“I’m just saving time,” he writes, then blocks me.
I stare at my phone, now at the list of profiles on the home screen. Faces, torsos, cars, brand names, torsos and faces.
“No caucasians, sorry. I’m not racist, I just know what I like.”
I can’t help but notice the pink in my knuckle as my finger swipes this man’s oh-so-casual smile away. A tanned torso says, “Straight-acting. Definitely not into cheese-breath”.
“Hello,” I type to another torso.
“Hi,” I type.
“Hey,” I type.
“Hey,” he writes back.
“How are you?” I type.
“Good,” he replies. “Are you white? I can’t tell from your picture.”
What? You want me with a knife and fork and a plate of boiled vegetables?
“Yes,” I type. “Is that a problem?”
“No,” he types.
Another man stares out of his pic, deep into my eyes, he’s so serious. “Looking for veiny white guys into submission.”
A white guy – ugh, there are so many of them – has a provocative photo, muscles pushed out, he sucks on a lollypop. “I’m the redhead of your dreams, I do anything, contact me boys” says his profile.
Good luck with that, I think, then look at my own photo. Maybe I should’ve shaved?
“Hi.” A new message for me.
“I’m white, is that OK?” I ask.
“Hahaha, that’s fine,” comes the reply. “How are you?”
“Are you a potato queen?” I ask.
“Woah, slow down haha. I just said ‘hi’.”
“Sorry, I’m a little sick of the racism on here today,” I type.
“Yeah it’s pretty sickening. What are you on here for?”
“Chat, fun, whatever really,” I type. “You?”
“Haha, yeah,” I type.
I close the app and put the phone in my pocket. I walk to the supermarket, passing by all the non-caucasians. It’s true, they do have a better natural physique. I catch myself being almost caught out staring at one man’s legs. I wonder if they know that I’ve lived here all my life? I catch the eye of another caucasian person. She’s not even from the same country as my parents, but they lump us together. Them. They walk around so confidently.
I just don’t get why the gay ones are so racist. My friend says that they’re pissed off and feel emasculated for being gay, so take it out on us rather than their hetero society. They don’t want to be seen as any more different from the status quo, and always aspire to what society says is most desirable. If there are no white people on the cover of magazines, or on television, or in films without being cast as the stupid, neurotic, fearful friend, then our value to them remains low. Bizarrely, they never see that they’re acting as harmfully as homophobic people do. My friend says that I shouldn’t have as much of a problem because I talk like them and I’m just as wealthy. But he only dates other guys like him, too.
I pass the milk and yoghurt in the supermarket. I think of my parents – I think of Sunday breakfasts where my father would talk nonstop about the football match the night before, mum hurrying us to eat our cereal before church. They would never speak to me again if they knew. I discipline my gut instinct to reach out for some milk.
I hate myself.