6.11.2008

Do we all want to get down with the brown?

In our latest poll, we wanted to see how color blind queer desis are when it comes to our love lives. The results are are worth discussing. The bulk of voters fell in two categories, those who consider themselves completely colorblind and those who are generally colorblind, yet prefer dating South Asians.

It's refreshing to see that so many people don't discriminate; racism in the gay world is a whole other can of worms. What is interesting is that so many of us prefer dating within our own community. However, we are forced to ask ourselves, it this trend really surprising?

Queer or straight, many of us grew up with mothers, fathers, aunties, and uncles all bombarding us with the same command -- to marry someone in our community. Interracial coupling is still largely stigmatized by South Asians, saved often for kitchen gossip. It should be no surprise that we too internalize the racial standards our families expect of our partners. And while ten years ago, you'd be hard pressed to find one queer desi to date, today there are growing networks of us. Some can argue that by dating other queer desis, we are satisfying both our gay and South Asian communities.

Does bringing home a brown partner cushion the blow to our parents? Is mother more likely to accept your girlfriend is she understands Hindi and enjoys chole pathura? In the South Asian community, where parental acceptance is often key, can race trump sexuality? We'd love to hear what you think.

4 comments:

NeroX2 said...

For me, I think that race definitely trumped sexuality. I came out to my parents awhile ago, but they didn't start to accept it until they met my current boyfriend, who is Indian as well. Right after I came out to them, my parents had no clue what to expect (I'm pretty sure they thought all gay ppl were druggies) and I tink they were incredibly relieved when they met my bf. Having the same culture makes a huge difference- my parents are so comfortable around my bf and after getting to know him, they really really enjoy his company.

shawnslither said...

I find this post deeply troubling. It is not racist to prefer people of color or South Asians, nor should we aim for "colorblindness" in dating when we live in societies that are not colorblind and very racially stratified. I feel that when trying to overcome racist institutions and practices, race must be a part of the process even though it may be tempting to replace discussions of race with the pluralistic idea that “we are all human” and can therefore be colorblind. As bell hooks talks about, as long as racism exists institutionally and in people’s minds, however, to declare societies colorblind and unhinge racism from the discourse of race is premature.

Given these circumstances, I don't see why it is necessarily "refreshing to see that so many people don't discriminate?" I think it's actually disturbing that there are so many that think that if you are not colorblind, you are somehow being "racist." That's foolish.

desidude629 said...

Well I believe that there are many definitions of being colorblind.

In one aspect, being colorblind means that you are ignoring the differences that are present. A person that is color blind in this sense is just being ignorant.

In another way, being colorblind simply means that you are open to dating others of different races, and do not prefer one over the other.

Right?

Who I Am... said...

To say for myself, its not even about the fact my family would want a South Asian, even preferable a Jain/Guju/Indian/Veg. Partner. but more its me who wants my partner to be South Asian. Because, growing up as in a place where you were in a mix culture area, to a large white area, you most times feel much more comfortable being with a South Asian. And even with that, still, its better, cause you have more in common, and can understand one another, i don't mean language, i mean more like situations, or anything. Just cause we prefer south asain, doesn't make us racist.

Doesn't mean we can't make friend who are non desi, and hang out with non desi's. Just our partner is desi, well its something most time is wanted. Not every desi guy is perfect. But still, doesn't mean we can find out gem.