Sis, you’re not single because of gay men or “promiscuous” women
I am a single, Christian, Black woman who has lived in Atlanta and the DMV. I have had serious relationships, situationships and “I’m good luv” encounters with men in both cities. Let’s be real — dating in a big city can be a struggle. But there are two myths I want to address:
There are more women than men, giving men (especially Black men) an advantage.
There are too many gay brothers including those on the down low (DL).
This topic came up during a church group discussion. I was excited about the opportunity to discuss dating with my church family. However, my excitement quickly turned into disappointment as the conversation turned from sharing our personal experiences to blaming others for our singleness — specifically “promiscuous” women and gay Black men. Here are a few (paraphrased) sentiments from the discussion:
“There is a spirit over D.C. There are so many gay men here it makes it hard for me to date. I even married one.”
“Well, if there is a spirit over D.C., it must be traveling everywhere because I have experienced a lot of gay men in other cities too.”
“It’s hard being a saved, Christian woman when there are so many broken women out here who are willing to give it up after the first date. They make it hard for us.”
“In D.C. there are all these super pro-Black, free-spirited liberals and it is just not cool to be Christian.”
(Side note: This may be the most plausible point raised during the discussion. However, as a pro-Black, liberal, I will speak up and say we are not a monolithic group! We can be Christian and free-thinking at the same damn time.)
“We are facing scary times. The Bible clearly tells us what it means to be a man and there are not real men out here.”
Now that you have the highlights from the church group discussion, let’s debunk these myths about being a single, Christian, Black woman in a big city. Since Washington, D.C. is my current home, I will use the formerly beloved “Chocolate City” as an example.
Myth #1: There are more women than men, giving men (especially Black men) an advantage.
Reality: Yes, there are more women than men in D.C., but the gap isn’t as big as you think.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women make up about 53 percent of the District. So yes, there’s a small gap. However, it only takes one person to be your soulmate, so who cares about everyone else and their options? Plus, if we consider dating outside of our race, we’ll have more prospects. But that’s another debate for another day.
Myth #2: There are too many gay brothers including those on the DL.
Reality: D.C. has the highest self-identified Black LGBTQIA population in the U.S., but LGBTQIA African Americans are disproportionately female.
According to a 2015-2016 Gallup poll, 8.6 percent of D.C. adults self-identify as LGBTQIA. So, for every person who identifies as LGBTQIA, there are almost 12 heterosexual folks in Washington, D.C. May the odds be ever in your favor (because they already are, sis).
Furthermore, throw the whole “Black gay men are taking our men” myth away. According to the Human Rights Campaign, "LGBTQ African Americans are disproportionately young and disproportionately female."
And when it comes to the concern about brothers on the DL...if we as a Black community embraced our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters, this “down low” culture wouldn't be an issue. As we continue to shame and emasculate our gay brothers, the hurtful cycle will continue.
All these myths lead me to wonder…why do we blame others (specifically other women or gay Black men) for our singleness? And why do we need to assign blame for our singleness at all? I have a few theories.
It is easier to find a scapegoat and blame others for our problems.
I challenge all of us to stop playing this blame game. Singleness is not a punishment or crime. It is one chapter in our lives.
Homophobia is a problem in the Black community, especially the Black church.
I love how shows like OWN’s Greenleaf raise awareness about homophobia in the Black church. However, it’s going to take more than Oprah and good TV for us to combat this issue within the Black community. We must break the silence and be totally inclusive of our LGBTQIA community.
Society tells us that if you’re single, it’s a problem...but it’s not.
I too am guilty of giving into society's (and the churches) expectations for single women. I have three weddings to attend in ten days in August and I would be lying if I said it does not make me feel inadequate at times.
As a 27-year-old single, Black, Christian woman with a post-secondary education and “good government job,” I feel the pressure for my next step in life to be finding a Black, Christian man. I haven’t met that man, but it isn’t because of gay people or “promiscuous” women.
There is beauty in being single. Also, regardless of the perceived competition or demographics in your city, dating is possible if you don’t let societal pressures squeeze the fun out of it. Continue being a badass woman. Take time to figure out your deal breakers, embrace self-discovery and enjoy the free meals and drinks while they last!
Shed some light, sis. What are common myths you’ve heard or realities you’ve experienced while dating in a major city? Let me know in the comments!