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.

Jeremy Helligar

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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

Believe me

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Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj