I’ve posted profiles on a small number of dating sites—though I have completely given up on getting anything worthwhile out of them. The dates they’ve generated have all been pleasant … but devoid of much chemistry, which just reaffirms my belief that on-paper compatibility counts for very little while personal sparks generate the legitimate heat in any kind of relationship.
(On a side note, I’m completely, utterly, sitting-slack-jawed-in-a-puddle-of-my-own-drool appalled by the number of people who lie like a rug in their profiles and then hope you don’t notice when you finally meet. As far as I’m concerned, dating sites (at least the ones with shirtless pictures) are now strictly for entertainment purposes. Warning! Too much information ahead! And by “entertainment” I mean the marriage between one man and one Kleenex. Or maybe two Kleenexes if it’s been a couple of days.)
Anyway, my profiles are pretty open about my absolute deal breakers (addictions to drugs, alcohol and religion), the things that are important to me (a dominant sense of humor, a passion for life and an innate sense of decency) and the things I absolutely don’t care about (the hair on your head, the labels on your clothes and the color of your skin).
And yet, almost without fail, nonwhite guys feel compelled to start any Internet dialogue with me by asking if I am inclined to dismiss them for being black. Or Asian. Or [insert nonwhite ethnic flavor here].
Which breaks my heart. We, at the dawn of the enlightened, global, gloriously polycultural 21st century, are obviously still living in a white man’s world, where black and brown and red people feel they have to pre-screen for racism before they can begin any meaningful dialogue with white people.
And yet I’m not surprised. I still hesitate to let clues about my homosexuality slip into conversations until I’m sure the people I’m talking to aren’t going to condemn me to hell for it. People have stupid prejudices that often trump politeness and decency when they’re dealing with strangers. And in a culture that celebrates the irrational histrionics of angerphiles and extremists like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and even Michael Moore, I guess we can’t be shocked.
But we don’t have to like it. And we can’t sit idly by while others perpetuate this culture of sister-fucking ignorance. I usually reply to questions like "are you into black guys?" by expressing my sorrow over the fact these guys feel they have to start our conversation on the topic of race. They usually respond with silence. (I have no idea what that is about, but it’s not cool. A guy who abruptly, wordlessly ends a dialogue HE started is just an asshole in my book, no matter what color he is.)
But yes, I'm into black guys. And brown guys. And tan guys. And white guys. In no particular order. But that stuff isn’t important to me. So—unless you want to tell me about a cool ethnic festival you just attended—can we talk about something else … at least at first?