there really is a really deep interesting conversation to be had about colorism with black queers. as in colorism is gendered and how this plays out when its not in a heterosexual context
as in if lighter skin is…
I can’t answer this for Black queer men, as I am not one and I haven’t talked to many Black queer men about their preferences of Black partners.
However, thinking to Pat HIll-Collins’ “Black Sexual Politis,” I am thinking about how for Black queer people we often feel disconnected from the larger Black community that invalidates our existence. Possibly playing into the dynamic of masculine dark partner/feminine light partner recreates a black heteronormativity that we feel we cannot embody because of our queerness. I don’t believe this. It’s just an idea.
I do have a thought tho. Even in a heterosexual context, I do see cishet Black women vying for light skin Black men. Think about Shemar Moore, Boris Kodjoe, and the like. I feel it has a lot to do with the masculinity being portrayed.
It was thought that a darker skin black man was best because he knows how to work. He’s been outside working and that’s why he’s so dark. But light skin Black men offer masculinity that is oriented around wealth. This is the stereotype.
This is an interesting discussion that I’ve thought about in relation to black queer women. But it operates differently, I think, if we talk about women that are interested in being in relationships that blend masculinity and femininity
the bold tho. you are completely right and i honestly havent even thought about WHY light skinned men were considered more desirable. its because they are, for lack of a better word, more human.
also ive wondered about colorism and how it affects black queer women and i would love to hear what you have to say on that,
Coming from a very interesting point of view (I think), as a dark-skinned female-bodied person who is with a male-bodied white transwoman, it is kind of hard for people to know how to classify and judge us. On one hand, there are black men who have legit walked up to me when I was standing next to my partner and asked why I don’t go with some of the black men in the Bay Area and if I’m racist against them. Then, there are other black men who have walked up to me and commended me on getting with someone who is white. These people have never met me and don’t know my politics. They just walked up to me and, based on our respective skin tones, decided that they had the authority to speak to us about these relatively sensitive matters.
I can’t even really go into the queer politics because we present as a cishet couple right now until my partner transitions, so we are invisible as fuck in the queer community. Like, it’s almost as though we have to try harder to “prove” our identities because of so many different reasons: Color, sexual identity, how we present, etc. I have found it very interesting that a lot of the hate has come from people within my black community. It is an internalized color prejudice that then spills over into how we see queer folks in the black community.
There is also the age-old issue of people who have said that I’m holding back the black race because a) I’m queer, so they assume I don’t plan to have kids and b) I’m with a white person, so even if I have kids, they won’t be “full-blood.” I don’t know if this assumption that I would be good stock for “full-blood” (that is a really fucked up concept) kids is based on my medium-dark skin tone or not. It sucks so much and there is no easy way to talk about it or theorize around it. It just goes to show what kinds of fucked up assumptions people make around race and gender identity that are not always true, based simply on color and identity presentation. It’s hard to talk about the science of skin tone with someone who is willing to walk up to a stranger and all them a racist because of who they choose to partner with.