Racism is a serious problem within the LGBT community and needs to be addressed. Despite the determination of many minority ethnic LGBT people to do just that, it is not happening. “How can I be a bigot when I am myself a member of an oppressed minority?” is a prevailing attitude among some white LGBT people. But another far more pernicious reason is that the LGBT world revolves around white gay men to the exclusion of others. The rainbow flag is whiter than it appears.
“I’m sexualised for my skin tone and never treated as a person,” Saif tells me. “The community is trained to accept a white, ‘masc’, muscled gay man and the rest of us are not really accepted or ‘one of their own’.” It’s not the individual he blames, but being conditioned by a community that venerates the “sexual image of a white gay man”. According to research by FS magazine, an astonishing 80% of black men, 79% of Asian men and 75% of south Asian men have experienced racism on the gay scene.
Who we get to rub uglies with is a matter of some choice and noting which choices people do make tells us something about, umm, the choices that people make. No, this isn’t to say that we should be pro- or anti- miscegenation nor in fact that we should do anything collectively at all. But we should actually note that people do what people do and one of the things they do do is distinguish between people on those grounds of race when choosing to rub uglies. Some in favour of particular types, some against of course.
But there’s absolutely no point whatsoever in decrying basic fundamental behaviour of this sort. It’s not just how this does work it’s how it should work too. We’re supposed to, when deciding upon whom to rub uglies with, discriminate on outward signs of genetic markers. Rather how evolution works really.
This manifests itself in numerous ways. Some are rejected because of their ethnicity; on the other hand, some are objectified because of it. On dating sites and apps, profiles abound that say “no Asians” or “no black people”, casually excluding entire ethnic groups. It’s like a “bastardised ‘No dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ signs”, as Anthony Lorenzo puts it.
“On apps like Grindr,” writes Matthew Rodriguez, “gay men brandish their racial dating preferences with all the same unapologetic bravado that straight men reserve for their favourite baseball team.”