Racism : Race and the Gay Community
To say that it’s been a tumultuous week in American politics would be an understatement. Over the weekend, what have known become known as the #TrumpTape was released, exposing the Republican presidential candidate bragging to then Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about sexual assault.
Further compound this with the second presidential debate Sunday night, which gave birth to even more talking points, such as Donald Trump seemingly threatening to use the Department of Justice against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary if he ever becomes President.
However, this quick succession of political firestorms for the Republican presidential nominee overshadowed a brewing discussion during the vice-presidential debates about race and privilege in the gay community. This stemmed from a tweet sent out from the Twitter account of a gay dating app, which made light of the possible deportation of minorities if a Trump administration came to power.
The controversial tweet read “If Donald Trump gets to deport 16 million people, I want you to think how much hotness would be lost”. This prompted responses from a lot of Twitter users, who labeled the joke as not “funny”, “demeaning”, “racist” and “marginalizing”. One user even remarked that the gay dating app’s “POC fetish is somehow more important than people’s lives being uprooted and families being torn apart”.
While that conversation about the fetishisation of people of color was happening, a parallel one was being had about how gay dating online was itself full of prejudice, privilege, and racism. One user on a news site even left a comment about the story, saying “How many profiles on it say ‘whites, latinos, and asians only’ or something to that extent. Most guys are eliminated before the first message is sent.”
It’s certainly a topic that needs a far more nuanced discussion that can be had online, and one that has certainly been debated within the gay community itself. As for A4A, we’ve always been inclusive on this site, and it’s reflected in part by the users that are on the platform. There is a wide range of ethnicities on A4A, with African-Americans and Latinos making up the bulk of non-white users but there are also Asian, American Indian, Middle Eastern, and Pacific Islander users in the site’s demographics. As a company, A4A does not tolerate racism of any form so if you see something let us know.
That said, things can always be improved, whether in and out of the online gay community. When does something become more than just a preference and become outright racism? How can race and how we talk about it as a community be better improved? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!