Being a soft masculine-presenting Black woman on the dating scene
Yeah, I’ve been on dates…many..many dates and I have had different experiences. I used various lesbian dating apps to get in contact with others. Some conversations were quite fruitful and ended in exchanging numbers, others did not continue after a Hello and some deleted the match after being matched up with me.
I have had weird conversations on both the apps and on WhatsApp. Women wanting to get nudes or sending nudes(without consent), straight women who wanted the ‘Lesbian experience’, women who were in a straight relationship wanting a threesome. I had a black woman asking me for my race and after finding out what it was, unmatching my account. I have had people who canceled last minute, various people that ghosted me and simply did not show up. Yup, I have had it all and I know this will probably not be the end, but that is not what I wanted to write about.
I want to write about when you finally meet your ‘date’. As self-identifying soft Black masculine of center person, I have been stereotyped often. As I mentioned in my latest blog, click here to check it out, I have worked hard to regain the softness in myself and allow my vulnerability to exist, yet this softness was not met with comfort by some of the self-identifying femmes and non-binary people I went on a date with.
Although I can have a dominating presence that particularly femme women tend to like, they were quite confused by the fact that I spoke kindly to them, wanting to understand their lives and feelings. After a while, I started to notice what they would do when they started feeling uncomfortable about my softness and caring spirit. The uncomfortable shifting in their chair, looking me dead in the eye with the stare of 'what the hell are you asking that questions for'
the famous sentence that I have heard so many times was ‘you are different than what I thought you’d be’.
There were only a few times, I had this issue with non-binary folks, and it was quite confusing. I assumed because they identified as non-binary, they ‘freed’ themselves from the heteronormative belief system. This wasn’t the case.
It frustrated me on many levels, as after a long battle I learned how to soften up, there were femmes and non-binary people Black, POC and white who wanted me to only be tough, be ‘dominant’. When I would ask them why they felt like that, they could never really answer it, but their eyes told the truth.
Of course, I understand where this comes from, there is still this notion that queer and gay people want to show the straight community they are not a threat, they want to show that they are 'just like them'. There is still this idea that we have to fight to be seen, yet I don’t think that queer and gay people understand that 'fighting to be seen' by straight people often means that they have to lose a big part of themselves.
As a Black person, I know the exact feeling and I have had to accept that my color is the first thing they see and that is how they will encounter and judge me. There is nothing more I can do. I was quite happy that people could not tell that I was queer because unlike my skin, being queer wasn’t written all over my body.
It is not and has not been easy, being Black is challenging, and being a woman hasn’t been easy as well. Although being queer allowed me to understand more of myself, the world within the queer community had different ideas of who I should be. I have noticed that stereotypes are very prevalent within this community.
I quickly learned that as a Black masculine-presenting woman, there is no way that I am allowed to be soft. The word ‘soft’ can not exist next to the word ‘Black’ and especially not next to ‘Masculine’, it goes against everything we all have learned in society and this is where the toxicity comes in. I struggled with this many times, making me lose faith in finding someone who allowed me to be my full self. I cannot understand and refuse to accept that underneath the rainbow, a place where there should be a place for all, I was am being forced into a corner.
I have to keep on remembering that, despite what people in the queer community might say about the way I self-identify, I know that I am allowed to exist. It has shown me that there is a lot to learn and mainly unlearn within the community, it shows that even within a community that praises itself on being ‘free’, the community has been infiltrated with hetero normativity and racial stereotypes. Through all these encounters, I have become even more active in how I present and self-identify. Every time I meet someone in the queer community, I proudly state my identification, just so they know who they are dealing with.
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