Racism is Alive and Well in the Gay Community

Racism is Alive and Well in the Gay Community


Gay men have pride parades, gay bars and drag queens because trans women of color fought for our rights in the ’60s And I know those women didn’t risk their lives so a bunch of Draco Malfoy-looking ass twinks and masc bros on Grindr could f*ck it up in 2016! Nothing more clearly illustrates that racism is alive and well in the gay community than this election season. Don’t believe me? Ask the gays for Trump. Like a rich zaddy on Fire Island, the alt-right has penetrated the hearts of some impressionable young men. Overgrown twinks with a penchant for harassing successful black comedians or purchasing followers on Twitter have become the fresh new face of the same, reliable racism of yesteryear. Black Lives Matter doesn’t really care about black lives. People are killed by police as often as they’re struck by lighting, but I don’t see many protests about storms. Last I checked, we can’t prevent lightning, we don’t pay for it with our tax dollars and clouds weren’t caught on camera racially profiling people or shooting unarmed civilians. Oh and while we’re on the topic: you’re actually four times more likely to be killed by lighting than a terrorist. But I don’t see us bombing the shit out of storms. Gaycism isn’t always as obvious as it is in politics — racial biases more quietly pervade our “personal preferences.” We’ve all met him: the “No Fats, No Femmes, No Asians” guy. So you’ll be like, “bae why you a bigot?” And he’ll be like “what you mean?” And you’ll be like “you’re making generalizations based off race” And he’ll be like “it’s just a preference.” Liking almond milk in my latte is a preference. Making a preemptive decision about somebody based solely on their racial or ethnic identity is racism. Writing “not into blacks” or “only into white guys” has become normalized and almost acceptable on apps like Scruff or Grindr. Studies from Seattle, Washington, to Sydney, Australia, show that sexual racism is a real phenomenon and it affects real people who feel unwanted or undesirable before they’ve even had a chance to say hello. We can’t claim to be for equality if we show up for marriage and not black lives. We can’t march with pride if we can’t remember Marsha or Sylvia. It won’t get better for queer youth of color until we identify and dismantle the ways we’ve normalized racism. So step it up, gay boys! 2016 has been a hot, f*cking mess, but that doesn’t mean you have to be.

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