Letters

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Dear Piefolk,

 

Lately I have really come to terms with who I am as a person. I’m often wondering about my personal life. I have been single for 8 years, which is a blessing because it has allowed me to enjoy the finer things in life. But at the same time, I often wonder why do a lot of gay males put such an heavy emphasis on having an relationship? Why do they insist on having a companion at such an young age when that phase is meant to experience a lot of things. I just don’t understand how it can be so complicated but yet so simple. I don’t want a relationship but I do want companionship.

            I’m an African American male who happens to be attracted to Caucasians males but I often find most of them sexualize the African American community, how can I approach a guy without them sexualizing me or the parts that I have? I’m an old soul, and I do believe in the whole courting process hence dinner, flowers, movies and the whole nine yard but most of them don’t want to engage in that, they want to get down to the nitty and gritty part of the bedroom which is okay – but I do want to be able to enjoy their company.. How can I do that without giving the aura of wanting a relationship when I just want to be able to enjoy their company on a simplistic level.

 

Thanks,

Confused African American

 

Dear CAA,

Thanks for writing. This is a very complicated issue. Most gay men are emotionally stunted, buddy. They don’t get to express their sexuality, usually, until college age, and even then the rest of society asks gay men to submerge themselves into a hetero-normative paradigm. Boys aren’t allowed to walk down the street holding hands. People say you can in New York, but I’d like to see you try it in The Bronx, or Bushwick after dark.

Most straight people have been conditioned from a very early age to fear and mistrust homosexuals. Yes, things are changing, but as you well know from being African American – change is hard earned and you have to quietly insist on your dignity your entire life. Or fight for it, in certain circumstances.

The side effect, I think, is a certain feeling you get when you’re a gay man. The world hates you and wishes you would go away, so how do you even have a relationship? Then again, we are all raised to idolize the traditional heterosexual family structure and we want it all. House, kids, picket fence, houseboy(s).  However, most of us have been pressured by our families to change who we are fundamentally, or at least be sensible enough to constantly hide our sexuality –  when the rest of the world gets to broadcast their love all over the place. We have to walk around feeling like we don’t deserve the simple things straight people take for granted.

Maybe it’s just a man thing. I’ve heard women complain that all men are desperately lonely, and terrified of commitment. Well, gay men certainly are, and so we usually go for sex instead of a date. Call it modern, convenient, fun, decadent – it’s been my experience that most guys want to have sex, and not stick around to play video games.

Which is weird, because getting a beej while you play video games is probably the best thing going.

You might be casting mixed signals, being a good date but not being a relationship type. You might experiment with the idea of hanging out with a good friend, non-sexually, and hooking up with a handsome stranger from the internet later that evening. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with going on a date when you’re pretty sure you don’t want a relationship. Dating is fun, and leads to STDs. Why wouldn’t you?

I will, however, balk at the idea that you just ‘happen’ to be attracted to Caucasians, while they all want you for your big black parts. You asked how to get people to stop sexualizing you? You can’t. Just enjoy it. People like what they like. It’s just as racist for you to only sleep with white boys, as it is for them to only want a black lovers – which is to say – not at all racist. People have preferences, and it’s not just racial. Sometimes it’s cultural, or class based, or sometimes you want mint tea and there’s none left and you drink chamomile. Delicious yellow chamomile.

However, if you do go on a date and the dude won’t stop mentioning your race in an unfunny, annoying way? Don’t reward him by having sex with him. Don’t do it. You’re not doing well for yourself or the world by rewarding the type of behavior you disdain. It sounds like you’re an old-fashioned guy who likes to take things slow. It sounds like you have a healthy sex drive. You’re part of two oppressed minority groups. I’d say, take the best of life and leave the rest. Focusing on the negative makes a negative life, and you’ve probably had a long haul to get where you are. Let yourself enjoy.

I guess I mean this: Bring flowers, go to dinner, hold hands – and go out there and get some pretty white tail. You earned it.

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