Interracial Dating in the Gay and Lesbian Community

The gay community has its share of racists, just like the rest of the nation. However many gays and lesbians are also involved in interracial dating relationships (relationships where each partner hails from a different race or ethnicity). This is true for a number of reasons.

First, most Caucasian gays and lesbians consciously try to stand up to racist stereotypes and attitudes. They know how hurtful it is to be judged based on an irrelevant characteristic. Therefore, they try to avoid judging others the same way. Once the stereotypes are discarded, there is no reason not to date people of any color or ethnicity.

Second, homophobia is alive and well in the Black, Asian, and Hispanic communities. A minority man or woman who wants to live proudly as “out,” especially if that person lives in a rural area or small town, may not be able to find another “out” gay or lesbian of the same ethnicity. That person is in the position of dating a Caucasian partner or giving up dating altogether.

Finally, love is usually colorblind. It makes sense that interracial couples would date in the lesbian and gay community, just as they do in any other community and part of the world.

Same Sex Interracial Dating: A Second Coming Out

Being involved in an interracial dating relationship can be a challenge. For lesbians and gays who want to come out to their families, being involved in an interracial dating relationship means coming out twice, first as a gay or lesbian, and second as a person involved with someone of a different race or ethnicity. Sadly some families react with even more racism than homophobia.

Another issue that can come up in interracial dating is the issue of power and privilege. A Caucasian woman involved with an African American woman, for instance, might be shocked at the racism she encounters as she moves through the world with her Black lover. Or an African American man in a relationship with a Caucasian man may become irritated that people usually address his Caucasian partner first and often act as if he isn’t there at all.

Finally, the lesbian and gay community can be racist as well. Lesbian and gay people of all ethnicities may put pressure on their friends not to date outside their own racial group. In spite of these obstacles, same sex interracial dating couples can have wonderfully successful relationships. As in all good relationships, the most important thing to do is to keep lines of communication open. Talk about problems and challenges—don’t try to hide them or pretend they don’t exist. A good relationship counselor may be needed to help couples come to embrace both their differences and their similarities. It should be common knowledge by now that love sees no gender; it’s time to acknowledge that love also sees no color.

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