Tag Archives: Interracial Dating

Impromptu “Interview” With MTV’s Ari Fitz

29 Jan

thebolditalic.com

There is a reason I stomp around preaching the benefits of developing an active social media presence (and defending my addiction) because sometimes it will lead to an opportunity, great or small. The right tweet sent at the right time with the appropriate handles addressed and relevant hashtags can get all the right eyes scrolling in your direction. I recently experienced this when I tweeted at current MTV Real World: Ex-plosion badass and visionary Ari Fitz concerning a small blurb I wrote about her in a previous post.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.29.29 AMIn what seems like typical Ari fashion, she happily responded to my tweet and eventually the questions I sent to her via email.  She is a wonderful example of maintaining an active social relationship with her fans as well as those she has an interest in working with professionally. My questions were not the most eloquent or engaging considering they were hastily thought of in the context of my life experiences and what I’ve been reading lately, but still she took the time to reply in which I will share with you. As I addressed in the previous post, these questions (on a very basic level) revolve around the idea of intersectionality and how it poses difficulties navigating through the world of self-identity and dating.

Have you always been aware of your sexuality?

Ari Fitz: Not really. It was never a big realization for me. I just fell for a girl (like hard!) one day and when it continued to happen, I just smiled about it and kept going.

Were you hesitant when you discovered this aspect of yourself?

Ari: No, not really. It’s just another part of who I am, if anything if teaches me a new way to view identity, love, body issues, gender, etc. In short, I have a gift because of the way I love. It’s called unique perspective.

Were you raised in a predominantly white environment?

Ari: Nope. I grew up in Vallejo, Ca which was mad diverse. My best friend is 4’11 confident, tough and Filipina & Puerto Rican. I have really close good friends from where I grew up that are White, Black, Filipino/Pacific Islander, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, etc… Something else I’m thankful for that’s given me perspective.

Your ex on the show is white, have you always dated white women?  Have you felt guilt for doing so?

Ari: Ashley is half Chinese and half “White” (Italian, Irish). She’s the girl I’ve dated that isn’t Black or Latina. She’s one of my best friends, she’s stood by me when I was absolutely nothing and she’s supported me since day one so I have absolutely no guilt about being involved with her.

Were you ever worried your partner would say or infer something racist and not be able to understand why that was problematic?

Ari: Sure and I’m equally afraid I might say something that offends her upbringing as Ashley was raised traditionally Chinese. She and I are human. She and I make mistakes. I know her heart is pure, even purer than mine at times so if she makes a mistake or says something “outta pocket”, I know that’s a conversation we can have and she’ll genuinely apologize/correct.

As you grew and became more educated and experienced adult life, has your perception of being a black and gay woman evolved?

Ari: Oh man. Yes, yes and yes. How could it not?

*BONUS*  For shits and giggles, what are your opinions on sex toys?  Welcomed in the bedroom?

Ari: Quick answer is, I love them and click on my Good Vibes page. Boom! 😉

From what I’ve gathered thus far it seems as though Ari Fitz is quite the motivated creative who is exceptionally conscious of herself and the world surrounding her.  What more could you ask of a woman working hard to have her visions seen and stories heard? Stories that speak to a community who are otherwise starving for any kind of sustenance.  Luckily for us Ari is developing a presence in the film community. Check out her short film The Anniversary costarring her equally gorgeous ex, Ashley:

 

I do believe she is currently working on a prequel to The Anniversary so look out for that.  I don’t know about you all but I’m excited to see what the future holds for her. Keep up with her shenanigans on Twitter and don’t forget to watch her in action Wednesdays at 10pm on MTV.

Advertisements

Lesbians Get Me To Watch Bad Television

10 Jan

ladytragik.com

arifitz.com

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.

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 2.24.33 PM

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.

arifitz.com

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.

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)