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Letter from Brussels: Everyone is (Slightly) Racist

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 29 februari 2016

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, When creating a profile, certain gay dating sites ask to enter “race” or “color.” Are you Caucasian, Arabic, “Black,” or “Asian,” etc.? No one seems to mind. But when “black” Pete is involved, especially in the Netherlands, all hell breaks loose.

Although most of my gay friends on Facebook find racist and discriminatory statements repulsive, they do not give it a second thought when indicating they are looking for a “Caucasian” type on a dating site query. Or others who are only looking for people of the Negroid race, hoping for a monster cock in bed, something that is statistically more likely. Again, no one seems to take offence.

The refugees that flood across Europe are stirring up emotions. Out of a political correctness that is almost pathetic, no one dares to make certain statements in fear of being called racist. Especially not on Facebook, the platform most suited for the intelligent among us to constantly practice self-censorship. On dating sites, almost everyone can be racist without anyone, except for the NSA, ever knowing about it.

The “color” or “race” on a dating site is just one option. Those who are looking for Prince Charming can (de)select dozens of criteria. From a slim figure to heavy-build, well-endowed or not, lover of golden showers or not, and so on. All objective factors that rule out certain categories of potential dates. Perhaps someone is looking for someone taller than six foot one, even though Mr Right is “only” six feet tall.

In other words, the non-committal selection criteria required of us almost force us to be selective, making the number of candidates not only statistically smaller and smaller, but still gives no guarantee that those who fit the bill live up to expectations. Queries on dating sites create (perhaps consciously) the illusion that Prince Charming is out there among thousands of profiles, based on distinctive (and sometimes even racist and discriminatory) criteria.

In their quest for true love, all those singles are somewhat racist and discriminatory. “Only the best will do,” a lot of singles state on dating sites. The ideal “candidate” must comply with a whole series of criteria, and does not stand a chance if one of the thirty criteria is not met. It is one of the reasons that people writing that “Only the best will do” have been single for the last twenty to twenty-five years. I happen to know three of them that have this phrase on their Gayromeo profile and have been single for a long time indeed.

Perhaps we should not be so picky in our quest for Mr Right. The criteria defining Prince Charming often come from a naive and illusory view of reality. It is not surprising that gay men distinctly are a high-risk group for depression and suicide. That very same illusory world view can also be found in straight people, however. And the same holds true for them, that their quest for an ideal partner, and the requirements others have to meet, has a discriminatory side to it.

In my circle of friends of forty-somethings, it is remarkable that just a few couples who have been together for a longer time have met on dating sites. Most of them just “met” each other somewhere, not electronically. And good friends have told me they had to “moderate their demands,” but that this doesn’t stop them from having a great relationship.

And to all of those who continue to write “Only the best will do”: I heartily wish them to be single for live.

Yours sincerely,

De Ket



In the New Issue of Gay News, 323, July 2018

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