How Do Fetishism and Tokenism Affects People Of Color Joining Polycommunities?

Kevin Patterson TW/IG: @PolyRoleModels

Cathy: How do a fetishism and tokenism affect how people of color join polycommunities? I’m here with Kevin E. Patterson from poly role-models And I’m Kathy virtually from Kevin thanks so much for talking about this I know that this is part of your your amazing book that’s going to be coming out in April, “Love’s not color blind”. And I can’t wait for that that’s gonna be such a great book

Kevin: Thanks. I mean, yeah. Fetishism is a really weird animal and then and if, if I wanna make sure how to say this properly but like me being a black man sometimes people feel like being right is what I have to offer a situation you know my god. I’m, I’m very well versed in teaching I’m very well-versed in sports, I’m a runner. I got a message on education I’ve you know there’s a lot of things that I could go into. There’s a lot of you know, skills and things that I can that I can offer. I’m a human being. I’m a role-rounded human being. When sometimes you walk into a situation when people don’t see that you are a role rounded-human being. They’ll see you are black, this is what you have to offer this situation, blackness. And don’t get me wrong, I come I come fully packed with whiter than a blackness. You know there’s, there’s more going on than just that. That’s not the way I wanna be approached this part of our conversation. And if I’m on a meet up, I gonna be really aware of the way people speaking to me. I’ll be talking about the newest video game, we’ll be talking about what’s going on the politics, or talking about the weather or like am I being approached because someone wants us there in their ethnicity passport. Someone who wants to fuck a black guy that’s something you’ve never done before. You know, I’m interested in tasting some chocolate or some bullshit like that. You know, bbc, big black cock. Is that the way that the situation being approached and I gotta be really leery of how I approach these conversations almost all the time. That I could be constantly aware that somebody’s not trying to push some, some racial racist stereotype in my direction

Cathy: Yeah.

Kevin: as part of authenticity package that I didn’t sign up for.

Cathy: Yeah I know it’s not the same thing but I I had someone come up to me who really liked big women. And I think I got a little bit of a taste to that because he was like, “You’re amazing” and it was not about me he didn’t know who I was it was just that I was I was big and he thought that was it was just objectification on one aspect of me and it did not feel good. So, yeah that would not be something I’d wanna walk into.

Kevin: I, uh, there’s point I was dating a woman, also big also fat and my where we first started dating very soon into it she said like, “So like why are you looking fat girls?” and I was like I’m not into fat girls, I’m into women just in general like there’s a lot to love about a wide variety of women and I’m all for it. And I didn’t realized it at that time but If I said like I’m into fat girls because of blah blah blah that would have X me out of the conversation you would have stopped dating at that.

Cathy: Yeah.

Kevin: That she would that she was like that was her fetishization test right there and I unknowingly passed.

Cathy: Well congratulations.

Kevin: Yeah.

Cathy: No that’s what, thank you for sharing about that. What about tokenism is that feel like it’s different from fetish… fetishism?

Kevin: It’s all based on the same thing. It’s a, it’s a marginalization things gone like what’s single, unchanged, uncontrollable aspect of your life. And like I said I said when we spoke before a about class how if you’re ay poly cocktails all you really trying to do is you know, is in drink you know and socialize you’re not really trying to think about marriage entry. And people aren’t trying to think about like organizers I’m always trying to think about their particular demographics you know. Polyamorous is small so you get twenty, thirty, forty people to an event, you’re excited.

Cathy: you’re excited.

Kevin: That’s why you’re not only thinking about what the makeup of the, of those demographics are. And it’s really easy to see a black person or two or three out of those 40 out of those 40 people in two or three people of color thing. Okay well, we have people of color here.

Cathy: Check that box.

Kevin: Yeah, and no one wants that. No one wants that to be that token person of color that that that perfunctory show of exclusivity that allow people are not making real changes to what their to what their groups look like to what they look like.

Cathy: Yeah.

Kevin: And like I’m again I’m in the total off of the area throughout about 43 to 45 percent white and about 43 to 45 percent black so there should be a more even makeup in any of it.

Cathy: You would hope. Yeah.

Kevin: And if I’m the only person that caught and then vent, I’m not gonna let myself be token out of this because I’m not gonna let it slide.

Cathy: Yeah.

Kevin: I’m always gonna talked about it like I’m my mouth is never gonna close about how you know if I go to if I go to look like you know this is happy hour and there’s 30-40 people and I’m the person of color. I’m gonna say that that’s something that I’m going to post about my blog, there’s something I’m gonna post about on Facebook and somebody’s face is gonna get a read about it.

Cathy: Yeah.

Kevin: And somebody’s gonna have to do something about it or kick me out of the group. And either way I’m not gonna be quiet about that either.

Cathy: Yeah. No, thank you for like I think speaking up like that is it’s sometimes very awkward I can sometimes take a lot of courage but if nothing’s gonna change if we just keep going along the way we’ve been knowing.

Kevin: Yeah. And really people just need to stop being defensive about it as well like if you’re trying to if you get a substantial population to your event you know, you’re not an evil person if the demographics are all white.

Cathy: No but there’s probably things you can do to help welcome people in that haven’t been

Kevin: Exactly. And you don’t need get defensive when someone raises the issue trying to figure out how to solve the issue. Like make it a test make your situation better like our groups are better they are stronger they more diverse, we got a better diversity of thought, you got a better range of ideas.

Cathy: Absolutely.

Kevin: When more people if you know like more people from various backgrounds in a room together.

Cathy: Absolutely. And I think. Let me… go ahead.

Kevin: It helps!

Cathy: Yeah. It does. It helps everybody. And I think, if we can just see pass like how big someone is, what color’s in their skin is, treat like as humans but also be aware of the challenges different groups might be facing and try to mitigate that as much as possible.

Kevin: Absolutely.

Cathy: Yeah. Thank you so much for talking about this this means a lot. I’m. There’s it that I haven’t seen other examples of this and I really appreciate it you’re making a big difference.

Kevin: I mean, were out there. There’s not a lot of us alike. That’s part of what I why I love what I do because when I say that we’re out there, I always put other people’s stuff on my blog I always use I always use my platform to extend as many voices as I can.

Cathy: Yeah. Well again, thank you. This is great. If you have comments or questions please leave them below we’d love to see them. Thanks Kevin.

Kevin: Hey, no problem.