to get this money stacked, cope some more degrees and get this body together. I got a lot of work to do lol. :snoop:100dap
     
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  17. takeyourmeds91

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    I'm here for "aptreputes".
     
  18. mojoreece

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    You caught that lol haa damn auto spell! lol "attributes" not french "d'Apt réputés" lol it sounds like a french french appetizer though lol
     
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  19. Cyrus-Brooks

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    I'm gonna cosign this. Masculine brown skin and dark skin black men are often demonized by society at large and even in femcentric "queer" culture. But bruthas who like masculine dark/brown men are getting called out for being in the wrong?WTF?! I think @Ockydub makes a good point about this article comes of being pompous bullshit with all the normal queer talking points. He's not asking the right questions instead he's giving black gay men shit for liking what they like. Also I will point out among white gay men handsome faces, fit muscular bodies, and masculine demeanors are also desired. So why are black gay men being held to a different standard? If a man is sexually attracted to men wouldn't he desire someone who personifies manliness? Some people just can't take their activist hat off. 200_s.gif
     
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