I don’t date Asians — sorry, not sorry.
You’re cute … for an Asian.
I usually like “bears,” but no “panda bears.”
These were the types of messages Jason, a 29-year-old Los Angeles resident, remembers receiving on different dating apps and websites when he logged on in his search for love seven years ago. He has since deleted the messages and apps.
“It was really disheartening,” he says. “It really hurt my self-esteem.”
Jason is earning his doctorate with a goal of helping people with mental health needs. NPR is not using his last name to protect his privacy and that of the clients he works with in his internship.
He is gay and Filipino and says he felt like he had no choice but to deal with the rejections based on his ethnicity as he pursued a relationship.
“It was hurtful at first. But I started to think, I have a choice: Would I rather be alone, or should I, like, face racism?”
Jason, a 29-year-old Los Angeles resident, says he received racist messages on different dating apps and websites in his search for love.
Jason says he faced it and thought about it quite a bit. So he wasn’t surprised when he read a blog post from OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder in 2014 about race and attraction.
Rudder wrote that user data showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities. Similarly, Asian men fell at the bottom of the preference list for most women. While the data focused on straight users, Jason says he could relate.
“When I read that, it was a sort of like, ‘Duh!’ ” he says. “It was like an unfulfilled validation, if that makes sense. Like, yeah, I was right, but it feels s***** that I was right.”
The 2014 OkCupid data resonated so much with 28-year-old Ari Curtis that she used it as the basis of her blog, Least Desirable, about dating as a black woman.
“My goal,” she wrote, “is to share stories of what it means to be a minority not in the abstract, but in the awkward, exhilarating, exhausting, devastating and occasionally amusing reality that is the pursuit of love.”
“My goal,” Curtis wrote on her blog, “is to share stories of what it means to be a minority not in the abstract, but in the awkward, exhilarating, exhausting, devastating and occasionally amusing reality that is the pursuit of love.”
Kholood Eid for NPR