Everything That Frustrates Me About Gay Men and Race in One Conversation
Sexual racism and racial profiling on Grindr has been more over-the-top in Serbia than in any of the dozen countries I’ve hit in the past year.
Writer’s note: Despite the conversation below and my general frustration with gay men in Belgrade, I absolutely adore the Serbian capital, and I have interacted with some lovely people here. Some I met on Grindr and Scruff, and some I met offline while living everyday life.
None of them have accepted at face value my observations about sexual racism and racial profiling in their country — which has been more over-the-top in Belgrade than in any of the dozen cities in which I’ve logged onto the Grindr grid in the past year. I haven’t spoken to a single local about racism who didn’t initially declare Serbia to be free of it. After hearing me out (and in some cases, seeing screengrabbed evidence), a few have been far more receptive to my point of view.
Sometimes simply listening is the best response one can offer. The Serbian in the conversation below clearly thought he was too brilliant for that. I probably should have expected it after he sent me a photo of himself posing in his first-class airplane seat. Ugh.
Him: How has your grindr experience with serbian boys going so far?
Me: Not so good. They’re sexy but crazy and sometimes racist.
Him: Strange. I thought everybody like black guys haha
Me: Just because people want to have sex with us doesn’t mean they respect us.
Him: But that too is racistic but blame it on the porn
Yeah i get u
Me: I’ve gotten a lot of offers. But many of them are tinged with racism.
Him: There are always two sides of a coin
Its up to you to surround yourself with the right people
Me: Two sides to the coin? Come on, man. Please don’t try to justify racism or whitesplain it to me.
Him: Well…when I was in Morocco hajaha
White dick and white ass is a sensation
Me: Well, I’ve never been white in Morocco, but I think that is equally vile.
Him: No you didn’t get me. By that i mean there are always that kind of people and the other kind.
Me: And a lot of guys, if I reject them, call me a nigger. Can I blame that on porn, too?
Him: The ones that hate and the ones that respect or love
And there is also the third type that doesn’t even care
Me: Well, of course not everyone is racist. You asked how I find Serbian guys and I told you.
Him: No. Blame it on you and what you hold on to
It may sound rough but you know it
Me: I can ignore guys who go on and on about black dick. But I can’t stop them from messaging me.
Him: If you liberate yourself from expectations from others and from your archetypes then the word nigga would be just a word you won’t hear
Me: Spoken like a white guy haha
Please don’t tell me how to deal with racism
Him: I wont.
Me: I don’t let it control my life, but because I am human it bothers me.
Him: You are stuck to it and cant move on. You will always blame the racism and it will manifest to you again and again. If you want to wake up I am here
Me: You are so full of shit. We’re done here.
That’s when I blocked his whitesplainin’ ass. And therein lies the beauty of Grindr: It gets you right to the dealbreakers so you can respond accordingly.
Guys like this one are more likely to show you who they really are less than five minutes in on Grindr, so you don’t have to waste several dates on them before you find out the old-fashioned way. Hook-up apps are like comment sections. People let loose with the junk they’re hording internally because they can do so semi-anonymously.
Dismiss it as alternate gay reality if that makes you more comfortable with the revelatory nonsense, but with any grid guy, what you see when you’re on Grindr is what you’ll eventually get when you’re off of it. An asshole there is an asshole everywhere, whether or not he’s willing to let the camera get way up in his.
Grindr, thanks for the difficult but invaluable doses of reality. I will continue to use you as a crap filter, and I will continue to write about it.
For those who think I spend too much time writing about racism, I do so because someone needs to talk about it. Everyone is welcome to tune me out, as I’m sure many already have. It won’t go away if I pretend it’s not there, though, as the guy in the exchange above seems to think. Sadly, people like him will always refuse to just shut up and listen.
I, in turn, refuse to let them (or anyone) manage how I feel or silence me when I speak. Time’s up — again.