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What's Your Instinct: The Blade Asks Why Black Gay Celebs "Have White Partners"

Gay publication the Washington Blade is experiencing a bit of social media blowback today after running an opinion piece that asks the question, "Why do black gay celebs have white partners?" Using an image of openly gay NFL player Michael Sam and his bf (above), the Blade posits that black men who happen to be famous and gay only have eyes for white guys ... and that this might be a problem of some kind?

Orville Lloyd Douglas writes in the piece at the Blade:

There is a paucity of black gay public figures who are out and since images are important in society, the few black gay celebrities are sending the wrong message.

For people who are outsiders to black gay culture there are sociological reasons why Robin Roberts, Michael Sam, Don Lemon, Jason Collins and Derrick Gordon have white partners and it isn’t just about falling in love with another person. In the private sphere of black culture, there is a lot of homophobia that can cause a lot of psychological and emotional damage to a black gay person. The homophobia in black culture can lead a black LGBT person to harbor feelings of resentment and anger at the black community as a whole. Some black gays have a predilection to distance themselves entirely from black people in order to recover from the homophobia in the private sphere of black society.

Social media activists are blasting the piece for obvious reasons, but we wanted to hear what you, Instincters, had to say about that gay publication's decision to run this story. Sound off in the comments!



The lies in these comments lmao at being colorblind child please tell that to someone who isn't gullible its the same twink queens who will be throwing black gay men shade at the gay bar talking about their colorblind these men go out of there way to date white men because they think being dating a white guy their being progressive, their doing it because of the homophobia in the black community or they want to use their white mates as a passport.

I'm just shaking my head at the vast majority of commentors who have entirely missed the point of the article. I am a gay male of African descent. I don't have anything against interracial relationships and believe that everyone has the right to be with any partner of their choice, just like the individual who penned this article. I would even be with a person of another "race" seriously. But none of this changes the fact that every single Black gay male that has come out to even a sliver of mainstream coverage has a White partner. Every single one. Are we all really going to pretend that there may not be anything even remotely amiss about this, especially when every White gay male that has come out to even a sliver of mainstream coverage is not with a Black partner? If every single visible and openly gay White celebrity had a Black partner, I have no doubt in my mind White gays would be having the very same discussion. I find it troubling that the majority of men cannot objectively read this article and even try to understand where the writer is coming from. Instead, most replies are the generic, zombie-like "I'm colorblind", " who cares who he's dating" comments that are ever so popular, as well as ever so annoying. You're colorblind? Great. But your colorblindness doesn't do a thing to further and better the lives of Americans of African descent. And a lot of us wouldn't care who the next Black gay celebrity was dating if each and every one of them, literally almost without fail, wasn't conveniently with a non-Black partner. But unfortunately, that is not the case. So we see it and are forced to ask ourselves *why* this might be the case, without resorting to attacking personally, our Black LGBT brothers and sisters who are in interracial relationships as they do not deserve to be attacked. But it is in our best in Black lgbt people, to keep a dialogue open about it. If you're not Black and lgbt, or if you find the discussion annoying, then you need not even take part in the discussion, especially if you cannot comprehend why exactly a discussion like this should need to exist in the first place. ;) Needless to say, I wish Michael and his partner all the best!

Get a Life People.......

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I have a simple, succinct reply to the article...

Because love SHOULD be colorblind.  Period.

I think the Washington Blade opinion piece's author is black and a tad jealous.

As far as Michael Sam is concerned He met his partner at Missouri where they were both students and both are Athletes at a predominately White University. Many people actually meet their spouses in College, Grad School, Law School, Med School, etc.  They find people that they share things in common with.  I don't think that Michael and Vito are no different.  Sam is African American, Gay and an Out Athlete.  He is a Minority in MORE THAN ONE WAY.  The likelihood that he is going to meet another person that is just like him in the environment that he exist is RARE!   He met someone ON HIS PLAYGROUND!  Let Them Be And Get Out Their Bedroom!!!!!!

Understand this: black people aren't the minority, whites are. Melanated people rule to populous which is apart of the reason why they are torn down. Within the Black communities of the States there is more homophobia strictly based from religious views white people had imposed upon them during their captivity during the slave trade and invasion from the Europeans. 

Get your facts straight. on another note being homosexual and black in The States is difficult for men because it is in high regard that the black community places their sons. And if one's son is homosexual, they often think, "how?" And "why?" And "no, this can't be!" So the child I shunned by his or "her" family. It's a struggle. But black people, Latina and Hispanics, Asians and all colored peoples are the majority if the population. Europeans are the lowest in population and culture rank considering that their cultures are based in ancient Kemet. I suggest you research and look it up. 

Love is love although I do see the point of the article I never thought about it tell then..

strange question.....why don't they ask all the straight black athletes and rappers the same question....WHO CARES???? We have a tendency as human beings to like the opposite of who and what we it butch with a fem, smooth to hairy, tall to short, vice versa ..... it's all human....

WB is a gay publication. Why would they concern themselves with straight relationships.

You must be a rich white possibly self-hating bottom. lol

you interested.......I may be a rich white possibly self-hating bottom but I know who I am.....and know what I want......jealous?

LOL, not really!! You can have black gay men. They are either HIV/STD/AIDS-positive, poor or worthless.

Here's an answer to the article. Who the fuck cares why a certain few black celebs like white people?  Or black people anyways?  Love is fucking love. Get the fuck over it already

What is the big deal?  why do you feel that this kind of relationship should be written about?  We are not back in the 1970's when integrated marriage was in question and we do not need this kind of crap brought out now.  WHO CARES what race a couple are, love is love and that is that.  No more needs to be said.  Your article reeks like it came from some has-been dragqueen obsessed with others relationship, and jealous because you do not have the love that they show for each other.  Get over it!!!  Move along, let love flow between two people, and not until you do, will you find your own happiness.

Is the whole sample to prove this point just 5 people?  What about the rumored gay football player who was with gay black assistant?  I am black and gay and date a white guy.  I have never had to try and distance myself from black people.  There are plenty of gay black people who just date black people.  Does this resentment and distancing oneself only exists amongst celebrities?

Successful black men have white partners because they can and because they want to. And because the odds are considerably better if you don't eliminate 80% of the population. 

Well being a black gay male. I generally am attracted to black and latino men, or a dark olive caucasion man, (Greek or Italian). I would love to have a black lover. But I have found it difficult to find a man of color that wants to be in a relationship for the long haul. We, as black gay men have not always been accepted in our culture for being so. So, there is still alot of shame and denial attached to be a out homosexual. Although things are beginning to change. Alot of us are still not accepting of ourselves. However, I will never give up hope on our black brother we have survived alot as of to date. We, will overcome our fear as well.

Speak for  yourself not for me!!! I've always been accepted by STD/HIV/AIDS-negative, wealthy, white gay men.

Nobody cares Calvin. Maybe he wants someone loving, attentive, who can throw down in the kitchen and the bedroom; which only black men can provide.

Lol, you must be the self-hating, gay bigot the article is referring to: black top or white bottom.

I read the article in The Washington Blade and found it to be quite reductive in in rationale and irrational in its reasoning. The entire piece was some grand exercise in psychotherapy in which the author has no actual credential to make the claims he made. It does make for good internet buzz, getting people to click the like button.

Wouldn't a better argument be to encourage black LGBT people to step out the closet and increase visibility instead of arbitrarily using reductive reasoning to show a cause and effect that doesn't exist? The author is focusing on the handful of famous faces he could find in the trying to blanket the vast majority of black on black relationships. According to the Williams Institute (they monitor census data) 1/5 of LGBT couples are interracial....that is 20%, that means 80% of those relationships are not interracial. So either the authors grossly misunderstands data or he is making a point based on conjecture. Either way its weird.

Lets actually take a look at the data and use math instead on jumping on 5 "semi-famous" black men.

I don't think it's the black guy wanting a white partner, I think it's more of the white bottom being a size queen and therefore liking black men more than white men.  Not a race issue, per se, but it think the article approaches it from the wrong side.  Approach it from why the white partners are attracted to the black guy, and if they are honest, you will probably find that they are size queens who like the big ones LOL, I know I do.

Wow....generalize much?  Do you honestly think that the white guy in a black/white relationship is the bottom? SERIOUSLY??!  Just because YOU are a white bottom bitch boy who is a size queen that wants to be fucked so deep you feel it in your throat, don't assume all us white guys are bottoms. Personally I like sinking my white rod into the black abyss

I didn't see any posts suggesting that the commentor had actually *read* the article.

Myself being a person of color (Hispanic) and having lived in an almost exclusively white neighborhood with a white family, I grew up being told in one way or the other to hate the colored communities (especially Black and Hispanic). The added issue of these communities being largely homophobic, ignorant, and ill-behaved helped me further stray from them. In response to the above posters, I *can* be attracted to dark-skinned people, but the subconscious/social-darwinist question is,"Should I?" Having strongly associated colored peoples and cultures with one which only druve me down pushes me away from having anything to do with them. The problem here is a multifaceted one involving more than just mere instinct and sexuality, but intercultural social dynamics. If colored communities wish to keep away from the LGBT community due to their own ignorance and their strive to be equals with white heterosexuals, then those are people I want little to do with.

Personally I'm a white gay guy and I AM attracted mostly to black and latino guys. However if I meet an attractive white guy I'm not gonna reject him cause he's white. It's not a race issue just personal preference.

I think it makes some sense... I don't feel the author is trying to define anyone by thier race but rather dive into the social mind of society. Perhaps it is only coincidence these guys are in interracial relationships, or perhaps there is more going on. One cannot deny the level of homophobia in the black community is substantially higher then some others. Unfortunately even to the point of being dangerous especially for another black man who identifies as gay. But then again three same could be said for whIte people sometimes. Perhaps a reverse social experiment should be done on how many white men from bigoted places say in America's deep south end up in interracial relationships. ( note I didn't just say black with white... find it funny how so many only see that combo as different or scandal)

Love is love and opposites attack. They are both hot beautiful successful men. <3

Sorry attract not attack. Auto correct fail lol


I like gingers too any problem with that??? 

Sooo... I hate to be the shallow queen here, but Michael Sam's boyfriend is REALLY hot...

You know...I'm a black gay man! This person cannot, and WILL NOT speak for me!!

I'm attracted to any guy, that I share a bond with! Therefore, he can be Black, White, Latino, Asian, etc.! You like who you like, love who you love!!

I'm SO TIRED of the HATERS!! They're mad, because the envy what someone else have! These people seriously must GET OVER THEMSELVES!!!

You sound silly and you're missing the point.

Hard to admit cock is too delicious doesn't matter the colour f*** this haters 

Maybe "yellow was not available any longer? lool stupid question!!!! If both fall in love!!!!! the color doesn`t matter

I am a white non-celebrity.  My boyfriend is a mixed-race/Black non-celebrity.  He prefers white guys/I prefer non-white guys.  We don't really spend a lot of time wondering why.  It just works for us.  Our families had to get used to us being gay.  Now they have to get used to our not-the-same-race families.  Not a big deal.  We couldn't possibly care less.  We are similar enough to mesh well and different make life interesting.   I applaud any happy couple, no matter the race or gender.  Let your love show.  

Seriously!  There are enough real problems in the world without manufacturing artificial ones.

People will say what they will regarding this very taboo subject but differences do sometimes indeed seem to draw people closer together. So whether it's fashionable to have that token white boyfriend/girlfriend it's important not to judge the only choice that one  truly can have which is there choice in a partner.

Hugh Jackman said it best at the Tony Awards! There are some people who are concerned with who people date and other people who mind their own business.

How can we expect to purge the world of homophobia when we can't even purge it of racism?

For every black man that is attracted to a white man man there are more black men who are only attracted to other black men. There has always been a percentage of any culture that is attracted to someone outside of it. These stories have been told again and again of forbidden love. It's only a small percentage, So why take issue with it?  The issue with successful people from a repressed culture displaying their success by aligning themselves with the "repressor" has nothing to do with gender or orientaion, but is another conversation altogether.

I will have admit this is an intriguing question. However, I don't think there is any "one" single answer to it. There are many reasons why we wind up with the partners we do. I happen to be white and in a long term relationship with someone who is Mexican.  I will admit that I've always "had a thing" for Latinos/dark and swarthy guys, but that's not why we're together. We are together because of shared goals and values (and that we also have REALLY great sex together!). Surface attraction only lasts so long. If you can't build a relationship with that person despite their physical appeal, you will have nothing.  Who knows why these celebs wound up with white partners?  But, somewhere after the initial attraction faded, they realized they were with someone worth forming a relationship with and stuck with it. 

Being a black gay male that's in a interracial relationship with a gay white male. For us it was a mutual attraction that has blossomed into something beautiful and I love him. Before him I was in a interracial relationship of the same kind for 11 years. He became part of the family. My mother would call him her son-inlaw, my sister would call him her brother in law, and my niece and nephew called him uncle. So with that being said it's about how someone treats, and respects you. You fall in love with the heart and soul of a person not their skin color at least I do.

Why is everyone so fixated on this. Who care, who they love.

fat chicks love skinny guys

hairy guys love smooth guys.

black men love fast ass chicks,

some guys live long legs

some guys love big boobs, some like small one

I guess it was a quiet week at the office that you have to come out with a debate like this lol

I think love is love and it doesn't matter who someone falls in love with, so really they should shut the fuck up.

My hubby is white and I'm black. I didn't choose him because of his ethnicity but because he's the greatest man I've ever known. When we first conversed I knew he was going to be the man I'd spend the rest of my life with. Success has nothing to do with genuine, pure love.

God help us, I still believe love is blind.

Could it be maybe that people are attracted to whom they are attracted and that love is blind to race?

As an African-American, I couldn't help but notice both Michael Sam and Robin Roberts, both had White partners. It seems that a lot of Black successful straight celebs/athletes have white partners. So, this is a continuation of that pattern. There's probably a whole lot of reasons why, I'd like to see the Black community seriously tackle the topic.

The reason they give makes sense, but it's B.S. There is absolutely NO reason why a BLACK CELEBRITY can't find a black lover.  If you're black and out, you're already living with the stigma. And it's not like they are dating other celebrities. These are just your avg. Joe/Jane. That article kind of makes it seems like gay black people are scarce and that's not true. No way will I believe they couldn't find another black person to date. That's who they're attracted to, who wanted them, and GOD BLESS.

Wow I have never seen an article where almost every comment is from a person who totally missed the point.

I believe according to Desmond Morris, author of _Manwatching_ and _Babywatching_, that humans have a genetic predisposition to be attracted to people who are not like them.  The reason for this is that our offspring are rewarded with stronger genes when we inject genetic diversity into our family groups.  We tend to be biologically drawn to genes which are different but complimentary to our own.  Just because two males cannot by natural means mate, does not mean that there is not some genetic programming causing attraction to genetic diversity.  Also another couple's love-life is not subject to outsider's approval.  If you think it is, then doesn't that mean that straight people should be able to tell gay people they're not allowed to be with someone of their own gender?  The only people it matters to are the two people who are in love.

People are people. Who cares what color someone is? If you love them then that is all that matters. We try to separate human beings all the time by this color or your nationality etc. Let people love and be loved.

Michael Sam and his BF are two college athletes who fell in love. Period. I'd like to read that story - the real story. Not some perceived, subversive and subconscious attraction that the writer (who has never met the couples) feels the need to invent. 

Personally, attraction is attraction. What you like you go after. I don't see this person questioning why the white guy wants to be with the black guy. Doesn't how the white partner feels count in this equation? It takes two to tango. I think love is love. There's no explaining it. People are drawn to each other by forces beyond my understanding. And trying to put politics and social gibberish into the equation is just silly. Let's celebrate diversity and love where it happens. Love is, after all, a miracle. And enjoy the fact that we have our first out gay professional NFL player, and not turn it into something else that it's not.

Or maybe it is what he has in his pants?

Just saying....

I am a white Latin gay man married to a black Latino gay man. It's not because I don't relate to my own race or that he doesn't relate to his race. We all have preferences ad to what we're attracted to and not. We find men of all colors attractive. I can't answer for anyone else but myself.

Butterflies in the stomach and the sparks you feel for a partner happens the same way for all colours and also for inter-racial couples. Leave it be, it is a natural attraction and keep race out of it. We are living in a progressive world and these things should be celebrated.


Ummmh, most of the black gay men I know choose to be in relationships with other black same gender loving men, so this whole white is some how better theory, (?????) I'm not buying it....

As odd as it sounds to say this out loud, I think many black people are socialized to see white as "prettier" and somehow "better" than black. Many of my black gal friends refer to straight hair as "good" hair. That is a prime example of the power of subtle and not so subtle self image constructs, both real and imagined, within a segment of the population. We yearn to be what is though of as beautiful and one way we possess that that thing is to become it. How do we become it? We marry it or partner with it. The precursor to this is that they may just have met and thought each other were hot as hell... and they are. So, maybe we are the ones with the problem. :-)

Beca use black is hot! Hot! Hot!

I'm sickened by this assumption. It pisses me off.. I don't see color, I see a soul. One that loves another! It's time to stop differentiating ourselves from society because we are part of society and all of us need to stop taking the backseat and see past color, sexual orientation, religion, etc... It's stupid to even consider any other reason other than love.. I know plenty of people that aren't my skin tone that date someone of a different skin tone. We are people. That is all! The sooner people put color or any other difference aside, then and only then will we truly be a diverse society! Get over it! People love who they love.. The assumption is just sickening!


Every white, gay politician in Washington state had an Asian boyfriend.  So......

Just attraction....

I don't see anything wrong with " The Blade" piece. Look its a fact and a question that many people ( NOT ALL :/) asks in private yet not in public. Why is it that when someone asks a question that is out of someone comfort zone causes so much of a debate.  There are SO MUCH more bigger issues that the gay community should be working on. 

Just because you may happen to pay attention to the gay black celebs with white partners, certainly doesn't mean that they are the only in existence.

This story makes total sense, me being a black gay male.

Hmm.  I get it a little.  I find that I distance myself (unintentionally) from my fellow gay Mormons.  I think it may be due to the dissonance I experienced while being gay and being active in the Mormon faith.  At the same time, there is a certain bond or connection I feel to other gay Mormons because they understand things other non-Mormon gays just don't get about us.  Maybe race plays out differently.  People should freely love who they want to love, but we don't live in a bias-free world, even among the world's most "open-minded". Nothing wrong with raising questions.  Finding out if there is a "why" can ben enlightening....

RACE is important because it has an AFFECT ON SOCIETY so let's not be blind to FACTSSS PLEASE... us as MINORITIES are still not being REPRESENTED... I DO THINK IT IS IMPORTANT to understand why this is the case. 

They article has a interesting view. However, as a black gay man who is engaged to a white guy the origin of my relationship is attraction nothing more.

Agreed..colour doesn't matter when it comes to love...if it does matter..then you need to rethink your priorities..

What difference does race make...

Too bad nowadays people can't ask or analyze taboo topics and it is expected that opinion pieces should be political correct in nature.

Indeed, people love who they love, but before we love, we are attracted to an individual by their characteristics, their similarities or differences to ourselves or our experiences, however logical or illogical or complex it all may be... and the reason for the article in the Blade.  They have a point, not a simple one to answer, if there is an answer, or to whom it may or may not apply, and certainly not finding fault, or wrong or right... but the discussion is healthy and interesting nonetheless...

they become more relatable to the white non black audience....

You are kidding , this story is a waste of time , people love who they love , race, religion, sex, love is love period. People write this crap just to start more arguments among people. There are much more important things to write about ., I'm sure you can find better stories.

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