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ran on Gawker earlier this month we received hundreds of comments and emails objecting to, agreeing with, or otherwise responding to Baker.This week, we're publishing some of those responses as part of a conversation about race and relationships. And I secretly desired a man, a black man, who fit neatly into the box otherwise known as my desire.I've been bewildered by a seeming phenomenon of black lovelessness, or, rather, the moments when some black LGBT people have purposefully and specifically sought out white partners for various reasons including the fact that the potential prospects weren't black.But I've had to critically reflect and remember that censuring another's love or sex life because of race is an act informed by racist ideology.These stereotypes are reinforced by a society that's increasingly embracing white gay men in pop culture, but still lacks representation of gay men of color, both in mainstream and erotic media.
And whether I've turned to the biographies of Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin and other black LGBT luminaries of our present, I've often ended up intrigued after discovering that many were in interracial relationships.
We were not only lovers; we were brothers, real family, bound by a shared history, culture, and set of experiences that shaped our connection to ourselves and each other.
I never thought that I could feel safe among white men, especially a white intimate partner, because white men had always represented the type of prevailing presence that I needed protection from.
It could be argued that my nearly exclusive attraction to black men from the first guy I dated to the one I hope to spend the rest of my life with has something to do with my restricted imagination—my limited ability to envision and live into the idea of a post-racial USA. But I am a Utopianist, if there is such a thing, who dreams of an anti-racist world where skin color privilege, legacies of violent racialized oppression, and their residual effects do not negatively shape the ways we relate, especially affectionately and sexually, as bodies in post-chattel slavery America.
I want to believe that we can kiss, hug, whisper, flirt, and have sex outside of the context of a racially stratified social world where we learn that whiteness is to be aspired to and desired way before many of us black and brown folk claimed the type of radical self-love that allowed us to refute the lie of white racial supremacy. Love of any variety is shaped by ideas and institutions, laws and the threat of the consequences should we break them.