For Hasani Malcolm, a self-identifying gay, black man living in Washington, D.C., love is the air. For many of Hasani’s counterparts in the LGBT community they can’t say the same, but this Howard alum is convinced that after kissing many frogs and now having a successful long-term relationship, he has the insight you’re looking for. I caught up with Hasani at Union Market a few weeks before Valentine’s Day to discuss his views on romance and dating tips, from the LGBT perspective:
Lauren Poteat: Hello Mr. Malcolm, thank you so much for doing this interview, I’m excited to hear your stories and experiences.
Hasani Malcolm: Oh no problem, the pleasure is all mine.
LP: Great, well in lieu of Valentine’s Day, how does love transcend race, religion, politics or sexual orientation?
HM: Well basically, love is a deep affinity for somebody. You need somebody that you’re really attracted to physically and mentally and to get that, you need to overcome whatever barriers are presented to you, whether it be race, religion or sexual orientation. You make it work and you compromise. When you love somebody you love somebody because of who they are.
LP: Tell me, how has your experience been dating in D.C. as a black LGBT male?
HM: It’s been difficult, but honestly, I think the hardest part has been working on me. Figuring out what you want and going through all of the frogs to find your prince or princess. That’s the hardest part of dating. Once you’re comfortable with yourself and allow yourself to be true to who you are, the rest is easy.
LP: Did you feel like there were times where it seemed less likely, or that you had more difficulty finding an adequate lover in the city because of your sexual preference?
HM: I feel today there are so many options, maybe too many. I never really had any difficulty finding someone, I had difficulty finding someone worthwhile.
LP: What advice would you give to someone black trying to date in the city and what would be your top three First Date Do’s and Don’ts?
HM: Like I said, work on yourself first and don’t be afraid to state your needs, because people aren’t mind readers, especially men.