Owen Jones reports on what happens when a game of victimhood poker takes place when normal people have long left the table:
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.
An attitude which prevails because of years of browbeating people into believing bigotry is based on who you are and not what you do or say.
But another far more pernicious reason is that the LGBT world revolves around white gay men to the exclusion of others.
So white gay men are a problem now? Here’s what I said the other day:
And that will be their downfall: they are so mainstream they won’t be able to maintain this minority, victim status for much longer and it is a matter of time before they come into conflict with the feminists and transgender lobbyists in the victimhood stakes. Give it a few years and we’ll see gay men being discriminated against and passed over in favour of other designated victim groups simply for being men – gay or not.
Let me just swap out “a few years” for “a few months”. Back to Owen:
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.
People have physical preferences when selecting a sexual partner? Who knew? Of course, this has been known for years in relation to heterosexual dating sites, but by implying it is unique to gays Owen Jones can get paid to write a column on it.
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.”
Grindr is an app for gay men to hook-up with one another for meaningless one-time sex. How odd that this should not only contain users’ preferences but also boorish behaviour. But here’s what I wrote the other day:
I genuinely think within five years we’ll have seen a case where an escort or prostitute is sued for discrimination, and dating apps and websites are being put under pressure to remove preferences based on race and other criteria.
We’re moving in that direction, aren’t we? Back to Owen:
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.”
This suggests it is not appearance or skin colour that is the issue, but cultural background. Presumably this isn’t important in homosexual relationships.
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”.
Thanks heavens this is not true of heterosexuals and Owen is able to provide us with a rare insight into race relations in Brazil through the prism of gay dating.
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.
The gunman was Muslim? I’m glad that’s been cleared up.
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.
I can sympathise. Coming from Wales, everybody assumes I prefer sheep to women. That they are wholly correct on this point does not negate the fact that I am nonetheless subject to appalling racist bigotry based on where I was born.
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.
Whereas they should have just stuck to limp-wristed mincing and avoided mimicking stereotypical behaviour.
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.
How dare they.
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.
That rumbling sound you can hear is the bus under which white gay men are about to be thrown.
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.”
Trawling dating apps doesn’t bring happiness? Who would have thought?
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”.
That’s the problem with expecting people to share your values based on their subscription to various victim groups.
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.
Beware the rise of the Queermacht!
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.
Why, it’s almost as if a person’s sexual preferences don’t define their politics.
Being oppressed yourself does not mean you are incapable of oppressing others: far from it.
And the basis of 99% of Grievance Studies courses in American academia collapses in a heap.