When it comes to race and LGBT couples, the two have a complex relationship.
According to a study of 2010 U.S. Census Data, roughly 20 percent of same-sex couples are interracial. I fall into this category.
I’m African-American, and my fiancé is Mexican. And according to several reports, there are tons of couples just like us. When I think about my personal decision to date outside of my race, it wasn’t really a decision. I’ve always seen love as love. Color didn’t play a role. Every eligible bachelor had a fair shot. It was always about the connection. And when it happened, the guy on the other end just happened to be Mexican.
I have a friend who joked that I was racist against my own culture.
Though she was poking fun at me, the joke felt like a criticism of interracial dating. Like she was implying I wasn’t proud of my culture because I was dating outside of my race. For her, it was a quick laugh. For others, it’s a more formalized train of thought.
In a 2015 article for The Guardian, writer Zach Stafford argued that the high rate of interracial dating amongst gays was possibly due to internal racism.
He specifically targeted black gays.
Among the possible reasons given, they range on the positive and negative side of the spectrum. A smaller dating pool for LGBT people means that we’re willing to look outside of our race to have more possibilities. But Stafford feels black gay men should be more hesitant about dating outside of their race-at least when it comes to white men.
He argues that many white men are responsible for making black men feel less attractive. An ideal man has been created in the gay media who isn’t black. So even though we’re black, we’ve been psychologically trained to look for something different.
Stafford’s article raises some interesting points, but I take it all with a grain of salt. I know my personal relationship wasn’t based on a deliberate decision to date outside of my race. I also know it wasn’t a result of not loving myself or my culture.
LGBT people, regardless of race, have faced incredible discrimination. We are constantly fighting for inclusion. When It comes to the decisions we make in our own lives, I think we all have a more natural lean toward inclusive practices. Whether it’s our circle of friends, our co-workers, or our partners, we mostly transcend color.
Interracial dating in the LGBT community is and should be viewed as a beautiful thing.
For some, it’s still a touchy issue. But a refusal to see it as anything but beautiful is an indicator of an internal issue. Dating outside of your race doesn’t mean you have internalized race issues. But perhaps being so adamant about staying confined to one ethnicity does indicate that. If you are indeed an interracial dating supporter then you should definitely check out here.
My friend’s simple joke served as a reminder that LGBT people don’t exclusively face pressures and difficulties because of our sexuality. We have to deal with race, too.