I end my article with a generalization about gay men? The last two paragraphs say absolutely nothing about gay men, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

I acknowledge in my essay that we all get objectified at some point in some way, but this article is about the objectification of black men. It’s like saying that one woman shouldn’t talk about the sexism she’s experienced because all women experience it. Just because objectification is a part of everyone’s life does not mean we can’t look at it from a specific angle. And I don’t see how discussing it buys into it. I know I am more than sports and sex. I point that out in the article, which I don’t think you actually read. (If you read it, you might realize that it’s not just about gay black men, or gay white men, or gay people at all.) I haven’t bought into anything.

I have no control over the messages I receive on Grindr and very little over how people respond to me on sight. But I do have control over how I react. I no longer argue with these people or try to blacksplain to them why they should leave race out of it. That doesn’t stop the racial comments from flowing. But I reserve the right to discuss how the messages make me feel and to place them in a larger contextual frame.

Finally, I am well aware that there is more to gay life than Grindr, so there is no need to condescendingly point that out, as the condescending often do whenever they read any Grindr-related article. I have written quite a lot about my off-Grindr experiences (in both the book I mention in the article and in various blog posts), including being objectified by random men AND women offline. But because Grindr is perhaps the place where gay men feel most free to show their true colors, I think it’s an excellent barometer. Also, the gay men you meet in real life are the same gay men you meet on Grindr. I have the messages from guys who see me out or see me on the street but don’t actually talk to me until they log on to prove that. But the great thing about Grindr is that you can find out who a lot of these guys really are without having to actually go out with them.

I understand that some people would rather try to diminish the observations and personal experiences of others by disregarding them or by offering silly platitudes than actually listening and perhaps even learning something. Enjoy.

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

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