I hope you're well.
I have been reading your blog since I first discovered that I am gay in university back in 2007. In many ways, your blog have been inspiring to me and had helped me made it through my gay ordeal by giving me that connection with the gay world.
It's now 5 years down the road and I would like to think that I'm more comfortable with my sexuality and have come a long way since. Although, I am yet to "come out" to many, I no longer have suicidal thoughts of being different (which is definitely a good thing). I have since attended lots of networking events, parties, clubs and put myself out there in the gay scene. I even might have met you in one of the inter-banking drinks (if you attend them).
Never in a million years would I imagine myself writing to you for some advice. But here I am … lost as ever again.
Well let's start with online dating. I have been using Grindr since 2010. To be honest, I have no idea why I'm still on there, maybe it's just the slight glimmer of hope of the possibility of meeting my knight and shining armour on there. Now the problem with Grindr; there is a massive racial based preference/to an extent hate that is actively publicised and marketed in profiles on there. Most of the time, I will come across a profile saying "No camps, fems or Asians". I for one never indicate my ethnicity on my profile and only have a picture of a headless torso (yes, don't judge me!). As a result, I normally get lots of messages streaming in and compliments on my toned torso. The conversation normally fizzles quickly once I tell the person that I'm Asian. I would either be immediately blocked or will be having one word uninterested responses which is incredibly frustrating given the fact that we have been chatting for ages before. This has a huge impact on my self-confidence and the way I look. No one likes rejection - and it gets frustrating if it's constant rejection based on race. I get comments sometimes saying "Oh, you should have said you were Asian. I don't like Asian" or "Asian, f*** off".
I am not ashamed of being Asian, in fact, I am very proud of it. I would also like to think that I'm not an ugly person. I get compliments in clubs but I would never ever think of myself as good looking.
The whole thought of the gay community having the perception on us Asians of being "feminine" and being "less desirable" had impacted my behaviour in a lot of ways. It had affected my dating life. When the occasional rare date comes along through Grindr, I find myself to be very guarded and protective. I try to keep my dates on their toes to ensure that they never take me for granted. This means that I do not normally develop an emotional connection with any of them and the relationship will fail eventually. As for meeting people, I normally am too nervous to approach someone I like to strike a conversation with the fear of being judged.
I have no idea what to do now. I have spent almost 3 years dating in London which takes up a lot of my time and effort without getting anywhere - perhaps I'm destined to die alone?
I want to stop using Grindr but I do not know of other ways to meet guys? I do not have many gay friends and I'm not out to my straight friends so I couldn't go down the natural route of being introduced and matched with someone. It is also very unlikely for me to meet someone to have a decent conversation in clubs such as Heaven etc.
What should I do? Thanks.
First, some of these issues have been discussed before. In particular, the following posts are relevant:
- Email about Asian-discrimination and penis size
- Email about online dating and cross cultural relationships
However, given that the reader is proud to be Asian, I don't understand why he doesn't make it clear on his profile? Doing that should stop most of the rude replies. Also, it would be good if he could show his face because that would make it clear too, although I understand why a lot of people don't want to put their face pics on their profiles.
Regarding face pics, ex-boyfriend T had a solution to that which worked well because it made it clear that he was Asian without giving away his true identity. He used someone else's pics! I can't recommend that, because it's dishonest and because the other person will obviously object if they find out, but the pics were sufficiently similar to him that I didn't notice when I met him for the first time.
Another thought is that the reader only seems to be using Grindr. Now that I'm no longer in a relationship, I've now started to look at all the different dating web sites, and it's clear to me Grindr probably isn't the best site for Asian guys to use. For a mobile app, Jack'd seems to be much more popular with Asians guys and guys looking for Asian guys. Similarly, for a web site rather than an app, there's Fridae. My guess is that the reader will have more success if he starts using those web sites.
Finally, it's definitely hard for guys who're on their guard all the time to find boyfriends, because people have to lower all their barriers to develop loving relationships. Lowering his barriers is something that the reader will have to work on. One thought is that perhaps he should try dating other Asian guys. That should help build his confidence, and with another Asian guy he'll hopefully find it easier to drop his guard.
Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?