News: Survey Reveals Racism is Still a Problem in The Gay Community
Photo credit : Next Door Ebony – Save 75% Off Now!
We’d like to believe that we’re in a post-racial society, but that certainly isn’ the case. Even here in the gay community — which prides itself on openness — there are still profiles on gay dating apps with “no fats, no femmes, no Asians” right on top.
It’s not just on the dating apps, though. In a survey conducted by the Fact Site — a health and life advice site published by the United Kingdom’s The Health Equality and Rights Organization (HERO) — two-thirds of the 850 minority respondents report experiencing racism in the gay scene.
Broken down into different ethnicities, the survey revealed that 80% of Black guys, 79% of Asian guys, 75% of South Asian guys, 64% of mixed race guys, and “most” of the Arab guys who participated in the survey have experienced racism in Britain’s gay scene.
In fact, for 63% of the black and South Asian men who participated in the survey, racism is a bigger issue in their lives than homophobia. It’s not hard to see why. According to Shabbs, a 31-year old South Asian man, he was subjected to prejudice even at a gay pride event.
“Going to a gay pride event and hearing racist comments from gay men directed towards you makes you feel unwelcome in a community you want to be a part of,” he says. “I’d rather be somewhere that’s homophobic than somewhere that is racist, because I can pretend I’m straight. I can’t pretend to be a different skin color or race. So racism is a bigger issue for me.”
Racism on Gay Apps
The report points out gay dating apps as a “prime vehicle for sexual racism”. Profiles openly state “White only” or “no chocolate, rice, or spice.”
Shabbs says he has gotten used to it. “I just wait for guys to approach me on apps, so I don’t have to deal with any of the possible hateful/hurting comments if I was approaching someone.”
While some don’t see being ignored on gay daring apps as an example of racism, they do draw the line on profiles that outright refuse anyone because of their race.
“I guess if you are not into Asians, you just aren’t — and there’s no point in time-wasting,” explains Alex, a 28-year old Asian guy from London. “However, it’s intolerable if this involves explicit categorical refusal on racial grounds, e.g. ‘I’m not into Blacks’; ‘no fem no rice only muscle’ on the apps as profile statements.”
Sexualization and Objectification
Black and Asian men also find themselves subjected to stereotypes that objectify and demean them. According to the survey, 82% of the Black participants feel sexualized or objectified by white men.
Martin, a 26-year old Black man from London, has had dates that tell him things like “my little Black boy, I love the taste of your Black skin”, “yes my little n****r, suck this white daddy.”
Thirty-nine-year old South East Asian Ari has experienced being at the receiving end of objectification as well.
“Some older white males think that as they are showing us attention, then I should be grateful. Some younger white males think that I am a submissive bottom and my cock is small,” he shares. “I am neither of those, and I hate having to put up with this level of ignorance. People think by saying this type of nonsense they are being honest, but it just shows how rude and inappropriate they are.”
The Need for Representation
The survey also asked participants to rank each ethnic group in terms of attractiveness. “White” ranked first almost among all ethnicities. The only ethnicities were “white” didn’t rank first was among Black and mixed race guys, who ranked “mixed race” first and “white” second.
Author and diversity consultant Vernal Scott points to the lack of minority representation in media as the culprit behind these lopsided results.
“White guys have greater visibility in the media and their attributes, success and sex appeal is much more in our faces,” he says. “Frankly, it is still rare to see ethnic gay men in the media, and you never hear about our successes outside of music and the arts.”
Matthew Hodson of the charitable organization Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) agrees.
““If all we see on the covers of magazines, in movies and adverts is just a very specific set of physical types, it’s not surprising that we take this on board in some way,” he explains. “Just do an image search for ‘hot gay men’ – you’ll need to scroll down some way before you come across anyone who isn’t white, even further to find an image of someone Asian. It’s not necessarily the case that the same race-based preferences will be reflected in other cultures.”
Hodson calls on the community to treat each other with respect, considering that the LGBTQ community is itself a target of discrimination.
““I don’t know that the gay community is any more racist than any other section of society, but it’s clear that there are some people on the scene who hold vile and completely unacceptable views,” he says. “As gay men we all know what it’s like to be marginalised, to be outsiders and members of a minority. We’ve all experienced prejudice and discrimination first hand. It’s sad and pathetic that we still inflict the same on other members of our community.”
What do you guys think of the survey findings? While this was conducted in the United Kingdom, do you think the situation is the same in the United States or the rest of North America? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.