Thursday, June 20, 2019

Skeptics & Hufflepuffs - The Other Two Types of White Guys Online


I said this twice in the previous article, but let me repeat it: I’m not saying all white people are a certain way.  And I’m certainly not saying all white people are racist.  However, I write books about gay dating habits and behavior patterns.  And I keep viewing certain patterns in the behavior of white men.  Now, in other contexts, anyone from any race could be a Never Ever or “I’d fuck you but…” So I’m not saying that whites alone can have this view.  But I tend to observe these patterns on Grindr.  So everything is context dependent. 

But for this next entry, I’m focusing in on the type of white guys who do in fact people of different races.  And generally they fall into categories.

Skeptical Lovers
Cool Motherfuckers


Let’s start with Skeptical Lovers.  Perhaps, this name is a slight misnomer, because I don’t mean people who will shag you once and leave you, but I mean someone who literally has the ability to love and date you, but just might be skeptical about racism. 

And I’m going to use a completely non-gay experience to illustrate this point.  Years ago, I was in a class about how law firms manage and organize themselves.  The topic of discrimination came up, and we analyzed in great detail why and how women and people of color don’t tend to become partners in large law firms.

This Chinese student raised his hand.  And no, he’s not Asian-American: he was from the People’s Republic of China.  He said something to the effect of “Maybe black people should stop complaining about discrimination and just get back to work.” 

You can imagine how I reacted to that…. Now, I did not scream at him.  I did not curse at him.  But I very passionately explained why that thought process was complete nonsense.  And I leaned in hard.  I wanted to make sure he and everyone else in that class knew that such throw-away lines are used to justify systemic and endemic racism.  It was probably the longest speech I ever gave in law school. 

Now on one level, I knew this guy was from China.  That’s a completely different culture and history, so he’s not going to be attuned to the dynamics of black culture in the United States.  So it’s not like I hated him personally or anything.  But his comment triggered me, and I had to respond.

So fast forward a couple of weeks.  It was the end of the semester, and the professor was kind enough to host all of the students at his home for a end of term party.  I, of course, am never one to pass up free drinks or the opportunity to schmooze with a man who I knew I’d be asking for recommendations to work for the Obama Administration (but that’s another story).  So I’m sipping my wine in this professor’s posh home, and in walks the Chinese guy.  I rolled my eyes and I was determined to pretend that he didn’t exist. But I noticed this black woman followed him in.  I thought it was odd, because I didn’t recognize her from our class.  I assumed she must be the guest of someone else. 

The Chinese guy walks to the kitchen, where we are all sipping wine.  And the professor welcomed him to the party.  The Chinese guy looks behind and says “I’d like to introduce my wife [Sharon],” motioning to the black woman who followed him in.  [I don’t remember their names, so I just threw in Sharon]

Have you ever seen in Looney Tunes when the characters are so shocked their jaws literally drop to the floor!  That was me!  I was stunned. 

How did he end up with her? I thought to myself.  Obviously, I had previously concluded that he was outrageously insensitive – perhaps, not by design, but he was just utterly clueless as to racism in America.  

But then I wondered How has this sister NOT educated him on racism?!?!?

Alas, I never got my questions answered.  But it did teach me a valuable lesson.  Just because someone says something that I perceive to be ignorant or they ask a question that I believe to be ridiculously stupid, it doesn’t mean that they have malice in their hearts.  Because if that Chinese guy is married to a black woman, presumably, they’re fucking! 
He is literally in love with this sister and the female anatomy that goes with it.   
So in short, this Chinese guy was skeptical about racism, but he loves shagging black girls. 

As Spock from Star Trek would say: Fascinating. 

We’re all ignorant, just about different things.  So that taught me that simply because someone says or does something ignorant, I shouldn’t write them off as racist or without hope of being educated. 

But keep in mind, Skeptical Lovers come on a spectrum. 

And speaking of spectrum… Let’s talk about my dorky, scientific ex-boyfriend James Tiller the Animal Killer. (That’s not his real name – it’s a joke.  James is a veterinarian.  And on our first date he confessed that about one-third of his job is putting animals down.  So every day he has to kill animals.  Hence the nickname). Anyway, James loved me.  In fact, I’d say James loved me more than any man ever has.  Frankly, no one else has come close.  Sometimes, I’m fearful that no one will love me like James did. 

But trying to convince James, a dorky, scientific, boyfriend that racism in the gay community was real was like WORLD WAR THREE!!!!  We had so many outrageous fights about it.  It drove me crazy, and it’s one reason I broke up with him.  Keep in mind, James was very scientific.  I don’t want to say he was actually on the autism spectrum. But my mom did say once, “Maybe he has a touch of Asperger’s.”  Again, I’m not trying to poke fun or make light of that issue.  But James just had a mental block about race.  It was like if he couldn’t see it and objectively measure it and quantify it, as you could with a kitten’s internal organs, it didn’t exist.  And whereas most white people might politely shut up once it was obvious they didn’t know what they were talking about, James would keep pressing and prodding and questioning my experience.

Of course, to me, he was denying my truth.  It felt as if he was dismissing or invalidating my feelings and experiences.  It was if he was pretending like I was crazy one or just being “overly sensitive.”  Ironically, the way he questioned me did make me feel crazy.  Because I couldn’t make him see reason.   It was like screaming at a brick wall. 

So James Tiller had a mental block.  He just did.  Now eventually, over time, I wore him down, but it wasn’t easy.  But he did love me.  I’ll put his love for me up against any other man.  Not that I’ve had that many boyfriends, so perhaps, that’s not saying a lot. 

So what to do when you’re dating a Skeptical Lover?

That’s your call.  In my experience, getting angry only makes the other person feel more defensive.  And yet, it’s not my job to worry about everyone’s white fragility all the time.  It’s a catch-22.  But you just kind have to look at the relationship and pick your poison. 

If you’re absolutely committed to making it work, try to be as patient as possible, because this person loves you, treats you right and you might be able to find someone who understands you better, but will they love you through thick and thin? 

My next boyfriend, Oliver the Ostrich, was the ultimate type of gay guy, he was completely clued in on race relations.  (I’ll discuss that next time).  But Oliver the Ostrich never loved me the way James Tiller did.  In fact, I don’t think Oliver the Ostrich is capable of real love, because whenever a situation gets heavy, he literally runs away and sticks his head in the sand.  Sadly, karma will still come get you if you run from all your relationship problems, but that’s for the next book.   I often think about choosing between these two: if I could do one relationship over, which one would it be.  And I find myself leaning towards James Tiller, because his love was real.  Oliver's was not.  The point is, if someone is not as educated about your culture (it doesn't even have to be necessarily about race), think long and hard about whether to chuck them away if they're ignorant in certain areas.  Some times you might have to.  But other times, you might not.  

So here are some factors to consider when deciding on how to deal with a Skeptical Lover.

If your skeptical lover says something stupid about race:

1)    How often does it happen?  Just once in a while or does he question you all the time?
2)    How much does he love you?  Like if he loves you a LOT, more than any other gay man has, think hard about throwing the relationship away, because he said something stupid. 
3)    How much do you love him?  Is he a care-taker boyfriend, or can he really go the distance? 
4)    How resistant is he to being educated?  Take it from me, try not to blow your lid every time they say something stupid. 
5)    Can you explain things in a different way?  Let me reiterate: this is not your job.  You should be free to vent the pain and anger that comes from racism without every stupid white person questioning you to the Nth degree.  However, if you’re trying to make something work, your ultimate commitment is to get him educated.  And if yelling at him doesn’t work, try something else.  You might need to ask him “Why do you resist this so much?”  Or… “You know when you’re like this, it’s like you’re invalidating my experience of life. That doesn’t make me feel good.”  Remaining calm helps.  It also helps if you give them concrete examples and you gently guide them towards understanding life.  But damn it, James Tiller was flat out defiant at times.  And it drove me nuts.

Now if the person is a douche bag and you’re just casually dating, feel free to tell them off and then end the relationship.  Maybe that’s a bit extreme.  But the point is the context is king.  I can't tell anyone how to make good relationship choices.  But I can get my readers to open their eyes, such that they can powerfully choose whom to date and be clear about what comes with it.  


I'm not sure what to call this final group of white guys.  I mean, should you win an award for NOT being racist?  Should you win an award for just being what we all think people should be?  Do we make these people heroes?  Like what do you say?  I spent a week trying to come up with a clever term for white guys who were genuinely open to dating people of color without using or abusing them.  And then that revelation hit me.  Are they really that special?

So I just called them Hufflepuffs.  The most non-dynamic term in pop culture.

But just because a Hufflelepuff is open to dating you does not mean that a host of other issues won't arise.  Not to long ago, I was dating this drag queen.  I don't think he had a racist bone in his body.  But he was literally a narcissist.  Now, I don't mean that as a sociopath.  And I don't mean he can't feel some sympathy for other people.  I mean, he was so caught up in his own little world, he literally can't appreciate an opposing view that challenges his own bubble of reality.

(More to come) .

But again, dating a Hufflepuff doesn't mean it's going to go anywhere.  It just means you're not going to walk away from the date feeling devalued, because of your skin color.  But you just might walk away thinking "This Mother F*cker is out of his God-DAMNED MIND!!!!!"

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