I missed this posting from Owen Jones, who I happen to like and it was posted on the Guardian on Nov 23; I missed it because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I put a lot of importance on this subject of racism and bigotry in the gay community because I have seen it among ex friends and gays I have come in contact with and I find it repulsive and incomprehensible that people that have been victims of racism and bigotry will exercise it on others. Unfortunedly it is true and common. What I don’t see to often is other gays calling it out.
During the Presidential election it was nice seeing many gays particularly on Facebook calling other gays out that said they were voting for Trump and posting fake news on Hillary Clinton who has been a friend of the community for most of her life and who had committed no crime and the only thing she was guilty of was something that others had done as well in her previous position and it was to have a private server. No crimes but accusation for everything because it was a well planned campaign by the Republican committee and others from Breitbart Alt right magazine and latter the Russian government even before they even knew who the GOP nominee was going to be.
As I told someone on Facebook, compared to crimes Trump was going to court for and everything else we have seen about him , his character and serious quirks, Hillary was, is a saint. No question about it in anybody’s mind that takes the
fakes news and dumped them and measure the two candidates on the same things we have measured every Presidential candidate before. Even if this man did not mean everything he said and was going to do the opposite like a civilized politician then he is the biggest lier one that cannot be trusted by the electorate or the International community.
So, there are gays saying they wont vote for her for the same reason anti gays are using. She can’t be trusted and she is a criminal who should be locked up. Every time I ask what crimes, no one was able to tell me anything that made sense or that it was documented. So they were swallowing the line of people that don't like gays. It was easy to be dismayed. As a result of this we have a lop sided election in which the looser gets over 2 million votes more. Not even in Russia would you find such blatantly criminal campaigns to make their candidate win. To me I expect it from the right and even a few gays but not for the numbers I saw. Would those numbers be enough to change the election? I don’t know but my main concern is that the numbers show intolerant racist gays who based their vote on the hard line Trump took on immigrants. Nothing to do on Hillary. They knew there will be no wall but they knew that Trump would at least be a lot tougher than Hillary on immigration and a few other minor immigrant details like in school and who gets an education. That really hurt and we will all pay the price because our elected officials cannot be better than the people that select them except Trump wont even be any of that because he is not the winner of the majority of the nation votes.
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.
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.”
Homi tells me he has Persian ancestry, and is “sometimes mistaken for being Greek, Italian, Spanish, etc”. 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 race
And 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 Orlando nightclub massacre, 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 Stop Rainbow Racism campaign. The drag act featured “exaggerated neck rolling, finger snapping displays of ‘sassiness’, bad weaves” and other racial stereotypes, she says. After launching a petition against the event, she received threats of violence. “White LGBTQs who are truly against racism need to step up and take ownership of what is happening in their community,” she writes.
LGBT publications are guilty too. Historically, they’ve been dominated by white men, have neglected issues of race, and have portrayed white men as objects of beauty. Dean stopped buying mainstream gay magazines two years ago. “The only time they would write about people of colour is when they had done something homophobic,” he says. “The gay media is completely whitewashed.”
There has been positive change in recent months, one leading black gay journalist tells me, but only because of the work of ethnic minority LGBT individuals “holding magazines to account, setting up their own nights across the scene” and using social media, blogs, podcasts and boycotts to force change.
While LGBT people are much more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from mental distress, the level is even higher among ethnic minorities. Undoubtedly, racism plays a role. As Rodriguez puts it, seeing dating app profiles rejecting entire ethnic groups causes “internalised racism, decreased self-esteem and psychological distress.”
Many of the rights and freedoms that all LGBT people won were down to the struggles of black and minority ethnic people: at the Stonewall riots, for example, non-white protesters. The least that white LGBT people can do is to reciprocate and confront racism within their own ranks. Shangela, an actor, tells me that racism from the LGBT community “hurts more because it’s coming from people that I’m meant to share a kinship with”.
The far-right movements on the march across the western world are consciously trying to co-opt the LGBT rights campaign for their own agenda. Muslims are portrayed as an existential threat to gay people, particularly after Orlando. There are those who only talk about LGBT rights if it is to bash Muslims or migrants as a whole. American white nationalist websites now sell LGBT pride flags along with the Confederate flag. This week,
Milo Yiannopolous – a gay attention-seeker who has become an icon of the US far right – was at the centre of a media storm because a platform to speak at his old school was withdrawn. In the Netherlands, the anti-immigrant right was led by a gay man, Pim Fortuyn, until his assassination. In France, reportedly a third of married gay couples support the far-right National Front.
The struggle against racism has, of course, to be led by people of colour who suffer the consequences – such as Black Out UK, which fights for a platform for black gay men, and Media Diversified, which campaigns for minority representation in the media. But unless white LGBT people – who the official gay scene venerates – listen to the voices of those who are sidelined, little will change.
Being oppressed yourself does not mean you are incapable of oppressing others: far from it. LGBT people have had to struggle against bigotry and oppression for generations. It is tragic that they inflict and ignore injustice in their own ranks.