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Within my own family, I had two gay uncles who died of AIDS-related illnesses before I was 10.

They were estranged from our family, partly because of their health and their sexual orientation.

A friend of mine, who is Latino, once asked why I didn't approach Black men in bars.

I replied, "Look around — I'm one of three Black guys here." There’s a clear lack of queer spaces in POC communities, and that definitely affects the ability of men of color to meet one another.

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When I’m on Tinder, the men I’m more likely to swipe right are usually athletic white men between 21 and 30.

And when I scroll through Grindr’s grid of faceless torsos, I find myself only messaging guys with complexions lighter than a paper bag.

About a year ago, I came across an article entitled "28 Questions for Black Men Who Only Date White Men." Each question from the article was a damning indictment of my apparently not-so-simple dating choices.

insecure about my Blackness — which is painful and embarrassing to admit.

Even in person, when I’m trying to muster up the courage to talk to a cute guy, I first wonder if he’s "into black guys." I hate myself for even having to contemplate these things, and I’m now left asking myself: And the more I think about it, the more complicated the answer seems. The only gay people I saw in the media were white, and the few Black queer celebrities that I knew of, like Wanda Sykes and Michael Sam, were in interracial relationships.

My childhood in the Black church led me to believe that Black people were inherently homophobic — a myth — and that the only Black men who were gay were on the down low or infected with HIV — also a myth.

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