“Looking for white top to join us for fun”. “Daddy bear looking for Asian Cubs to play with”. “I do have a preference for whites”. These phrases are pulled from Grindr profiles, a gay dating app, in the area of Warlingham, Surrey. They demonstrate a preference for one racial group, and exclude others. Is this a form of racism?
Racism is defined as the act of discriminating against race, ethnicity or nationality. This tag has previously avoided the LGBTQ+ community owing to the belief that minorities don’t discriminate within themselves.
Interviewing one gay black man, he said “There is racism in the community [LGBTQ+]”, which is manifested “insidiously”.
“It’s more about spaces not being inclusive”, he said.
“Most of it is a feeling of desexualisation and that a lot of people don’t find you attractive”.
Seeing the phrases “no blacks, no Asians [etc]” on apps like Grindr and Tinder, charge feelings of exclusion and desexualisation.
The use of these terms is defended under the guise it is just a “preference”, and “not racist”.
“It stops us wasting each other’s time”, said one Grindr user when asked why he had ‘no blacks’ on his profile.
A Preference is when you have a greater liking for one alternative over another. When a preference is exercised to the level of complete exclusion of others, it becomes a form of discrimination. To discriminate against someone or a group of people based on a particular feature is a form of racism. Using phrases like ‘no asians’ is a racist act.
The atmosphere in the community has already resulted in the founding of several societies. In Britain, BlackOut UK was established to give people that feel excluded a voice, and UK Black Pride was set up to represent a more inclusive event.
It appears that despite being a minority group, the gay male community is capable of discrimination within itself. Kevin Maxwell, a gay rights campaigner, wrote in his article for The Independent that: “white gay men in particular should pause and think about what it might be like to be both black and gay, experiencing both racism and homophobia”.
The media and a lack of awareness have been blamed for fostering these attitudes. Publications often glorify white muscular men as being the ‘ideal’, at the expense of others.
“When I was young I didn’t find blacks or Asians attractive because they weren’t in my ATTITUDE magazine”, commented a young gay black man.
Racism is present in the gay male community, although it is often disguised under the term preference. It will take many individual actions to promote inclusion before the situation begins to change.