Dating a serious white man
And I haven't even done that on a personal level so to do that with a partner, it seems next to impossible. Men who have protected and supported me through some of the darkest days of my life. I might even spend an evening charming some former frat bros at the bar for my personal amusement. It was just there in the back of my mind: I can hang out, work with, live next to and even call white men friends, but I don’t date them. Made me feel a bit hypocritical and narrow-minded, two states I actively work to avoid. Dating has never been an easy feat for me, and as aware as I am of the fact that all men can be assholes, I'm forever wanting to try and experience something new.
Although I want to feel beautiful in my own skin, there's something in me that still feels the need to subscribe to some semblance of Eurocentric beauty standards. One is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army. Both are men I would trust to raise and protect my son should the need arise. Or wonder whether Justin Timberlake’s prowess on the dance floor translated into, well, other areas. It was not a hard-and-fast rule, as in: I don’t date white guys.Men of character, wit and charisma, alongside whom I have spent some of the best times of my life. East and South Asians, Persians, Arabs, Native Americans, Polynesians — all options as far as I was concerned. Then came the night my girlfriend jokingly called me a racist after I rejected a list of possible options, including her brilliant and cute brother, because they just were “not my type,” my longtime code for “melanin-deficient.” We laughed about it. I pride myself on being open and accepting people at face value, yet, consciously or not, I was writing off millions of single and potentially interesting American men simply because they were white.Fear of being ostracized by those very same men or fetishized by their white counterparts. I grew up surrounded by handsome black men who were strong-minded, hard-working, upwardly mobile and worldly. At a home, it was understood that if Billy Dee Williams — not Paul Newman, not Richard Gere — should ever knock on our door, my mother was leaving with him. Still, as a rule, good Southern black women do not dishonor their communities or betray their history by willingly sleeping with white men. The same grace that is extended to black men who date white women is not as easily extended to black women who do the same.And, then there are the unspoken questions once inherent in any semi-intimate interaction with a white guy: Do you want to date me as a way to stick it to grandma?
But that situation was one of the many moments I realized that dating outside of my race wasn’t for me.