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Lesbians Get Me To Watch Bad Television

10 Jan

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The first thing that comes to mind at the utterance of “bad television” is of course reality… I mean “reality” television.  It’s cheap to produce, essentially writes itself,  no complexity, no sets, and there will always be hoards of desperate citizens lining up to audition for their 15 minutes of fame.  What a great business formula.  My first memories of watching reality TV and being completely enthralled lie with Cops, Rescue 911, early American Idol, and of course The Real World.  The only one I’m still very devout to is The Real World and all spinoffs that have born and died i.e. Road Rules and subsequent challenges.  Currently I am watching VH1’s Couples Therapy (shudders in disgust) and The Real World: Ex-plosion because they have resident lesbians and I am weak and cannot resist.

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First on the menu is the lesbian world’s volatile poster-couple Whitney and Sara.  Or is it Sada now?  When did she change that?  Anyway, they’re on television airing out all their dirty button ups.  After the first episode I was just thrilled to seem them on my TV screen.  After the second episode I was ready to throw myself off the nearest elevated point.  Clearly I understood before viewing that Whitey and Sada would not be the focal point of the show, but I don’t think their participation is enough to keep me watching (totally kidding it is).  I am only watching the show because I crave real life lesbians on my television even if it’s through the lens of unsavory VH1 programming.  I will accept the fact that this is no The Real L Word  and there is no lesbian sex, no other lesbians, and will listen to the wild stories brought to me by the other quasi-famous heterosexual couples.  No offense hetero world but the only celebrity heterosexual couple I care about is Beyoncé and Jay Z.  Maybe Whitney and Sada will tell us something we did not already know about their relationship.  Here, have a laugh at AfterEllen’s Couples Therapy recap by Chloë, she’s quite the looker.  Oh and here’s the second episode recap.

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Next on the menu is the delectable main course and she goes by the name Ari Fitz, The Real World’s resident lesbian.  Mind you, as you should know, The Real World is the the origin of reality TV and they did it right.  The show hasn’t always been on my list of crap television.  They used to tell beautiful stories by sticking seven strangers in a house.  Now… exaggerated, alcohol-fueled drama gets the views.  After airing for 22 years I can see how the charm faded.  Before you continue reading here, check out the informative interview AfterEllen conducted to learn a little about this magnificent and gorgeous woman.  Ari Fitz.  The name just seems appropriate for a sensible badass, in which she fulfills.  A young woman of color, with natural hair, who is open about her sexuality?  I am so onboard for this season and her experiences.  After one episode I have a feeling I am going to love her presence and relate to her more than any of the other 29 seasons of cast members.  She seems ambitious, compassionate, and confident with her being.  If I ever had the opportunity to interview her, many of my questions would attest to her intersectionality:

  1. Have you always been aware of your sexuality?
  2. Were you hesitant when you discovered this aspect of yourself?
  3. Were you raised in a predominantly white environment?
  4. If so, did that affect your opinion of other blacks who were raised in predominantly black or mixed environments?
  5. Your ex on the show is white, have you always dated white women?  Have you felt guilt for doing so?
  6. Were you ever worried your partner would say or infer something racist and not be able to understand why that was problematic?
  7. As you grew and became more educated and experienced adult life, has your perception of being a black and gay woman evolved?

These are just a few of the questions I would ask because as a black and gay woman myself, I’ve asked myself the same things recently.  Being a part of two disenfranchised groups and yet assimilating (if that’s what she did) is truly a unique experience and the story should be told honestly.  Sometimes we watch TV to escape and others we watch to see ourselves and our stories.  While it is not Ari’s or Mtv’s responsibility to tell that story, it would be pretty awesome if viewers could catch a glimpse of it.  Either way I am quite ecstatic to see her story unfold.

Disclaimer: I did not talk about her physical appearance  because she’s more than that but hot damn is she not sexy?  I mean she is a model but wow.  I am so very attracted.  Shout out to all the femme lesbians of the world, she’s making you visible!  I am a dater of femmes so I am extra pumped to watch her do her thang.

Hooray for indulging in trash TV.  Sometimes you need it to cleanse your refined palette.

The Art of Rejection

22 Dec

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After sitting in my drafts for a bit I’ve yet to come up with any new, profound points about experiencing and consequently rising above rejection.  I’ve also been temporarily paralyzed by my (most recent) personal meeting with rejection.  Hopefully I avoid sounding like a whiney millennial because… none of those are here right now.

In the last two weeks I made it to the final round of candidates for a dream position of sorts, had quite the encouraging interview (with encouraging activity from the interviewers), and waited for a week in high but realistic spirits.  A week later I was smacked in the face with the most generic rejection email.  It was almost as though I had never talked with anyone affiliated with the organization.  I refreshed my inbox several times to insure I did not read the message incorrectly.  But of course, there it was, the rejection just comfortably sitting there–mocking me.

It’s almost comical how many instances of rejection we will experience in our lifetime.  That little girl didn’t want to hold your hand in the sandbox.  Your body rejected your first navel piercing.  The girl with a constellation of freckles (damn I’m sounding like Thought Catalog…) and honey eyes politely rejected your offer to take her on a date.  Your professor rejected the topic for your final paper.  Your dream job and others like it send you a sugary coated e-reject on a weekly basis.  The list infinitely continues.  Rejection is the gift that keeps on giving (among the other “gifts” that keep on giving).  Yes, it is a gift if you take the necessary steps and use it as a catalyst for growth and success!

Here are my steps:

Step 1 is a completely natural response to disappointment and should not be skipped.  After every other failure comes back to haunt you,  I think it’s appropriate to spend a short amount of time acknowledging your sadness.  What a great way to remind yourself that you have feelings, meaningful goals that you would like to accomplish, and have made efforts to reach them.

I find myself suspended in step 2 whether or not I’m going through the stages of rejection.  I know my generation is supposedly stuck in the “existential vacuum” and I am completely corroborating that notion.  However, existential does not necessarily equal nihilistic, apathetic, or lazy–which are additional terms that often get thrown into the vortex of immobile millennials.  

Step 3 is somewhat like a passive rebellious phase for me. My mind begins conjuring up images of me traveling to exotic destinations and being transparent; rejecting western values, corporate America, and the white picket fence portrait (Note:  I already generally reject these notions to lesser degrees).  Ultimately, I am all bark and no bite.

Alas, the light at the end of the rejection tunnel reveals itself as step 4 slaps you back into reality.  Your friends and friendly strangers are there bandaging your wounds, giving you lollipops, and offering you all kinds of next steps that never even crossed your mind.  Confidence regenerates and you’re feeling stronger than ever.  You even appreciate the rejection because with it came experience and evidence that you are trying to level up in life.

Leveling up requires the final step of getting back out there.  Change your approach and typical patterns that seem to result in rejection.  Maybe there’s a different strategy or perspective you did not consider because it’s unfamiliar to you.  Tweaking your routine will yield other results and get you one step closer to that life goal.

This is the simple way in which I experience rejection.  I probably sound dramatic but it’s not my fault because I’m involuntarily hyper-aware of my emotions. Embrace rejection.  You were rejected for a reason so kindly thank the Universe for nudging you in more correct directions.

Blue is the Warmest Color: Not a Lesbian Film

18 Nov

**Spoilers Ahead**  Also  jumbling of random thoughts as the film is very long and I will probably be piecing together my feelings until I see it again.

After months of anxiously waiting, Googling, and Youtubing the internationally acclaimed film Blue is the Warmest Color, I finally got to indulge myself in all 179 minutes of emotionally charged  glory.  This is the first film involving a relationship between two women that didn’t register as a “lesbian film” in my mind but rather a story about self-discovery and exchanging energy rivaling that of the sun.  I walked out the theatre feeling emotionally exhausted and headed straight to the sushi bar with my friends to share reactions and alcohol.  Despite the length of the story I was enthralled the entire time because (obviously) I’m biased towards illustrations of same-sex relationships.  The shots were beautiful and simple, often with warm glows accompanying scenes of intense passion or happiness.  Extreme close ups were used during the most intimate scenes such as eating, kissing, and sex; something we’re not used to seeing in American films.

The infamous and well-lit sex scene started off sensually from my perspective.  I could feel their raw passion being released as they deeply explored each others bodies.  But the longer it progressed the more uncomfortable it got (not to me per say) and I really did not see how the addition contributed any more to the scene or film as a whole.  The male gaze was strongly present here as many articles have pointed out but it didn’t ruin my experience because I received the scene as another step in the evolution of their relationship and demonstration of human beings succumbing to their visceral, carnal desires.  Either way, I thought it was pretty damn sexy.  Another point of probable contention was Adéle’s infidelity with her male coworker, occurring approximately a few or so years into their relationship. Some saw this as the typical queer narration of the “straight” girl going back to guy.  Clearly that is not the case here.  Emma focused much of her time and energy in her work, which made Adéle feel undesired and under appreciated so she sought out another being who could fill the voids.  Attraction of any sort due to proximity is very common and so her decisions or mistakes have some validity.  I’m not condoning her cheating, but Adéle’s condition after Emma ferociously dismissed her from their shared home was indicative of her not “going back to men.”

It was almost physically painful to watch Adéle begin her monotonous life devoid of passion and energy.  She regresses back to her High School self, sleeping sprawled out and child-like, having sexual fantasies, and being mostly alone.  One of the most heartbreaking scenes came towards the end when Emma met Adéle in a café to reconnect.  Adéle’s intentions were obvious even before Emma sat down.  She was waiting poised, primped, and had ordered a glass of white wine, of which she called Emma’s stepdad to make sure it was a favorite of Emma’s.  Emma refused the wine and instead ordered a coffee.  Typical questions of ex lovers were passed back and fourth until Adéle asked Emma if she was sexually satisfied with her new lover (who has a child).  After ambiguously responding, Adéle aggressively and I suppose passionately kisses Emma and directs her hand to the crotch of her tights.  They briefly continue the heated moment in the public space until Emma stops, ultimately ending Adéle’s last efforts to win the love of her life back.  Emma then eloquently states that she has a family now but will always have “infinite tenderness” [for Adéle].  That was when mine and Adéle’s tears flowed in harmony, continuing as Emma got up and walked out, back to the love waiting for her at home.  I teared up because I could see and feel Adéle’s burning desperation.  Her emptiness.  I wanted to jump through the screen and give her words of advice from Sheryl Crow, “the first cut is the deepest.”

Overall, Blue is the Warmest Color met and maybe exceeded my expectations.   I enjoyed watching the passage of love between two very different individuals.  I am delighted the film was French not only for the beautiful language but for the French aesthetic.  Little dialogue and a lot of Mise-en-scène, cigarettes, and eating.  It forced the viewer to  focus on emotions told through eyes and mouths.  In an interview (they are so adorable and attractive) Adéle described the story as one about “skin, close ups, mouths, itching, and cumming” so they had to let their bodies speak.  It is perfect example of showing not telling and that really resonates with me.  The high-tensioned moments were dispersed among mostly uneventful scenes, which may be a more accurate portrayal of love than your average love stories.  The fact that my mind truly did not register this as a distinctly lesbian film, I think means that love honestly was the focus and not the sexuality of the characters.  I am looking forward to seeing how Blue performs during award season and the impact, if any, it makes in the future of film in terms same sex relationships.  Who knows, maybe we can get an actual queer person to write and direct one day!  If nothing else, see the film to gawk at the beauty (and bodies) and talent of Léa Seydoux and Adéle Exarchopoulos.

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I’m partial to Adéle.  The shape of her lips are so curious and irresistible to me.

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I Don’t Want To Be Gay

15 Nov

I was in the midst of writing a post about my current favorite music acts when suddenly I scrolled passed something on a Tumblr (I’m have tech ADD and on any regular day you can find at least 14 tabs open in 2 different windows) that made me sad.  Although this is not the first time I’ve heard or seen this statement from a member of the LGBTQ community, it still makes me cringe and ultimately evokes some emotion within me.  “I don’t want to be gay,” the young blogger posted followed by a series of questions asking her why.  Her response was simple, “I just think it would be easier.”

She is completely right and I am sympathetic toward her.  Life would be twice as easy if we didn’t self-identify as LGBTQ.  I don’t know about other members of the community, but when I came out the last thing on my mind was how difficult life would be if I came out.  I just knew that keeping the secret and those thoughts hidden would be more difficult than anything else.  After being out for almost 7 years now, there have been utterances resembling “I don’t want to be gay,” mostly in the context of dating and social life.

The discouraging reality is that if you don’t live in a major metropolis area such as L.A., Chicago, NYC, D.C., and the like, your pool of potential mates probably resembles the number of Blockbuster stores left.  The  selection of bars and clubs are most likely teeming with heterosexual clients making it doubly difficult for your gaydar to be perfectly calibrated and detect true lady lovers and not “strategic lesbian seekers” (no seriously, strategic lesbianism is a thing according to this Vogue article).  Visibility is such an annoying barrier when it comes to dating.  Your city probably doesn’t have a designated gayborhood like West Hollywood, Boystown, Dupont Circle, etc, for you to stroll the sidewalks and shops looking for a reliable pack of queer friends.  Luckily for me I’ve recently become closer to a couple of queer folk and it has done wonders for my comprehensive outlook on life.  It’s really quite nice to express your fears, happiness, concerns, and problems to someone who is looking at life through a similar lens as you.

In addition to dating being a herculean task, watching television and film  repeat the same heterosexual story lines and stereotypical “queer” story lines is just plain exhausting and again, discouraging.  I don’t have to go into detail about this because you all know… we just want to see something we can relate to every once in a while damn it.  There’s also the whole thing regarding laws and regulations that don’t protect us against discrimination when it comes to housing, employment, marriage, and benefits (making strides though).  Walking down the street holding your significant others hand might be a trying experience especially if you’re not in a progressive city.  The process of trying to have your own child appears daunting while adoption still has it’s hurdles as a same-sex couple.  Concluding findings:  of course it’s difficult being gay.  So how do you deal with your conflicting feelings?

The first step is embracing yourself.  You can’t be something you’re not, so why try to be anything else?  The faster you do this the more quickly you can use your experiences to your advantage. You acknowledged a nagging feeling within yourself and made the conscious effort to address it instead of running away from yourself.  That takes strength and you deserve all the credit in the world especially if you partook in the journey alone.  As a member in a marginalized group you have a perspective that is unique and valuable.  You have a special community spanning the globe that would most likely welcome you with open arms (that is if you don’t have to deal with racism, which is a whole other topic on intersectionality).  Your sexuality is not the defining characteristic of your being, but you should be proud of it.  You don’t have to ride with the Dykes on Bikes at the pride parade or sport rainbow colored everything.  Just love yourself for the progress you’ve made, love your significant other in a way that shows you’re proud of her, love your family and friends for supporting you and making efforts to move society’s acceptance along, and finally accept that none of us ever wanted to be gay… we just got lucky.

Your Reality is Through a Screen

5 Nov

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I was debating whether or not I should include another gif and ultimately decided against it as I try to make my posts more content-focused.  But everyone in the lesbian world of shipping knows damn well that one more gif would’ve lead to gifs of every lesbian relationship ever portrayed on television, which we know them all.  The Queer fandom world is unlike any audience I’ve ever been a part of; occupied by some of the most talented, devoted, and passionate people I’ve had the pleasure of admiring.  With social media platforms like Tumblr it’s easier than ever for us to share our fantasies and interpretations of our favorite onscreen relationships in the form of fanfics, gifs, and everything else in between.  While I enjoy every single minute of scrolling and reading, sometimes I stop to think is it sad that I’m practically living an important aspect of my life through glowing screens?

For those of us who don’t have that great group of lesbian friends like the ladies of The Real L Word, where else are we supposed to go for a community that feels like a friendship?  The art of shipping fictional characters (yes it’s totally an art) may appear a bit insane to outsiders, but I completely understand and appreciate the necessity for it. It’s an expression and manifestation of the things we hope for ourselves, the things we don’t see in everyday life because we may not know a lesbian couple personally.  Years ago when South of Nowhere first aired in 2005 I remember so badly wanting to talk to anyone about my love for Spencer and Ashley (Shipping name: Spashley).  I wasn’t out yet and I had never heard of anyone else mentioning the show so I just kept everything to myself.  Luckily I was pretty tech obsessed and ended up finding the Spashley message boards online where I would sift through posts finding obsessed girls like me as well as the confused and scared.  Message boards, the original Tumblrs without the breadth of personalization, gifs, audio, video, and well… pretty much everything.  But it’s all we had and I know how much they helped me discover myself and share parts of me with strangers who felt similarly.

Fandoms of the Queer persuasion also know how frustrating it is to be a devoted shipper, as the relationships we crave are more often than not destroyed and/or ruined in the least favorable of ways.  Yes I’m sure we’re aware that not all of our beloved relationships can go exactly as we’d like, but can we have just one that works out, gets adequate story time, and avoids making generalizations or upholding stereotypes?!  Networks, I do applaud you though for the strides you’ve made and keep making i.e. The Fosters and maybe Grey’s Anatomy?  Calzona of Grey’s Anatomy is one of the few relationships I’m not familiar with because I haven’t watched the show since season 1 aired 100 years ago.  However, you better believe I’ve seen the gifs and quotes from the couple on Tumblr so basically I know them.  I’m glad we can be here for each other in our times of need.

At the end of the day I’m never truly embarrassed or sad that some of my most significant sources of joy come from those awesome users that run fandom Tumblrs like a well-oiled machine.  You can always count on them for gifs generated literally 2mins after an episode airs (seriously how the hell do you guys do that?), questions answered, theories proposed, and overall companionship.  This only becomes a potential social misstep if you lose the ability to keep a grasp on reality and the real life relationships that you should be cultivating. That’s not an issue for me at all but it would be nice to have that close “lezbro” who gets unnecessarily excited when your favorite queer characters look at each other in that way.  I’m sure that lezbro (or maybe even girlfriend) will come along someday so until then I will unabashedly continue to dive deep in the waves of queer shippers and fandoms.

My Coming Out Story.

18 Oct

At 23 posts I suppose it’s about that time I share my “coming out” story with my readers.  My apologies for my lack of posting (if anyone cares).  I’ve been a tad busy trying to be a real adult, which is rather challenging…  And my apologies for how wordy and unnecessary the following stories will seem:

I consider myself quite fortunate to be one of those lesbians who subconsciously knew she was different at about age 10.  I recall chasing girls around the playground and wanting to hold their hands much more than the boys; and that didn’t seem strange or abnormal to me at all.  I just knew that it was girls who made my stomach do backflips, and it felt good, and I wanted more.  To this day I still remember the girl that stole my heart at the jungle gym.  She’s married now (holy shit I must be old.  23 isn’t old), but even still when people ask me when did I know I was gay, I always mention her and my heart flickers a bit because she’s the one that started it all.

In 8th grade when girls started to experiment with boys and talk about them all the time I remember participating in conversations but I felt disconnected.  But like every year of my life it seems, there was a girl I had a crush on and we had this (what I thought) was an unspoken attraction.  I didn’t know what we had and I was probably misinterpreting everything per usual, but there was a reason I cried the day she moved and I never saw her again.  Such a sap I am.  In between her was another crush on someone who used to be my best friend (I know we were 2 way crushin’ on the first girl) and we played softball together.  GO FIGURE.  All the attractive and cool guys wanted her and she eventually picked one of them to be her long term boyfriend.  I was devastated especially because I thought we had some weird unspoken attraction as well.  I’m hardly wrong about those unspoken attractions.  Fast forward a few years and what do you know she’s dating a woman and they’re still together to this day!  All the while with these crushes, my ultimate crush was on this “gothic” beauty Amy Lee from Evanescence.

If you took a peep at all of my notebooks and binders from 7th grade though High School there was a 96% chance that Evanescence symbol would be scribbled somewhere.  This woman was the first significant female celebrity crush I had.  I owned every poster, magazine cover and article, CD, saw her in concert, and even had some autographed concert tickets and a belt buckle she apparently wore during one of her concerts.  Needless to say I was completely obsessed.  Fast forward to the latter days of High School and I was ready to come out to my friends.

The great thing about my High School friends (who are still my good friends) is that they were and still are the forward thinkers, the intellectuals, and the “hippies” so to speak.  I couldn’t ask for better friends.  I told different groups of friends at different times and they all had the same reaction: Explosive laughter and a bunch of “we’ve always knowns.”  What a relief. I  knew they would react that way but your first time coming out to meaningful people is difficult.  Fast forward to my freshman year of University and I was ready to come out to my parents.  *cue foreboding music*

Ah yes, the dreaded coming out to your parents.  What a stressful and anxiety ridden period.  Before I came out I bought Chaz Bono’s (then Chastity) book Family Outing: A GUIDE TO THE COMING-OUT PROCESS FOR GAYS, LESBIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES and studied the pages as if I had finals that week.  Once I felt confident enough in myself with the backing up friends and my roommates, I plotted my plan (I’m so grateful for the friends I made at University because they really helped me through a lot and I truly could not ask for better confidants).  I decided the best way to communicate with my parents would be to write two heartfelt letters because I wanted to make sure I was as thorough and clear as possible.  My parents are divorced so I had to do this twice.  I strategically gave my dad his letter a couple hours before he left for a week long vacation.  Mind you it took me at least an hour to build up the courage and hand it to him before I ran away and buried my head under pillows.  He read it, cried, hugged me, and apologized for making gay jokes in the past and proceeded to explain to me the kind of environment he grew up in and their opinions on gay people.  I eventually gave him the Chaz Bono book and he still has it in his desk drawer.  I’m unsure if he ever read it or not.  Overall I think it was a pretty successful coming out.  Although I was told a year or so down the road that he thought I was going through a phase.  That was about five years ago and surprise I’m still falling in love with ladies.  Giving my mom the letter was much easier.  I stopped by her house when she wasn’t there and left the letter in one of her drawers.  I called her and asked if she got it and of course she didn’t because I put it in the one drawer she never looks in.  After she read it she called  and laughed at me saying she’s known since I was in 6th grade.  Who knew?!  She then called the local PFLAG organization and had a conversation for whatever reason.  Coming out to my mom was a success as well.  I’m sure there were some feelings of sadness because I am her only daughter and you guys know how moms are.

At 23 years old I have the joy of saying I’ve never been rejected by any family members or friends.  At least not explicitly rejected.  My parents and I have never talked about my sexual orientation since I gave them the letters, which is understandable.  My family doesn’t really talk about dating or people we’re interested in because we’re all very much our own  private entities.  Whenever I do have the pleasure of finding a girlfriend I will not hesitate to introduce her to my family.

One thing I didn’t talk about in my story was the  depression and void I felt before coming out.  I think I touched based on it in my previous post, but if you can imagine it was horrendous.  I didn’t even feel like a real person.  It was more as if I was watching someone else on a little television with bad reception in a dark room.  The closet is truly suffocating and you’ll never be able to start your life until you acknowledge those feelings.  It’s one of those clichés that are overwhelmingly truthful.  So for anyone that has yet to come out, I highly encourage you to.  Seek the right people out if you need help whether it’s a friend or a stranger online.  Seek me out.  Life is much better on the outside, I promise.

Are Gay Men Averagely More Attractive Than Lesbians?

17 May

I don’t want to start this post with pictures of people because it’ll make me feel shallow and judgmental.  I’m bringing this topic to the surface because it is something that I’ve heard many heterosexual and homosexual people make mention of.  When I surf pictures of gay pride rallies and other events where there are large crowds of LGBTQ people, I can’t help but notice that the average level of attractiveness of the gay men seems to be quite a bit higher than that of the lesbians.  I even can speak from personal experience.  When I went to pride in my Midwestern hometown, it just seemed like the men present were averagely more attractive than the lesbians.  What do I mean by attractive?

The definition of “attractive” is so subjective that I’m not even sure what I mean by attractive.  I suppose for an elementary and basic definition, I can use physical health as a starting point.  Physical health meaning weight, condition of the skin, teeth, etc.  I feel like people will label me shallow as soon as they read this, but I  don’t think there is anything wrong with being attracted to people who take care of their physique and like to keep their skin/hair/teeth/etcc in optimal condition as well.

It’s not a secret that there is an existing stereotype that seemingly many lesbians are overweight and unhealthy (equating to unattractiveness using my basic definition).  A hospital in Boston even received significant funds to conduct a study to “examine the interplay in gender and sexual orientation in obesity disparities (excuse me if my source is too unreliable, I did not have time to sift through scholarly articles… If any exist).”  However terrible and judgmental stereotypes are, they exist in partial truths.

When I talk to my heterosexual friends and even my gay friends about gay men, I hardly hear anyone mention unattractive (physical) features.  Usually the first words I hear when someone is describing a gay man is how beautiful they are.  Their perfectly primped hair,  amazing physique that a woman would  kill for, their cleanliness, and their pristine wardrobes.  Why is that?  Does it have to do with stereotypes and gender roles and how gay men seem to transition to a more effeminate look after coming out while gay women masculinize their look?  We’re raised to find feminine features beautiful, even on men.  So feminine=attractiveness?

Obviously I know everything is based on ones perception.  I also know that my experience is based off of my location in the world.  In the Midwest, people are more overweight here than in other parts of the country.  I have a friend who comes home from Seattle a few times a year and each time she comes back to Ohio she always makes a note about how much larger people are in Ohio in comparison to Washington.  However, I have friends in California, New York, and D.C. who tell me regularly how attractive the lesbians are there.  Their definition of attractive usually includes something describing their physiques.  At this moment in my life, fitness is a pretty important attribute to me.  I workout pretty regularly and try not to be completely reckless about what I eat.  Considering those things are important to me, I also think it’s reasonable for me to be attracted to someone who also feels somewhat similarly.

(Let me clarify that just because I think I would want to date someone with similar physical routines as me, does not mean I discriminate against those who do not share the same routine as me.)

I’m not sure if I accomplished what I wanted to with this post, but I really just wanted to discuss this topic because I know it’s crossed some minds a few times.
What’s your take?

Sexuality, Race, Dating.

9 May

I googled "interracial couples" to find these images

It’s the subject people hardly like discussing because… well because we’d all like to think that in 2013 this is not an issue or a factor in our decisions/thoughts, but in reality, whether consciously or subconsciously, race does have an influence in our mind.

I’d like to start out with mentioning that I love discussing race/ethnicity often, especially as a person of color.  I love hearing various perspectives, asking questions, and navigating the thoughts of others, specifically those of the caucasian persuasion.  I wish more people could  discuss this important topic in a scholarly and non-threatening manner, but as I said earlier, it’s a sensitive topic.

I will start by building a platform of myself.  If I am walking down the street, 100% of passing strangers will classify me as African American.  That is a correct observation.  I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood.  I went to elementary school, Jr High School, and High School in an environment that was quite diverse.  In fact, the diversity that I grew up around seemed to be an anomaly of sorts as I grew older and talked to more people about their childhood.  Even with all this diversity, my childhood/current friends are still predominantly white.  This is most likely due to the classes I was enrolled in during school.  I’ve taken advanced classes since I was in 5th grade and it just so happens that ~96% of my classmates for seven years were white.  I received my bachelors degree in 2012 at one of thee whitest Universities  in America.  We’re known as the “Public Ivy League” and the average student seemingly is wealthy, preppy, stuck up, attractive, and well… white.  If you only spend a short amount of time on that campus you will certainly come to those conclusions.  However, I spent four years there and I truly couldn’t imagine going to a different University.  Granted, I probably would’ve fit in much better at numerous other institutions but I like a challenge when it comes to people.  In 2013 my friend group, which feels large, is still predominantly white.  One thing I hear often from them as well as strangers is  “you’re not really black…” and a variation of this statement.

Personally I think my perspective of race, behavior, and relations is far more mature than most people.  I feel like could write a dissertation on the matter.  But I digress.  There’s a reason we as humans stereotypes and compartmentalize different groups into categories.  It helps us quickly make judgements about people in order to protect ourselves.  It’s an unconscious evolution thing (I think).  How does this innate human behavior affect us when it comes to dating?

We can’t help who we’re attracted to.  My history of attraction with real life people just happens to be 100% white women.  Now if you put celebrities in that percentage then we’d need a pie chart to illustrate.  Nonetheless, I think who I’m currently attracted to comes from the environments I’ve spent the majority of my lifetime in.  I’m not saying that I could never be attracted to a woman who is not white.  Actually, every time I’ve gone to visit  friends in cities that are  breathtakingly diverse, my attraction shifts to just about every woman who is not white, or at least my interests greatly diversify.  I love that I’m able to do that.  My worry is that the majority of others aren’t able to do that.  For me, dating outside of my race has never even been a concern.  Not once have I ever been fearful of being attracted to someone who is not African American.  My siblings display the same philosophy as well.  They too have never dated anyone who was African American (not to my knowledge).  I think my concern lies in the fact that I know it’s hard enough to come out as LGBTQ, but then to lay on your friends and family that your partner is of a different race adds another complex dimension.  No one wants to make things harder than it already is, so why would they take that risk?  Maybe I’m just lacking confidence in the human race as a whole.  My faith in people and their willingness to explore things and people different from them is pretty nonexistent.  I often hope I’m wrong.  But then I remember that not everyone is the same and those people who live with tunnelvision eyes are not for me.  There are people out there who are attracted to the person and not what they look like.   But what happens  if you fall for someone with tunnelvision eyes?  I live my life carrying a grandiose personality and I try to throw it on every one who comes near me.  However, I walk through life subconsciously thinking someone will miss out on me because they’re not attracted to someone of my color.  Again I know that’s their loss, but what a terrible occurrence.  People immediately dimiss others because they’re not attracted to them, because their race isn’t in their history of attraction.  I do that too…

So how do we deal with this?  Just keep being yourself.  Be the best you and the right people will hopefully gravitate towards your presence.  If you ever fall for someone and they don’t like you back because of your skin color, well most likely you’ll never know.  How often will someone tell you they’re not attracted to you because you’re not white, black, latina, etc?  Rarely, because most people are respectful enough to not be explicitly assholish.  My last advice:

BE OPEN TO WHO YOU LOVE.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU COULD BE MISSING.

(I’ll try to follow my own advice)

(P.S. yay for television/media trying to become more diverse with programming.  Opening minds.  You still have a ways to go)

(P.P.S. Sorry if this was so scatter-brained.  I have so many thoughts about this)