Don Lemon's Boo: Much Ado About Nothing (Interracial Love is A Okay!)
One week ago CNN news anchor Don Lemon was widely applauded for coming out as a gay man (at the same time he released his tell all memoir Transparent). Speaking for myself I was so very proud of him. Granted, I clocked his tea long before he ever said a word about his sexual orientation (hello, he is 45-years-old, unmarried, and still looks fabulous?); however, it was wonderful - as a young black gay man - to see someone as positive and influential as Don Lemon letting his truth be known.
Be that as it may, upon coming out, Don Lemon informed the public that he's been boo'd up (translation: In a relationship) for the past four years (which is nothing unusual). However, this became controversial when blogger "Wandering Caravan" (I will not link to the article because the blog has, apparently, been deleted) went on a tirade about Mr. Lemon's life partner being a white man. Honestly, I don't remember the specifics but the blog posting itself was pretty... well... racist (there is no other word for it, sorry). What I do recall is that the blogger in question said, "This is the reason Don Lemon is calling the black community out as homophobic."
First of all the color (or lack thereof) of Don Lemon's boo is the biggest non issue in the world (in my opinion). Why should his significant others skin tone be a decisive factor when it comes to having an open discussion about the rampant homophobia in the African American community?
It is a reality. I started writing a blog due to the homophobia I endured from my fellow black people. So, saying that we should not bring these issues to the forefront, simply because he is intimately involved with a white man, is absurd.
Now, hearkening back to the issue of interracial romance. My question is why is this still such a hot button topic in the 21st century? Granted, there are a lot of factors (especially when it comes to the legacy of racism and segregation in America) but I'm not writing a thesis here.
So let's keep it rollin'...
I personally don't understand the controversy. Moreover, I don't understand it from gays (of any persuasion) given that we are reviled because of our "unnatural" desires and impulses. Yet, many gays (including some that I've met) are repulsed by the notion of possibly loving someone of another hue? We need to do better than this.
First of all, contrary to popular belief, MOST people in interracial relationships are not doing so to spite their own group of origin. Some people genuinely LOVE someone from another race or culture.
How can we possibly live in a multicultural society like the United States and there not be some intermingling going on? Think about it!
A few years ago, my Sophomore year of college, I entered my first interracial relationship with this cute Yugoslavian tennis player named Marco. I loved his auburn hair, green eyes, big smile, and he had the most amazing calf muscles I'd ever seen. We met (ironically on the campus of my historically black university) and the chemistry was instantaneous. Marco and I were in a relationship for six months (I met him right after I'd broken up with somebody, basically a rebound that actually stuck) and I thought he was the most fabulous thing on Earth! Of all the people I could of met I never expected it to be him. Pretty soon I literally started to forget about our differences altogether.
When you love somebody you cease seeing them for what they are and focus on who they are. Marco was my dude! That was all that really mattered to me during that period.
Sadly, due to circumstances we split up (he moved back to his country. He wanted me to come with him but I was not ready for something of that magnitude); but I can honestly say - if things were different - I would still be with him, for real.
Now, flip that around to the black man I was with several months ago. He turned out to be a complete liar, fraud, and an absolute waste of my time. Granted, this is not a sweeping generalization of all African American men. I just needed to juxtapose the two in order to make point.
Marco could have been a loser and the black guy could have been a winner. It just turned out that the roles were reversed.
Content of character (so horribly cliché but I could not find a better analogy at the moment) not color, for me, wins the day. Just because someone resembles you, physically, does not mean that he will be good for you emotionally and psychologically (and vice versa).
My aim, for Toddy English, is to eventually find somebody and live happily ever after. Historically, I have preferred black men (simply because I grew up around nothing but African American culture. Black is beautiful to yours truly); however, I do love cute white guys too. Moreover, lately, I am extremely turned on by Polynesian men (and I really want to date one of them too)! I personally think that by keeping my options open I'll be that much closer to finding my dude for life.
Look, if you want to stay within your own race that is fine. No one can begrudge you your bias (it is not "preference" when you adamantly refuse to venture outside what is familiar. Preference is when you prefer vanilla but would not be opposed to trying chocolate). However, don't force your agenda down the throats of the rest of us (okay, that sounded like innuendo. Unintentional I assure you).
Cute white boys will not be turned away. I'm just sayin...
Be that as it may... Whoever Don Lemon's dude is I hope they are happy. That's all anyone really wants, ain't it?
This article has been reproduced here with the kind permission of Toddy English. It originally appeared here.
Toddy English is the author of To My Friends: With Love... Sincerely, Toddy English, "the random ramblings, thoughtful meanderings, and mirthful musings of a black gay agnostic-atheist popular culture junkie. Toddy lives in Houston, Texas.