Saturday, 5 November 2011

London Calling

I must admit I was a little surprised to read about the online buzz surrounding The Wire and Luther star Idris Elba dating - shock, horror, a white woman !

Here in UK, particularly in London, or as I like to call it 'Europe's Favourite Melting Pot', bi-racial dating really isn't that big of a deal, especially when we compare ourselves to say our US cousins.

Even as I write this post in my favourite coffee shop, I have just watched two mixed race babies, glide by in their pushchairs and just opposite sits a stunning sister with her very happy looking white boyfriend.

I've always adopted and throughly enjoyed the United Nations approach to dating - It's not about my love interest's colour, it's about their personality and attitude, their brains (I adore smart sexy!) and of course how they treat me.

I've never had an issue with the dating colour chart. In fact my only issue has been my own slightly dubious taste in men. Strong confident men with brains and a little hint of the bad boy about them.

All of which ensures when my sporadic love life does flicker into existence, the flames maybe short-lived, but at least things are never boring !

For me a guy's personality is 100% unique and not determined by something as cut and dried as his skin tone. Which leads me uncomfortably into the reason why Idris has taken this virtual battering - jealousy.

For a British black actor to succeed in the UK market is rare. Multiply that 10 fold, to achieve and maintain it in the US market. I can only think of about three others who have done so and two are women.

Idris is not just a talented actor, he is ridiculously handsome on a scale, where the clamour to get with or 'own' a piece of him must be more than a little overwhelming.

The backlash he has experienced is not completely unexpected. I've experienced first-hand 'dirty looks' from the hood and been dropped into the dead zone, by someone I considered a friend, over my dating preferences before.

It happened a few years ago, when I was enjoying an evening with the girls. Somehow we got on to the topic of bi-racial dating and one of group launched into a rant about white guys, needing to tick off the dated a black woman box and ultimately treating them without respect.

I was at the time in the midst of a very happy long-term relationship with a US born Greek Adonis who treated me like gold. I cautioned her to not make such judgemental statements, and that until she was in at the deep end, I could only her deem her as being ignorant of the reality of being in a bi-racial relationship.

The next morning I thought we had agreed to disagree, until that evening when I got a phone call from my BFF, who told me 'my friend' had uninvited me to her birthday party, because she felt disrespected. Up to this day we don't speak.

Was she entitled to her opinion..of course. Was it extreme... yes I believe it was...but that's her problem, not mine. Which is precisely why I salute Idris for his talent, achievements and just doing his thing...regardless of the haters.

Alas there is so little of the divine Idris to go round already, that in the absence of a clone of him, I am going to have to content myself with watching The Wire boxset again :0)

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