Most LGBT ethnic minorities say they’ve faced discrimination, and bigotry on dating sites is a throwback to the 55s. The LGBT community must address thisMost LGBT ethnic minorities say they’ve faced discrimination, and bigotry on dating sites is a throwback to the 55s. The LGBT community must address thisR acism 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.
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“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, an astonishing 85% of black men, 79% of Asian men and 75% of south Asian men have experienced racism on the gay scene. 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. “On apps like Grindr, ”, “gay men brandish their racial dating preferences with all the same unapologetic bravado that straight men reserve for their favourite baseball team. ”Homi tells me he has Persian ancestry, and is “sometimes mistaken for being Greek, Italian, Spanish, etc”.
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Once, at a nightclub, he was relentlessly pursued by a fellow patron. Eventually, he was asked: “Where are you from? ” When Homi answered India, the man was horrified. “I’m so sorry – I don’t do Indians!
Indians are not my type. ”Historically, LGBT publications been dominated by white men and have neglected issues of raceAnd it is not simply a western phenomenon. Luan, a Brazilian journalist, tells me his country has a “Eurocentric image of beauty” and there is a “cult of the white man, which is absurd, given more than half the population is black or brown”. Others speak of their experiences of being rejected by door staff at LGBT venues. Michel, a south Asian man, tells me of being turned away because “you don’t look gay”, and being called a “dirty Paki”.
He says it has got worse since the, where the gunman was Muslim. And then there’s the other side of the equation: objectification. Malik tells about his experiences of what he describes as the near “fetishisation” of race. The rejection of people based on ethnicity is bad enough, he says, “but it can be just as gross when someone reduces you to your ethnicity, without consent, when dating/hooking up”.
His Arab heritage was objectified and stereotyped by some would-be lovers, even down to presuming his sexual role. When the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – a famed London LGBT venue – hosted a “blackface” drag act, Chardine Taylor-Stone launched the campaign.