A couple of weeks ago, some dude contacted me on Fetlife. He’s a 41 year old crossdresser with no face pics or substance to his profile, and his message was just kinda friendly and rambly and had no real hook to it. And he’s one of these people who interjects “LOL” all the time for no particular reason, which kind of irks me. I just didn’t feel a spark there.
But then the other night I had one of my rare gregarious/spontaneous moments and decided to contact him back, after all. First off, Minx met our mutual friend The Social Worker online and he turned out to be awesome, despite writing in that same bland, LOL-ridden, not-quite-articulate style. Secondly, this FetLife guy didn’t hit on me per se, he merely said he’d like to get to know me and maybe we could go out to some kink events together. So I felt like the stakes were pretty low. Some dudes give off a vibe that if you respond back to them it means you’re committing to pursuing something sexual; this situation didn’t have that vibe.
So I sent an equally bland response back (since he hadn’t given me a lot to work with) and he almost immediately suggested we meet up for drinks. And you know what? Fuck it. Caution to the wind. Let’s do this thing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; hitting on wickedly articulate 30 year olds and credulous, overeager Bambi-eyed 20 year olds hasn’t done much for me, so let’s see what happens when I go a little bit out of my comfort zone and have a nebulous date/friend thing with someone my own age.
I suggested a time/day/place to meet and asked the guy if he had any face pics I could see, or if I should put him in charge of approaching me. He said he had some photos he could email me if I wanted. I decided to forego this, partly as an extension of my “going outside my comfort zone” idea (I’ll usually scrutinize a dude’s face for a good long time before consenting to meet him, trying to assess whether I’ll be attracted) and partly because I hadn’t vetted this guy for nearly as long as usual and thought it prudent not to let him have my email address just yet. I told him not to worry about sending photos, just wait outside [restaurant] and look for the six foot woman with the fuchsia mohawk*.
And he said to look for the six foot black man with the shaved head.
[Old-school record-scratching sound.]
Wow. It had flat-out never occurred to me that this guy would be anything but white. Partly because (from what I’ve seen) black guys are a very small minority in the crossdressing scene, but also partly because, due to racism, white is the kind of the “default race” – just like sexism made “male” the default gender. If you don’t know someone’s race or gender you’ll most likely picture them as a white dude, maybe even if you yourself are neither. I’m sure my “date” for the evening is also aware that white is the default, otherwise he wouldn’t have specified his race when he described himself.
Now, historically, I have not been attracted to black men (not that it necessarily matters in this case, since the outing wasn’t framed as a date). I used to think that liking white guys was just a preference, like preferring short guys or blonde guys. But over the past bunch of years I’ve been reading a lot of social justice-type blogs (usually LGBT oriented, but many of these touch on racial issues as well) and I’ve realized that society probably influences most people’s attractions a lot more than we think. I mean, if most of the beautiful famous people are white**, and most of the models in magazines and on billboards are white, and we see people acting prejudiced toward non-white folks, then that’s probably going to give us the subtle and pervasive message that being white is more desirable, right?
I’ve been actively trying to deconstruct my prejudices for a while now, though, and I do see beauty in a wider range of shapes/sizes/colours/genders of people than I used to.
I should mention, too, that I grew up in a mostly Caucasian town and that even once I moved to this big, racially diverse city I’m in now, I hung out mostly in the goth and nerd communities – which are also mostly Caucasian. So, I dunno…I just don’t run with a very racially diverse crowd.
My point is that hanging out with a black dude – with the possibility of it turning into a date – is a somewhat new thing for me. I am not saying that my going on this outing means I’m some awesome trailblazer or the next Martin Luther King Jr. or some shit. I’m just saying that it’s forcing me to confront some of my own white privilege and it’s interesting.
Anyway, I had a really nice time with him. He listened as much as he talked (which is so nice since I’m used to guys just prattling on and on about themselves!); he gives off a wonderful open, trustworthy vibe; we had a great conversation that touched on kink but didn’t turn into a verbal wankfest; and he paid for my drink. And he’s cute. 😀
As we have seen with The Doll and The Baby Duck, I am often slow to become attracted to someone. But I’m not unattracted here, and I think this guy is kind of into me, too; at the end of the night we hugged and he kissed me on the cheek. I told him I was really happy he wrote to me, I had a great time, and I’d love to go to a munch or play party with him sometime. I’m not sure whether this will become a romantic entanglement, but I’m open to it.
I’d like to get to a point where a date with a black or Indian or Egyptian or Korean guy is just a date with a guy. I do not like the way my brain currently adds an asterisk. I’m going to keep working at unraveling this.
In other news, while I was out with the FetLife guy (who I will give a name eventually, but right now I don’t wanna jinx it) The Pedant sent me a random how’s-it-going message, as requested. And an hour after that, when I hadn’t responded, he called me (but didn’t leave a message). D’awwww! He’s trying. He wants to make me happy. ❤
*My main FetLife photo is deliberately blurry; one can see that I’m Caucasian, relatively thin, and probably not facially deformed, but that’s about it.
**See also: thin, cis, able-bodied, young