Dating : A bleached dating pool full of rainbow people

h2>Dating : A bleached dating pool full of rainbow people

Dating in the LGBTQ+ community is, and has always been tricky. It’s not as simple as walking up to someone, flirting and hoping to the high heavens that they agree to go out with you. It becomes more complicated as there isn’t only a fear of rejection at play, but also a fear of discrimination and harassment. What if the cute barista you’re flirting with turns out to be a homophobe? What if the hot person at this party turns out to be upset that you assumed that they’re gay and attacks you, believing you’re a predator? We have to go out of our way to seek each other out, online or offline. Go to a safe space, go to a gay bar, go to a gathering, go to a march. This is something that straight people just do not have to do or think about.

However, another issue has been brought up in my life recently. One that makes dating in this community even harder for some people. It’s something that I’ve been acutely aware of since. If you remember, earlier this year, on Twitter there was an “unpopular opinions: ______ edition” trend. Simply fill in the blank and people will reply with their unpopular opinion of the thing. And when someone did an ‘unpopular opinion: gays edition’, @daddydepresso responded saying;

This was not exactly an unpopular opinion, with 13.4K likes, a ton of people agreed. What this means exactly is that people of colour are removed from the dating pools of white people, especially in the gay community. Even now, biracial couples are pretty rare. These casual racist attitudes are damaging to people of colour, to the white people, and to the community as a whole. It creates further divides than there has to be in the community.

It does not stop there however, there are more issues in the community. Like the amount of transphobia and body shaming there is in the community. Trans gays and lesbians often find themselves in the position where they think nobody would want them because they don’t look masculine or feminine enough, or they don’t have the right genitalia. Often this is because of their dysphoria, but also of the social conditioning that we as a community make. Cisgender gays often ‘other’ trans people, and again refuse to date them based on that fact alone. This removes trans people from the dating pools of cisgender gays and lesbians.

Body shaming comes in many shapes and sizes. This can be as simple as designating sexual positions based on one’s body type, ignoring people because they are not as thin or fit as expected, and even being disgusted by body hair. People only started paying attention to Tyler Oakley recently because we blinked, and he got buff;

For me personally, I’ve never had the confidence that anyone would find me romantically or sexually desirable. I’m integrated into society as a white guy, but I am by no means fit, evident by my belly, but I’m not the biggest person out there, and I have enough body hair for it to be too time and money consuming to even think about getting rid of it. As a result, I am eighteen and I’ve never been on a single date. My self-esteem has never been the best and a big reason for it is my appearance, and seeing how people only value fit or muscular guys.

Now to play devils advocate for a second, why is this an issue? These are just personal preferences. They are not indicative of actual racism, or actual transphobia, or actual body shaming. What people who believe and argue this statement don’t see is that these preferences don’t exist solely in a bubble. What people find attractive is what people find desirable. A female peacock chooses the feathers of the male which is the most colourful. Lionesses mate with the leader of pride, who has proven himself to be the strongest. So why is it that fit white gays only find other fit white gays attractive?

The answer is simply the fact that we live in a society that has institutionalised racism, transphobia, and fatphobia. These are a group of people who are portrayed as being undesirable and white people are taught that these people are dangerous, mentally ill, ugly, deranged and so much more. While these thoughts may not be active in the minds of the privileged, these beliefs are still enforced to such a degree where people will still have some prejudice, and not even realise it.

A big reason that this is an issue is that the culture we live in has made sex, and all that comes with it, a central focus to most relationships. Grindr culture is indicative of this. Upon signing up to the app for around 20 minutes, mainly as a joke, it was clear what was in store for me. I had not even had my account for five minutes and someone with a most phallic username came up. After finding a chaser for a pre-opt transwomen, I deleted my account.

This month marks 2019’s Pride Month, and I write this not to attack our community, or to make white people seem like an enemy. I write this to spread awareness of the fact that these issues plague our community. I am well aware these issues are not LGBTQ+ only, but unlike straight, white people, we all know what it’s like to be judged based an aspect of ourselves that we cannot control or change. And we all know that people have curbed their treatment of us when they find out. We all hate it. So let’s make sure we don’t make the same issues for more people.

We can do better.

Nile Haddad


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