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It was in one of these predominantly white spaces, a restaurant with a mostly-white clientele, that I first ran headlong into Kevin’s unrealized racism.
That’s why I let Kevin in, but it’s not why I kept him around. He didn’t minimize my accomplishments; we weren’t competing, and my success did not undermine his masculinity.
I’d always been told to be more feminine, more womanly, and to cater to some stranger’s every need, but Kevin didn’t expect that. And he was nice to me and genuinely interested in me — something I’m sad to say wasn’t common in my relationships. He also had an important characteristic that I share: the willingness to examine his beliefs and change them when he learns that they’re wrong.
Or the ones who believed that Black women would offer some kind of freaky, wild sexual experience.
I’d met white men who wanted to demean and defile me, white men who wanted to dominate or be dominated by me, and white men who just wanted to check a Black woman off their sexual bucket list.
As you can see, I never really had a lot of respect for the institution. We met in the geekiest way possible: He saw a picture of me in a cosplay outfit, wanted to know more, found my blog, and then found my profile on a dating site and asked to meet at Dragon Con. I loved the idea of someone being willing to do a little legwork to find me, especially since exercising my curiosity and putting in some effort to satisfy it is how I engage with the world. Also, he asked me out — no hedging, no game playing.
He has ash blond hair and pale, easily sunburned skin. The more serious our relationship got, the more I was spending half my time — at least — surrounded by white people.His close friends are all white men and their spouses. While I’d gone to predominantly white schools and worked in mostly white companies, I’d never had so many white people suddenly in my intimate spaces.
I will acknowledge I’ve never walked a mile in your shoes, so my knowledge of your situation is only limited to what you shared with me and what I believe to be true (as a white, upper-middle class, straight married man in Los Angeles.) One sentence in your email really stood out.Not to mention the ones who thought that being with me somehow made them “edgy” or proved they weren’t racist.I mean, not every white guy has a “David Duke cock” right? I had to constantly be on guard, preparing myself for their racist comments. I knew there would be a point where I’d have to talk about why I could say n***** and they couldn’t.He doesn’t state his beliefs as vocally as I do, but he shares my love of learning and adapting to shifts in our perception and awareness. At the time, that seemed more immediate — and easier to address — than the racism that surrounded me.But it didn’t negate the fact that Kevin is white — and not just white, white.And while he and his friends were pretty clueless about these things, I was very aware.