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I’ve received messages that said, "I love BBC," or "I never been with a Black guy before," or, on the opposite end of the "no Blacks" spectrum, I've seen white men who are "not into white guys, sorry."When I'm dating a white man, I occasionally feel like I need to confront the issue of race head-on and acknowledge the difference in life experiences between me and my partner.

It can be frustrating, but also deeply enriching, to teach someone about my cultural upbringing.

When I read a recent essay by Michael Arceneaux, his words hit me hard.

I was helping this person push there stuck car out of the snow.

I learned next time before I use my energy and get dirty.

He wrote, "As Black men, we need to value ourselves so much that no outside force, no prejudice — even one guised as preference — can make us feel second place." Clearly, this dialogue wasn’t only happening in my head.

A larger conversation about the racist, fat-phobic, and misogynist language of gay dating apps has also begun, which has allowed me to see that my dating prospects may also be a result of problematic societal messaging.

They were estranged from our family, partly because of their health and their sexual orientation.

I never had the chance to speak to either one while they were alive, but I often wonder what advice or mentorship they could have provided me as a young Black gay male coming of age in such a sheltered environment.

All of this has shed a glaring light on my internal struggle.

About a year ago, I came across an article entitled "28 Questions for Black Men Who Only Date White Men." Each question from the article was a damning indictment of my apparently not-so-simple dating choices.

insecure about my Blackness — which is painful and embarrassing to admit.

As a Black writer who writes about issues of race and culture, I can’t help but feel a certain sense of hypocrisy when it comes to my dating habits.

I replied, "Look around — I'm one of three Black guys here." There’s a clear lack of queer spaces in POC communities, and that definitely affects the ability of men of color to meet one another.

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