He was excited – the two met on an online dating site.
After speaking on the phone for about a week, they agreed to their first face-to-face meeting over the weekend. I’ve met guys talking on the phone,” said Fred, who’s a proud Puerto Rican-Italian.
For decades, clean-cut, muscular Caucasian men have become the dominant image of what gay men look like in mainstream media, even though diversity is the focus at most Pride celebrations annually and gay men who don’t fit that image find themselves on the outside.
Because his disability causes Fred to walk with a slight limp and he takes retrovirals everyday for the HIV virus, he said he faces discrimination in his social, romantic and everyday lives. I’ve had people within the LGBT community stare at me as I walk down the street,” said Fred.
Even though he’s embraced and accepted his disability, he tries to hide it by changing the way he dresses when he goes out in public so it won’t be noticed nearly as much.
Even with something as invisible as the HIV virus, Fred said he’s felt the cold shoulder from other gay men. Some gay men are like, oh no, I don’t want to catch it.
Sites like Adam4Adam, Manhunt and smartphone apps like Grindr and Jackd allow users to post racial and physical preferences, with some men’s profiles advertising “no fems, no blacks, no Asians” and even “no fatties”.
Or oh, no, I don’t ever want a lover with HIV.” Fred talks about being a gay man with a disability Danny Fred talks about being a gay man with a disability 2 Racial bias can also be problematic within the community, according to Dennis Chin, who came out while he attended the City College in New Jersey.
The 29-year old said it’s even more apparent in the online dating world, where personal preferences can often isolate and segregate certain groups.
There’s an almost schoolboy like charm to Danny Fred.
He’s got a very youthful face and it’s hard to believe he’s 29 years old.
His eyes squint when he laughs, an infectious sound that echoes through the living room of his modest apartment in Jamaica, Queens.Settling back into his sofa, he rested a leg on the seat, ready to open up about his upcoming date.