Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Color Wars.... Gay style

Unfortunately this post has been prompted by a rant that DOP received the other day stereotyping him as a ignorant white guy who's into leather. Now all the reports I have on DOP are quite the contrary (1. I've been around long enough to know through 1 or 2 degrees a good portion of the mo's in D.C. 2. I'm not sure about the leather but whatev's, different strokes for different folks)

Anyways, as I've lived and socialized in D.C. for most of my adult life I've come to realize that there are some pretty well drawn lines in the sand when it comes to gay men and race. The white guys stick to the white guys primarily, sometimes venturing into the Asian territory thereby earning the title rice queens or venturing into the African American territory and then termed as having jungle fever. I'm not sure if there's a term for white guys that solely seek out hispanic/latin men but I assume the term could be coined as latin fever. I find these terms unfortunate even if there are some individuals that fit those stereotypes. The same holds true for the opposite btw, black guys into white guys are called oreos, Asian guys into white guys are called twinkies (yellow on the outside white on the inside) etc.

I realize that these terms are not only restricting but actually comforting to some that are Asian, or Black, or Latino, because it gives them a mold from which to work with. Popular gay media portrays gay men as white, in shape, and then gives a variety of mannerisms/roles from which to choose. These models don't exist in large part for those that don't fit into this category so identifying with other gay men of one's background can offer comfort and stability.

I fit into none of these categories, I don't identify with the gay asian community to any great extent even though Chip would accuse me of acting like a (GAYSHA) from time to time, I guess growing up race wasn't a big part of my life.... it wasn't really until middle school that I realized I wasn't like all the other kids on the block. That's when my mom and sister and I were at the grocery (Mom's all types of german btw) and the checkout lady asked my mom when she'd adopted us and how cute we were.... my mom LOST HER SH*T and read that woman from here till sunday. And reminded again when one of my Asian friends in HS asked me when my real mother had died and my dad married a white woman. Ok I'm 6'3" have very german facial features and my hair is wavy.... if you think that this is all asian you aren't working on all cylinders people!!!!!

I find it a shame that the gay community, as ostracized as it has historically been, things are definitely improving god willing, has seen fit to create such definite lines to put everyone into snug little categories. I will freely admit I notice a black/white couple more often than I would notice a couple of the same race, I'm not absolving myself.... however it stinks that most gay people, as hard as it is, find just another thing to make life that much more difficult.

14 comments:

Rico Suave said...

"I assume the term could be coined as latin fever"

I would say that it's "Montezuma's Revenge."

Kathryn Is So Over said...

My vbg, W, always said he didn't frequent the Fireplace because he preferred white bread, not pumpernickel. Are the bars segregated by preference too???

Dale said...

oh TOTALLY, save for very few exceptions the fireplace has been where the Black Gay men congregate,I've also never been there.

The 17th st. stretch has been primarily for the White Gay men

Chaos has latin night so that's where many latin fellows go. And if I'm not mistaken there's another gay latin club that opened up.

Asians don't really have a set bar so they just kind of make up a noticeable minority wherever the white guys go.... there's ALWAYS the group of asian guys in the corner somewhere.


The ONLY place where I've seen substantial numbers from all groups is Velvet Nation but that place is a whole other type of sketchy.....

Complacent Chase said...

Wow, I am surprised to hear about the segregation in the gay community. I guess it just goes to show you that whether you are straight or gay there is still discrimination and racism. It's sad really.

Dop said...

Thanks for writing this Dale. Initially I was all kinds of upset when the dude left the rant on my blog. He was responding to one I wrote ages ago called "A Book, A Cover, A Problem". I don't really know if it is like this in other cities, but the so-nicknamed "Chocolate City" is notoriously full of racism. I hope it ends soon and that the calendar finally changes from 1968.

Complacent Chase said...

Yeah, I think I have encountered more racism here than I have in my entire life...and I am from Kentucky! It's weird...I thought since DC is such a big metropolitan city that people would be more open-minded (and some are), but the racism and segregation here is extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

i agree that dc has its issues, but let's not confuse preference with racism or segregation. i've hung out at all of the places dale listed (really!), but if i'm on the prowl, i'm going to where the cheesy white results queens who wish they were frat boys hang out.

Dale said...

I respect preference, howwever the 'social norms' for gay interracial dating are still v. v. old school, I guess that's why I keep getting called "exotic" when I date pretty much anybody.

DC Cookie said...

I thought 'Oreo' referred to black men who 'acted' like white men (e.g. Carlton Banks). God, I loved his dancing...

Anonymous said...

and i though gaysians who were into white guys were called "potato queens."

Asian Mistress said...

"...friends in HS asked me when my real mother had died and my dad married a white woman."

Wow I might have killed them.

It reminds me of when I was a baby, and people used to come ask my mom if:

a. I spoke English
b. I could understand them when they talked to me.

Um...I was 6 months old. Thanks. Can YOUR baby speak/understand English?

Yeah...

Dale said...

AM: PREACH IT SISTAH!!

First thing one of my roomates in college said to me upon my arrival freshman year

"Wow you speak english really well"

I'm sorry my mailing address was Washington D.C. ........

Keith said...

i totally agree! it's really sad that a community that feels prejudice turns around and inflicts more prejudice. labeling is wrong no matter what community it is in.

my boyfriend is asian (and i'm white). i used to joke that i was a rice queen, and realized that people could take that seriously. so i've tried to stop doing that. i've always had friends from different races/backgrounds/religions/whatever, and i don't want it to be any different now that i'm out.

dc is so diverse, yet segregated. i've been to fireplace, and not felt comfortable. why do people have to label so much? it makes me feel good that there are others out there that think this is absurd as well. i hope that dc can appreciate more of its diversity. ok...sorry for the long rant...just adding in my thoughts.

OBS said...

Race in the gay community is such a complicated issue. I've solved it by not getting involved in all the labeling and shit. Now I date anyone, regardless of race...except I haven't gone out with a white guy because they don't like me for some reason...