As members of the LGBTQ community, we believe in the ideology that people should be able to love whomever they want to love. So why do racial and ethnic identity so often complicate this?
While a history of racism, colonialism, and past subjugation can have generational effects on people’s attitudes and philosophies, should every person’s preference in a partner be filtered through such a screen?
That’s what happened to Joe Zee, a Hong Kong-born Canadian fashion stylist and editor-in-chief of Yahoo Style, when he was put on blast for the following tweet:
How can you post that without any form of shame? pic.twitter.com/YKYG4uQBzt
— Joe Le (@lejoe44) October 13, 2018
The now-deleted Twitter post was in response to Chinese-American author, Celeste Ng’s recent article for The Cut which addressed the harassment Asian women experience for marrying non-Asian men. Ng herself has been lambasted for having a Caucasian husband and multiracial son.
Zee later apologized in a separate tweet, explaining that it was his “semantics” and that he has “never dated anyone strictly for their race.”
I’m sorry and explained in the following tweet that it was my semantics and that was not what I meant nor my intention at all. I feel terrible that it was misinterpreted that way, but I have never dated anyone strictly for their race. Never meant to offend.
— Joe Zee (@mrjoezee) October 13, 2018
Although there are problematic historical reasons for this behavior, it should in no way be anyone’s business who you are attracted to or choose to date.
If you choose to only date within or outside your race for social, cultural, historic reasons, you should be able to do so free of judgment. But freedom from judgment is a two-way street.
The underlying issues are worthy of debate and discussion, but not at the cost of allowing people to be with the people they choose.
People who call non-Asians “rice queens” (a man who is mostly attracted to East Asian men) or Asians “potato queens” (a gay Asian male who is predominantly attracted to only White males) or “White worshippers” are projecting their racial hangups and perhaps prejudices into dating. And not even their own dating life.
For guys who refer to themselves in that way seriously, there is an issue. If used as a joke among friends or with a couple, that is no one’s business.
Both the reasons for some people being attracted to specific ethnicities and reasons for other people to find issue with that are myriad and complicated.
While a history of colonialism and cultural subservience may or may not be a reason an Asian is exclusively attracted to White men, that history can definitely be an issue of great anger for some Asian men.
Although to shame those who date outside their race serves no purpose and is completely not even the most ardent social justice supporter’s right to do.