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Courtney Act Says Racism Informed Her Sexual Preference for White Men

Courtney Act Says Racism Informed Her Sexual Preference for White Men

Courtney Act Says Racism Informed Her Sexual Preference for White Men

She asks others who prefer white men to unpack their internalized biases. 


People of color have wildly different experiences on dating apps than white people do. For many of us, especially in the casual world of gay apps like Grindr and Scruff, clicking on someone's profile and seeing "prefers white and Latino only" has been normalized, if not expected. And with explore pages that show the most oogled-at people around the world, it's quite easy to see who is desirable and who isn't in these public online spaces. 

All around the world, people are shown that white eurocentric features are the pinnacle of beauty and attractiveness. The skin lightening cream business is still going strong internationally. If you Google "pretty girls" or "beautiful men" you'll see a slew of white skin and blue eyes with one or two, if any, people of color. We are taught who is beautiful by society, and most of the time, it isn't people of color. 

But we don't have to believe what we have been taught. 

Earlier this morning, RuPaul's Drag Race and Celebrity Big Brother UK star Courtney Act asked people with preferences for white men to reevaluate their internalized biases. 

She shared some of her own experience on Twitter earlier this morning.

"Growing up in Australia I was never provided with examples of people of colour being sexual desirable (let alone queer POC)," she said. "It makes sense that I have socialised racisms when it comes to my sexual preference which is why I have had to consciously unpack those over the years."

She went on:

"When I was a younger white gay I thought I was just attracted to white men as some sort of unconscious preference, but really it was an unconscious bias. Now as a white gay of a certain age I realise I grew up in a society that taught me to be racist."

"The truth is, once examined, I’m attracted to people irrespective of their skin colour, and my dating and sex life has never been...more fulfilled. I started by not swiping so fast on Grindr, I used to unconsciously swipe faster on a person of colour."

"As an exercise I tried to just pause, look, & see what my bodily sense felt about the image in front of me, surprised by how many people I actually thought were attractive that I had previously swiped over. If nothing else you’re increasing your odds of getting laid!!!"

Because of our socialized inclination towards whiteness, sexual racism (where people rule out entire ethnic groups of people and genuinely believe it's "just a preference") is still common. A study on dating apps shows that Asian men and Black women are the least matched groups on dating websites. When it comes to the gay community, apps like Grindr and Scruff are only recently taking a stance on ending open discrimination. Users will no longer be able to filter out entire ethnic groups and Gridnr has even launched a Kindr initiative, going so far to ban people that harass other users with racial slurs. 

Baby steps forward. We, as gay people, have to put in the work to genuinely make the world kinder, and that starts by taking a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror. 

Courtney Act is set to host The Bi Life, the UK's first bisexual reality dating show which premieres October 25 on E! UK at 9pm.

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