— from Independent by Kevin Maxwell
We then wonder why the visible gay scene is almost unequivocally white, male and gay. Meanwhile, gay social networking apps are awash with user statuses which read “No blacks or Asians” followed by “I’m not a racist, it’s just a preference”
As a gay man who is mixed-race and identifies as black, it saddens me to hear of yet more racism within the gay community this week. But, sadly, I’m not surprised.
My eyes were first opened after I read about the UK Black Pride event, a celebration of colour within the LGBT community. I remember vividly many of the racist comments towards black people, and one in particular sticks in my mind: “Very few black people come out and when they do all they want to talk about is the imaginary racism of white gay men, just because they’ve been sexually rejected by white gay men.” Needless to say, that completely missed the point of why the black festival exists.
It was precisely set up because people of colour felt excluded from the predominantly white gay male prides, and still do.
In a survey for the gay charity GMFA magazine FS, 80 percent of black men said they had experienced racism in the gay community. More than two thirds of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic gay men have endured discrimination on the gay scene, which is shocking. One contributor commented that, “The only approach I’ve had at a gay bar was when I was asked if I supplied drugs”.
We then wonder why the visible gay scene is almost unequivocally white, male and gay. Meanwhile, gay social networking apps are awash with user statuses which read “No blacks or Asians” followed by “I’m not a racist, it’s just a preference”.
The recent case of Chardine Taylor Stone is a classic example of racism. The black writer and activist had complained that a white LGBT performer dressing up in blackface at gay venues with all the usual black racial stereotypes was wrong and racist. She was right. Yet she faced abhorrent racial and misogynist abuse from white gay men.
I’ve seen many of these so-called acts myself, often uncomfortable and not utterly devoid of humour. It is a fact that the privilege of some white gay men do not allow them to empathise about what it is like for a person of colour to experience LGBT racism. They then make claims that those who complain about the phenomenon are “irrational” or “humourless”.
Just a couple of days ago, Prossy Kakooza, the LGBT asylum campaigner, tweeted about her own experiences: “Sadly the most racism I’ve received has been in #LGBT places. Sad but true”.
To advocate for equality on one hand and then to discriminate on another undermines our fight. Because true equality can never come with caveats.
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