His name? Larramie Busby, aka Romeo Rose, a self-identified "CEO & a Rockstar all at the same time, both of those perfectly existing in one person, Me". In reality, where the rest of us live, he's a 39 year old wedding photographer with a really frightening website in which he declares he's open-minded about who he falls in love with...as long as she's not fat, Black, or too slutty. His ad was offensive enough that FOX 7 had a matchmaker on with Busby to explain to him that his ad was detrimental to his chances. And we're talking about FOX. He got ripped to shreds on Reddit. Even Huffington Post Live shut down an interview with him after he complained about how people thought he was racist for having sexual preferences, and then proceeded to compare having sex with a Black person to having sex with a monkey.
Seriously, I am not making this up.
So many people went to visit his website it was crashing for multiple days with the traffic. As far as I can tell, they didn't go there to take this offer seriously, but rather in order to quote him all over the internet with the awkward laughter that accompanies blatant bigotry. I can't really blame them, because there's some real zingers in there:
"Being overweight is a total dealbreaker with me."
"I will not date a Black girl. I don’t care if she looks like Halle Berry, I will not ever date a Black girl."
"I will not date any girl if she is still friends with any men that she has been intimate with in the past."
"To me, tattoos just represent white trash or somone that’s been in prison."
"I also do not support homosexuality. I think it’s disgusting, and morally wrong. I think it’s the trait of a defective human being."
"I do not believe a woman should have the choice or freedom to kill her baby just because she was a slutty whore."
"Because when a woman has been with a black man, in my book that is ALMOST the same thing as beastiality, because black people look like apes, monkeys and gorillas."
This goes on, for multiple pages. He's a winner, folks, really. Who wouldn't want a piece of that action (no offense dude)?
He did end up stating that he wrote much of the text at 2am, and that perhaps it wasn't well-worded, but considering how vehmenantly he has defended his original statements, I'm not entirely sure it'd matter when he edits this "first draft".
Apparently many some people responded offering to connect Busby with a sex worker, which of course highly offended him. Did they not read his demands that the woman of his dreams couldn't have many sexual partners, or have ever had a threesome? And he very specifically says he won't even talk to a woman who has been a stripper or a "ho". Regardless, frankly, I don't believe I know a sex worker who would be willing to meet with a guy filled with demands or who would be so openly racist.
Why did Busby create this website you might ask? Because he was lonely, and he had tried various dating sites (despite having many judgments about the women who are on such sites, who he feels must be all mentally ill, drug users, or hideously unattractive). Creating a website and an incentive program was, in his head, a way to encourage people to introduce him to women, quite probably to relatives or acquaintences they didn't care very much about. Granted, I think it had the opposite effect, as not only is he the bigot heard 'round the world, but his wedding photography business now has pretty unsavory reviews now on Yelp. Sometimes being your own personal brand kicks you in the butt. Hard, like a mule.
The thing that really sticks out to me, perhaps because I am a sex worker and a hustler, is the lack of professionalism. His date-seeking website is awful, with pink text on a black background that's painful to look at. There's an incredibly vague description of what exactly will constitute enough of a "long term relationship" in order for someone to get paid. I'm curious if there is a contract involved, or if the girl gets any of the rewards of being bartered off. His LinkedIn with its zero connections and self-employed status (his weekday job, which I've only found described as "legal work for General Motors", isn't mentioned anywhere except the Daily Mail) doesn't necessarily suggest to me a well-established professional who can afford $1500 at any given time. If he could, couldn't he afford a web developer to build him a website that would present his racism with more panache?
The matchmaker they called in at FOX 7, Julia McCurley, said some excellent points. "Why didn't you tell people what you had to offer?" she asked rather pointedly. She also called him out for being closed-minded in his requests, stating (probably honestly) that while there may well be people out there who feel similarly, they're not going to actually come out and SAY all of these things. I think ultimately that's what shocked people. I know plenty of people who will say how they're "just not attracted" to one ethnicity or another, but to come out and say some of the racist comments Busby has lays clear that these preferences are often rooted in racist ideas of beauty, class, and success. Our racism is more easily ignored when it's subtle.
His first go-around with creating a website for dating (this time yellow text on a black background) doesn't reflect this long list of requirements, or any hints of racism. And honestly, when I was reading this site, I originally felt for him. "Alone in Austin" is less about bragging and more about someone who is really lonely. If you look into his past, there are numerous accounts of abuse and death within his family. With all this trauma and death, I can begin to understand why he has set up all of these superficial walls to try to protect himself; it makes me curious where the racism comes from, but that's musing best left to him and a therapist.
Until I go even deeper and discover that actually, his supposedly dead ex-girlfriend put a restraining order on him for domestic violence. Apparently he bragged about harming three of her pets. Busby also posted an email from her on Google Groups, where she's telling him off for dreaming too much and not having any money to back it up. And while he's happy to slutshame women for being naked around men they're not dating, he's also happy to pose with a naked woman... that he's not dating. He's also had his experiences paying for sex and drugs, even while he'll shun women for it. Amazing how all my sympathy just melted away. Google will do that.
I really, really hate people who use trauma as a way to cover up or justify their abusive behaviour.
I have a way of leaving lasting impressions on people the first time they meet me, they never forget me, and the more a person gets to know about me the more they realize that they have never, ever met another human being in this world like me!
So, fellas...basically, don't be like Laramie Busby. Some "lasting impressions" are best left alone. After all, Google, like an elephant, never forgets. As his ex-"soulmate" said, "No self respecting woman would even consider dating you... PAYBACK IS A BITCH, AIN'T IT!!!"