Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Communities
United Kingdom - France - South Africa
Canada - Australia
|This Web Page: United Kingdom - France - Australia - New Zealand - Canada - South Africa.|
|United States (Part A) - African-American - Latin American - Asian American.|
|United States (Part B) - General "Of Color" Issues - Universities / Colleges - The Arts / Films / Books - Initiatives.|
|Additions - San Francisco/Castro - Proposition 8, CA - Racism in Cyberspace|
Rice Queens Study." White Racism / Its Negative Effects &
Associated Masculinity (or lack of masculinity / effeminacy) Issues.
||Introduction / Contents.|
Quiery M (2002). A Mighty Silence: A Report on the Needs of Lesbians and Bisexual Women in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Lesbian Advocacy Services Initiative. PDF Download.Racism: The lesbian community is a microcosm of the wider society and reflects many of the attitudes and values of that society including racism. A small number of black lesbians were interviewed for the consultation and they reported suffering the double burden of racism and homophobia. Racism is seldom raised or discussed as an issue within the lesbian community and is generally left to black women to raise themselves. “I’m not as assertive in the lesbian community as in the straight community. It’s not verbal discrimination it’s ignorance of identity and the need to include. They don’t advocate discussion around black women’s rights there’s nothing around Pride. People are afraid to talk to you. I would try to advocate lesbian feminist rights but there’s no impetus no linking of equality of rights. I have been disappointed about the lack of advocacy of rights there’s tokenism- We’re just a microcosm of the human race and we tend to forget that - if we acknowledge problems it’s seen as a weakness that’s part of racism, sexism and homophobia.“ These women have also struggled to develop their black as well as lesbian identity. “I knew from when I was nine I was lesbian and I only knew from when I was 10 that I was black it was only when I was called a ‘nigger’. My identity was born through discrimination.“ There were strong feelings that the lesbian community needed to be informed about and take action on issues relevant to black lesbians and bisexual women. We’re going to have to rely on the wider lesbian community to advocate for us-we’re going to have to trust the wider lesbian community to push our case. There’s an onus on the lesbian community to educate themselves and to consult they tend to use models from Britain which don’t always apply here.
As with other
minorities within minorities, gay Asians face hostility from their own
community and from the gay scene they turn to for help... Like gay Christians,
gay Tories or even gay football supporters, Rajvir faces ignorance whichever
way he turns. Makes you feel proud doesn't it? ... It was this
double edged sword that prompted him to launch a new youth group that offers
an alternative to the scene for Asian people coming out. He wanted to provide
an environment where the specific problems faced by gay Asians would be
understood. "Other people rarely even think about at lot of these issues,"
he says, "issues like arranged marriages, the religious and cultural problems
concerning homosexuality and the racist gay scene."
Comment: Racism still an issue in the gay community (2007).
Since coming to London last year, student Balaji Ravichandran has been impressed with the freedom that gay men enjoy here. As an Indian, though, Balaji has noticed that white gay men's attitudes to a guy like him can at times leave something to be desired...You are more likely to see the following epithets than any discernible description of themselves or their prospective partners (sexual or otherwise)- "Sorry, not into Asians;" "Sorry, coloured skin just doesn't work for me;" "Whites only, no offence." An oxymoron, if there ever was one.
Racism and the Gay Community [no.762] 
March 1999 to June 1999
This study aims to explore the expression
of racism within the gay community. Particular attention will be paid to
the experience of using gay venues and services by Black and South Asian
gay men, and other men who have sex with men. This focus aims to highlight
both the ways in which racism inhibits access to services and the attempts
of service providers to address the problem.
Black on White (G News) July 27, 2001 (Australian Gay Youth Resources)
Is racism rampant on London's gay
scene? According to four white gay men who prefer to date black men,
it is. Listening to their stories suggests that although the gay
community has had a long history of opression, very little has been learnt.
Do those men who expose a worrying and hypocritical current which is widespread
on the gay scene, or are their experiences exceptional, and unrepresentitive
of the norm? Gary Kelly, who was brought up in Glasgow and moved to London
in 1981, had always dated white men. His sexual preference was only
called into question when, in 1998 at the age of 35, he began dating black
men. With much anger he recalls this period.... 32 year old Jonathon
Weeb from Norwich moved to London in his twenties was also aware of a prevailing
racism on the scene there. "I noticed that some white men didn't even like
black gay men going to the gay clubs..." When listening to these men, one
gets the feeling that they have all felt like outsiders in the gay community
before they began dating black men. If this is true then the term
"gay community" is a misnomer... For those of you who do not know, chocoholic
is a modern derogatory term, much like dinge queen, for a gay white male
attracted to black homosexuals... When people call me a dinge queen, they're
saying I go out with dirty people. Gay people don't like to be labelled
and stereotyped yet we white gay people do more labelling than any other
group in the world. Dinge queen, rice queen, curry queen..." The
stories we have heard are speclative, anectodal reflections from a handful
of men in a city with a gay population nearing a million, so they cannot
be read as definitive...
Sexuality - Introduction (Lesbian and Gay Swtichboard, West Midlands)
Sex and race have a sullied history
with roots in the oppression of darker-skinned peoples by Europeans. Racism
is an inescapable feature of most cultures (not only white ones) and sex
can be used as a tool to exercise power over one race by another. Sexual
racism has various forms, varying from a repulsion for people of colour
sexually, to an attitude that regards them as ‘exotic’ conquests. Specifically,
the stereotype of black men as being well-endowed and having a virility
that is semi-animalistic is just as common among white gay men as it is
in white society at large; black gay men are therefore presumed to be ‘active’
by many of those who would bed them. (Opposition to this attitude has led
in some cases to the automatic criticism of any representation of black
gay men in an active sexual role.) Similarly, prevalent stereotypes of
south east Asian gay men are also based on sexual objectification; viewing
them as inherently ‘passive’ (an attitude related to the
heterosexual stereotypes of south east Asian women).
Making a noise by Richard Smith, Gay Times, June, 1995, (No. 202), 10-12.
David McAlmont: "" 'I thought when
I first came out, the gay community would be an enlightened one. But racism's
rife in the gay community. Going into bars with a white person and buying
drinks and watching your change handed back to the white person you're
with. Queens that say they don't sleep with black people. White men who
are exclusively into black men. It rears its ugly head all the time'."
Racism 0n the London Gay Scene (Forum) 
In the Pink paper for August 27th
is a letter from a guy who has found in his words 'unrepentant anti asian
antagonism' on the gay scene. He claims to have been called a 'paki' an
'aotola' and a 'dirty arab'... I'm not saying it does not exist, just that
my experience is pretty positive. I am not poor but I am not rich, I'm
just an average guy like most people of most races living in this city.
Perhaps the writer should try some new places to hang out.
Dive into Asian Gays 
“Within the black and Asian communities
there is a general assumption of homosexuality being a white experience
and this is intensified by a similar assumption within the lesbian
and gay community,” said a Blackliners spokesman... “They sometimes face
direct and subtle forms of racism and discrimination from both their own
and white communities, and from HIV organisations, said a spokesman from
the project. Blackliners, which is based in Brixton, has launched
a program targeted at black and Asian men. It offers counselling not only
for HIV and AIDS, but also for problems they face with discrimination,
sexually or racially... It was the UK’s first festival of Asian lesbian
and gay art. Its contributing artists hope it will be able to influence
attitudes towards gay Asians in their own community on the issue of homosexuality
in the UK, as well as in South Asia.
Hello, I'm Over Here......and I'm Asian - by Arthur Chen.
Being Asian in a predominantly Anglo environment is often difficult
enough, but for an Asian gay man the pressures of being accepted are even
harsher. Arthur Chen shares his experience about being a double minority
Identity and Representation - by Pratibha Parmar
I came to the making of videos and
films from a background in political activism and cultural practice, not
from film or art school, writes Pratibha Parmar... When my family, like
many other Indian families, arrived in the UK in the mid-60s, anti-black
feelings were running high, and Paki-bashing’ was a popular sport amongst
white youths. It was in the school playground that I first encountered
myself as an undesirable alien, objectified in the frame of ‘otherness’.
All those of us perceived as ‘marginal’, ‘peripheral’ and the ‘other’ know
what it is like to be defined by someone else's reality - and often someone
else’s psychosis. I do not speak from a position of marginalisation - but
more crucially from the resistance to that marginalisation. As a filmmaker,
it is important for me to reflect on the process through which I constantly
negotiate the borderlines between shifting territories . . . between
the margin and the centre . . . between inclusion and exclusion .
. between visibility and invisibility. For, example, as lesbians and gays
of colour, we have had to constantly negotiate and challenge the racism
of the white gay community, and at the same time confront the homophobia
of communities of colour.
7th UNISON Gay and Lesbian Conference - Summary of Decisions and Index.
Conference notes: 4) that the Macpherson Report acknowledged what black communities have always known - that racism and other forms of discrimination are institutionalised within Britain; 5) that lesbians, black lesbians and gay men and disabled lesbians and gay men face layers of oppression and as such are more often the targets of hatred...
Conference applauds UNISON’s support for the anti-racist football campaign ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ which is starting to have an impact on racism in football.
[Note: Other references to racism
are made, but none with respect to 'institutionalized racism' also existing
in gay and lesbian communities and that related issues should maybe be
UNISON Conference: Black and disabled lesbian and gay members -
UNISON is committed to fair representation in all its structures and work. To make sure the concerns of black and disabled lesbian and gay members reach the conference agenda, there will be national pre-meetings for these two groups. A national meeting of disabled lesbian and gay members will be held on 8 September and a national meeting of black lesbian and gay members will be on 9 September 2000.
of the closet, into the unions.
National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism:
"True Colours" is a two week programme
of events focussing on how Irish society can be more inclusive of ethnic
minorities including Travellers and refugees and asylum seekers.
Event: "Racism in the Lesbian Community", Seminar examining intersection of racism and homophobia - Organisation: Cairde Corcaigh - Contact: Orla Egan 021-316449 - Venue: 14 George's Quay Cork. November 20, 1999.
Diary on Irish Racism:
‘You would have to be blind not to
see examples of racism on our streets every day.’
Anti-Hate Speech & Racism Group amongst the Gay Scene
We are a group among the gay community who are campaigning for a more inclusive and anti-racist gay scene in Belfast. As a suppressed and hated group ourselves, we should not be holding racist or prejudicial or discriminatory views against other opressed groups in our society. Add us if you feel this way and support this campaign and so many times amongst the gay scene there has been inflamitory and racist remarks said about certain groups from gay people in general. This must be challenged!!!
Sexual racism analysis in [Irish] gay community (2008)
I am a Korean gay guy lives in Ireland, I have never posted any formal blog before but after I have read about other people's sexual racism experience in gay community, I feel I need to write something about it... I came to Ireland in 1999, during that time, there wasn’t any negative comments like “No fats, no fems, no Asians” on the gaydar. About 2 years later, there’s more and more racism comments about Asian and coloured people. I was really hurt and it makes me feel unwanted just because my skin and racial feature. But I’m more shocked as I always consider gay community as my own family and friends; they are the people who can understand and trust. Since then my view about gay scene changed a bit, my confidence just not the same as I used to be, I feel unsafe sometimes in the gay bar. This really bothers me, eventually I told my boyfriend ( he is Irish) what’s going on in my mind… He looks so guilty and sad although it wasn’t his fault, he holds me really tight and he told me he will help me through this. He is going to help me find out why some GAY men are so nasty to his Asian boyfriend... To those sexual racism people: I don’t hate you, I just want you to know, in the end of day, we all gay, I am not able to hate you. People are people, we aren’t that different. I know people have different experience in their life and some people may find it hard to deal with people different backgrounds. Fair enough, I am not here forcing you to like me but please, don’t hurt me and the other people you don’t like. In your profile , write down what you are looking for rather what you dislike. Thanking you for being a gentle man.
Interview with Shaz Oye (1999)
I’m sure there are many different reasons for that, but I personally feel that even within our gay community, or queer community -- I mean, we claim in Ireland now to have a queer community with queer diversity -- I feel that there are huge issues that need to be addressed around gender, sexism, misogyny, racism, because our own community is a microcosm of the wider community. So those issues get in the way of people giving credit where it’s due. And indeed even in our own community, in Ireland, I feel that sometimes I’m invited to functions because I’m the Executive Director of Dublin AIDS Alliance. Since this is one of the biggest AIDS organizations in the country, it would nearly be impossible to have some sort of a community function or political function or health seminar or whatever and not invite the organization, so obviously the Director is invited. That’s fair enough. But when those functions I go to are community events and queer events, it occurs to me that I’m invited as the Director of the organization, but I’m not being invited on the basis of my contribution to the diversity of the community, which is another element of me. So I feel that, and I’m not looking for any particular recognition, but I do feel that people see me, but they don’t for example, see that I’m the first black dyke that was appointed to a senior management position in a non-governmental organization. I think that is very telling because what that says to me is that gender issues and racism and these sorts of issues are very much alive within our community. And they influence how we see things and how we perceive things. As a community, we’ve got a lot of work to do within ourselves. - MT: And I’ve found that you’re not supposed to bring that up, like racism within the gay community, because we’re supposed to be unified as a group. So you’re not allowed to sort of challenge your own community and critique it. - SO: And where do you challenge it as well? Whether it’s an organization or a community, if it doesn’t provide the mechanisms by which you can challenge the beliefs and the norms that are held, or are supposedly held by the community, what does that say about the community? I think it’s telling because I often hear people looking for stories for Gay Community News for example. They’re looking to see like what sort of stories we can put in the GCN, and what queers have done this and who’s gone to the Gay Games, and that’s great. And I see these stories and they’re all about men. Obviously a small amount of stuff appears on women and their achievements. But you know LEA had their big poster campaign, the Lesbian Education and Awareness publicity campaign. And the poster wasn’t really in your face, it was a very, you know, easy going sort of image. But that poster campaign was the first of its kind in this country, and I think it’s the first of its kind in the EU. That should have been on the front cover of Gay Community News when the issue came out. But it appeared as a little, you know, quarter of a page, half a page. So there you are.
Developing a shared language - in Somewhere to go: Developing Guidelines for Detached Outreach Work with Gay, Bisexual and other Men who have sex with men who cottage andcruise. - in Regional msm Project (West Midlands):
That racism exists in gay communities
comes as a surprise to those who assume that a people who experience prejudice
and discrimination will not discriminate against other groups. This is
far from the truth. Racism in gay culture takes many forms: from the physical
and sexual stereotyping of men of African and Asian descent to the failure
to recognise and take into account the life-experiences of individuals
and communities who have been discriminated against. .. The term is also more loosely used
- particularly as the derogatory word ‘racist’ - to describe any negative
or destructive action precipitated by prejudice against another person’s
race or colour. In this sense, it is stripped of its political meanings
derived from shared histories of oppression and becomes an adjective of
antipathy used by anybody, regardless of their power-status. Thus it is
possible for a black man to be racist if he attacks a white man y because
he is white.
OutSpoken - Batty Man Burn:
"Black gay men do encounter racism in the gay community very similar to black men in the heterosexual community," asserts Quinones of stereotypes and prejudice and a responsibility the gay scene has yet to face. "It's interesting to note that many black gay men want white partners for the same reasons that black straight men do: because they see it almost as a prize. And many gay white men - or those I've met - hold equally stereotypical views of black men: that they have huge dicks and fuck like donkeys!
Le malaise face au racisme larvé
qui s'exprime dans certains cercles gays est aussi fréquemment évoqué.
"On se trouve en permanence confronté à un rejet ou à
la fascination exotique de notre spécificité maghrébine",
explique un medecin membre de l'association qui dit ne pas supporter" le
cartésianisme et la rigidité" de la communauté homosexuelle
française. Certains affirment se sentir "pris au piège du
tout sexuel et utilitaire, avec l'image de l'Arabe inferieur...Etre utilisé
comme objet sexuel dans une société frustrée, n'est,
en aucun cas, une forme de reconnaissance."
Black, blanc, beur (Tetu):
La place qui leur est accordee dans la fantasmatique est inversement proportionnelle a la reconnaissance sociale qui leur est refusée. A l'heure ou resurgit un discours qui fleure son Gobineau sur l'inegalite des races, comment peut-on être black ou beur et homosexuel ? Enquete sur une minorité dans une minorité...
L’Arabe, c’est une autre civilisation, redoutable: l’Islam. Autant de clichés mal digérés gisant dans des profondeurs si infréquentables que même les bonnes intentions ont du mal à faire disparaître. Voyons la langue, cette autre vitrine. On ne dit plus “nègre” - et Dieu merci. On ne dit plus “noir”, mais “black”. Est-ce parce qu’on choisit un mot anglais qui recouvre la même notion que l’on se lave de toute accusation de racisme ?
La langue, qui est censée nommer la réalité, s’acharne ici à la recouvrir et à la rendre plus lointaine encore, en prétendant rendre bienveillant celui qui parle. Ne pas être raciste, ce n’est pas dire “black” au lieu de “noir” - le procédé serait bien grossier et trop facile. La même chose vaut pour le mot “beur”, trouvaille de Djemila, l’une des figures de la nuit des années 80, verlan trafiqué du mot “arabe”. C’est vrai que dans “arabe”, se profilent tous les clichés du Sarrasin et tout l’univers déplaisant évoqué plus haut et qu’il est sans doute plus rassurant d’utiliser d’autres mots.
Ainsi, lorsque je dis “black”, j’évacue
tout un pan de la question : le noir n’est plus noir, puisqu’il est black
et moi, je ne suis donc plus raciste. Et en disant “beur”, j’ai nié
toute une spécificité et anéanti toute une civilisation.
J’ai blanchi le noir comme on se blanchit d’un soupçon et j’ai européanisé
l’Arabe. Belle victoire...
Asian Men in HIV Social Research in Australia.
Unpublished Thesis, Dept of Sociology,
School of Social Sciences and Humanities,
Murdoch University, 2000
Carl Gopalkrishnan (Home Page)
Mardi Gras 09 Events
“Dear Racism” is a workshop for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who have experienced Racism within our community. This workshop is an opportunity for you to explore the effects of racism in your life, and to develop your ability to manage them.
2008 AFAO [Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations] HIV Educators Conference Program – ‘Gay Men’s Lives’
Presentations: Shaun Staunton (QAHC): Shooting Ourselves in the Foot: The Prevalence of Prejudice in the LGBT Community by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People. - Michelle Sparks, John Wang (ACON): “Would You Wear It?” Campaign to challenge racism within GLBT communities.
Letters to Editor: MCV (Melbourne Community Voice for Gay and Lesbian Readers)
I am an Italo-Australian gay man and the level of racism in the gay community never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I feel as if I am surrounded by a bunch of rednecks, only in better clothing. Some of the racist remarks that fly freely around are meant to be tongue in cheek but I can’t help but feel there may be some truth to what comes out of people’s mouths sometimes. I applaud MCV for including a necessary story and I only hope to see much more inclusion of our diverse community in your paper. Alex, Prahran
Balance and acceptance: Racism - SX News
None of the women interviewed had personally experienced racism within the GLBT community. “It’s all about how you hold yourself,” states Betty. “If you are confident, strong and proud, you get respect for that.” Pierrette voices a similar view. “It’s a personal thing,” she says. “How do you feel about yourself? A lack of confidence attracts negativity. I haven’t experienced racism. Quite the opposite. I think the gay community wants greater ethnic involvement.”
Eastern promise - SX News
With racism unfortunately alive and well in the GLBT community (one example is the number of personal ads that specify ‘no Asians’), Thai’d Together embraces this year’s theme of ‘Nations United’. “We feel [the Parade] is part of our personality and is always a big highlight of our lives,” Sumpun says. “We feel like a big family unit; we usually walk with our partners and sometimes our families are in the crowd. We represent some of the biggest populations in the world and want to show how beautiful our people can be.”
Louder Than Words - SX-News, 2009
Using prejudicial statements online doesn’t only say a lot about you – it also speaks volumes about the GLBT community, writes Peter Cross. “No rice, Abos, fats or fems,” read the legend of an online profile. When does sexual preference become sexual prejudice? Is it the terminology? If it said, ‘No Asians, no Aborigines, slim masculine guys preferred’ would that make it better? ‘Wog’, ‘Abo’, ‘GAM’ (gay Asian male), ‘fat’, and ‘fem’ are all commonly used terms within our community. All of them, in one way or another, seek to dehumanise us... s the term ‘No GAMS’ offensive? Yes. If we saw an advert proclaiming ‘NO GAYS’, would we all quietly move on? No, we would picket and protest. We’ve been fighting for decades now for acceptance and yet within our own subgroups we discriminate. I don’t have any answers but I do know that we have to deal with the issue. If one person is offended then we, as a community, should look at changing or modifying our behaviour. This isn’t political correctness – this is common decency. I started this piece with what I thought was a simple question – when does preference become prejudice? It may be a simple question but there are no simple solutions. I thought this would be about how we treat others but now I think it’s more about our own self-esteem. It’s a theme that keeps recurring for me – respect of self. When we think so little of ourselves, how can we ever expect to think positively of others?
Queer Arabs celebrate their identities - SX News, 2008
Racism within the broader GLBT community is still a significant issue for GLBT Arabs, Arrage says, a message that was canvassed when Beit el Hob marched alongside the gay and lesbian Jewish group, Dayenu, in the Queers Against Racism section of Mardi Gras 2008. It’s important for such groups to bridge differences, but in more than just symbolic ways, says Arrage, adding that “communication is the key, and being able to share space with other groups”.
ACON targets racism - SX News, 2008
ACON, in consultation with members Sydney’s Asian, Arabic and Aboriginal communities, has launched a new social awareness campaign aimed encouraging the queer community to take a stand against racism... The point of the online reporting is to build up a database to determine the extent of the problem so that ACON can seek further funding for stage two of the campaign, according to Sparks who said that racism can have a detrimental impact on the health of GLBT people from ethnic backgrounds. “It has a big impact because if you don’t feel like you’re respected or are part of a community, or not accepted in the GLBT community it has an immediate effect on your mental health but the longer-term effects are that if you don’t feel included, public health promotion campaigns won’t reach you.”
Caluya, Gilbert (2006). The (Gay) Scene of Racism: Face, Shame and Gay Asian Males. ACRAWSA e-journal, 2(2). Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association. PDF Download. Download Page.
A head pops into view. He leans forward to order a drink and then turns my way. In reaction I smile. His left eyebrow rises, his eyes look me up and down, he scrunches his nose and with curled back lips he say, “I don’t do Asians”. He raises his hand to block the sight of me. He palms me off, so to speak, and suddenly I feel ashamed. I’m ashamed to be the object of his disgust, ashamed of my skin, my face, to be in the last moment one of them … one of those ‘Asians’. My face flushes with shame, its warmth sinking into me and reforming itself into anger: the heated anger of masculine pride... While Asians remain unattractive to the bulk of gay white men in Australia, there are other gay white men who have developed a particular ‘taste’ for Asians, pejoratively referred to as ‘rice queens.’ Often other gay white men will use the existence of ‘rice queens’ as proof that the gay scene isn’t racist since, as one man put it, “everyone can ‘get some’ on the scene”. Yet, as Tony Ayres argues, this is the flip side of overt racism. “It is an attraction to me because of my Asianness, my otherness” (1999: 89)... This essay explores the specificity of gay Asian male experiences of racism on the gay scene in Australia and how those experiences simultaneously constitute our racial and sexual subjectivity. I follow Wendy Brown in considering minority identities as “wounded attachments,” in which subjection and subjugation commingle in the logic of pain (1995). In this essay I extend Brown’s argument by focusing specifically on the painful subject formation of gay Asian males in the gay scene. The essay takes cultural moments like the scene narrated above as instances of racial-sexual ‘wounding’... ‘As Undesirable as a Woman’: Slippages in the Masculinity Politics of Gay Desire... In order to critique the construction of these racialised desires Fung mobilises a reversal of Fanon’s claim that the Negro is a penis. ‘So whereas, as Fanon tells us, “the Negro is eclipsed. He is turned into a penis. He is a penis,” the Asian man is defined by a striking absence down there. And if Asian men have no sexuality, how can we have homosexuality?’ (1996: 183). This ‘striking absence’, referring to the stereotype that Asian men have small penises, becomes the fundamental anxiety that structures much gay Asian male writing. Indeed the title of Fung’s essay betrays this structuring impetus, which he describes as “my lifelong vocation of looking for my penis, trying to fill in the visual void” (184)....Specifically for gay Asian men in Australia, this racialisation of the face also connects with the circulation of desire. Painful experiences of racism on the gay scene are formative moments not only for racial identity, but also the sexual subjectivities of those racially wounded. The gay Asian male on the gay scene comes to know himself sexually, to interpret his desirability, through multiple sites of racialised rejections, fetishisations and social interactions. The choices offered to Asians on the scene are to be rejected sexually on the grounds of being Asian or to be fetishised as an Asian. In short, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place...
Han, Alan (2006). I think you're the smartest race I've ever met: raciaised economies or queer desire. ACRAWSA e-journal, 2(2). Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association. PDF Download. Download Page.
This paper explores how queer white men become both the desiring subjects and desirable objects of the queer male gaze. By analysing the personal experiences of queer Asian men, this paper argues that queer white men claim possession of desire as capital through racialised economies of queer male desire. These economies privilege queer white men by racialising queer Asian men and other non-white queer men, and ascribes them desirability according to the queer white male gaze. By racialising non-white queer men, queer white men’s whiteness is unracialised, and so, conceals their possession of desire as a white possession... I started writing this paper as a way of speaking back to the queer white men who are racist towards me... In this paper, I am not attempting to speak on behalf of all queer Asian men. What I am doing in this paper is speaking back to whiteness by speaking with other queer Asian men, so the potential queer white male reader of this paper is entering into our conversation... Before I began engaging with critical race and whiteness theory, I had always considered queer white men’s racism directed towards me as due to my actions, which had caused them to be offended... When he commented on my intelligence as a product of my race, I was confused. Although confronted by this comment, I was unsure about my emotions and how to respond. Was his comment a compliment, or an insult? ... After being quietly excluded from my queer white friends’ networks, to be desired by a queer white man at the party was my ultimate revenge. It was a statement of my desirability. It was confirmation that my friends were wrong. I was desirable because a queer white man desired me. Kent Chuang (1999: 35) describes the same experience when he asks, “[i]n my desperate search for approval from Anglo men, had I become so selfish, helpless and angry that I would turn against my own kind?” - Queer White Men as Desiring Subjects and Desirable Objects of the Queer Male Gaze. - ... Ayres (2000b: 160) describes this categorisation of racialised non-white queer men’s desirability according to penis size, as a racial hierarchy in which “Asians were behind Black and Latino men in the scale of things” and “[o]f course, white men were at the top”... Queer white male desire, therefore, is the standard by which we measure racialised non-white queer male desire... Rice queens, therefore, stray from the norm of white desiring queer men, and so are denigrated as undesirable by queer white men... - Feminising and Castrating Queer Asian Men. - Given the historical dominance of the West’s fantasies of feminised Asia, parodied in Hwang’s film, it is not surprising that queer white men subscribe to the same fantasies and so find queer Asian men undesirable...
Cober, Rob (2004). Cultured borders, bordering cultures: lesbian/gay culture, the Australian multiculturalism paradigm and ‘the nations’. Word Is Out. PDF Download.
Multiculturalism and racism in lesbian/gay community: ... These are all important pieces that highlight the detrimental effects of particularly intense - and different - forms of racism occurring in lesbian/gay community organisations, institutions and venues. The sad finding overall is that lesbian/gay culture is overwhelmingly rooted in a white anglo-celtic conception of lesbian-ness or gay-ness and expresses this in racist stereotyping and exploitation of non-anglo lesbian/gay persons. As Queer Action in Melbourne made clear in 1997, there are strong grounds for protest of racist policies among gay cultural venues and institutions, and this is certainly a problem still today.
Lawrence, Chris et al. (2004). Queensland Survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men who have Sex with Men: 2004. PDF.
Confidentiality proved to be problematic, beyond simply protecting the confidentiality of the responses provided on the questionnaire. It is not uncommon for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men to conceal their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity where possible within gay venues due to perceived ideas about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or as a result of overt racism. Being asked to complete a survey about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MSM issues effectively ‘outed’ those who completed the survey as being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Doing so within a gay venue presented some personal issues for some participants.
Themistou T, Wang J, Allan W (2005). Transcending socialised limitations in forming and maintaining intimate relationships in Asian gay men in Australia. PDF Download.
Williams, Vikki (2002). Representations in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & transgendered. (Australia) PDF. Citation.
Depictions of ethnic groups other than white people do not seem to have been a priority within the gay media. In the early papers there are very few images of Asian or black people. When you did see images of non-white men, they usually had sexual or racist overtones. The cover of the November 1980 issue of The New Campaign shows an Indonesian man with the caption “Personal: Sydney businessman seeks Indonesian idyll (and idol). Travel with him in a special feature.” (The New Campaign, November 1980: 1) Similarly in Issue 157 of Campaign Australia, there is a story entitled “Mediterranean Seduction” (Campaign Australia, April 1989: 30-35) This article is accompanied by several photos of semi-naked men of southern-European background. Today, there are more photos of Asians in the community event/party pages but the majority of photos are still of young, white men. Racism has been a contentious issue in the community for many years and obviously has not been resolved. In the GNC issue of February 1982 there is an article on a women’s liberation conference which states that “unless anyone looks, sounds or acts otherwise, everyone is assumed to be white and middle-class...” (GNC, February 1982: 12) Ten years later Dale Nelson writes in a letter to the editor “there is also an assumption that HIV campaigns should be targeted at the ‘mainstream’ gay community, those who he describes as ‘the typical AIDS caseload - gay, middle class, Anglo-Saxon men.” (Nelson, quoted in Melbourne Star Observer, 10 January 1992: 4) In 1995, “Dr Gerard Sullivan, a Sydney based academic, told a national conference on ‘Emerging Lesbian and Gay Communities’ that racism remains a significant problem within the gay community.” (Brother Sister, 5 October 1995: 5) At the same conference TC Ng, the found of Silkroads, a gay Asian support group, stated that “racist behaviour is a common occurrence at bars.” (Brother Sister, 5 October 1995: 5) A year before this conference Fritz Maaten wrote a letter to the editor complaining about racist comments made to a group of Asian men by a drag queen who was performing at a bar in Prahran. (quoted in Brother Sister, 11 March 1994: 8) In the same paper, there is an article on “Melbourne’s newest cultural event...The inaugural Miss Gay Asia Pacific Quest” (Brother Sister, 11 March 1994: 12) This is a beauty contest for drag queens and has been organised by Fritz Maaten, the same man who wrote the letter complaining of racism. This article is accompanied by a photo of three drag queens dressed in pseudo traditional costumes. I would argue that this is also a form of racism because it reinforces the cultural stereotype of Asian men being passive and effeminate.
Jackson, Peter A (2000). 'That's
what rice queens study!' White gay desire and representing Asian homosexualities.
Journal of Australian Studies, 65 (June 2000): 181-88, 238. PDF Download.
Accounts of contemporary gay life in Sydney: Summary of findings of the QUICKIE study, 2007. PDF Download.
Although men like Ghazi often appreciated the relative freedom to be gay in Sydney, others reported having experienced racism in the gay community:
"I think all the community is racist but for some reason the gay community is very overt about that. My experience is that its fetishised, It’s either you’re a big, brutal type or the exotic or it’s just complete indifference, like ‘I’m just not interested in anyone that looks not white’. You’re never taken on who you are but there’s always a filter of your ethnic identity first, so usually the first question is, ‘Oh, where are you from?’ ‘Well, actually, I’m from [Svdney]. I’ve lived here for most of my life.’" (Caleb, 22, HI V-negative)
Comment on ‘Queers, anti-capitalism and war’ (Michael Schembri, Word Is Out, 2002: PDF)
Gays and Lesbians Against Racism: Gays and Lesbians Against Racism (GLAR) came into being in 1992 and came to an end in 1994. During its short life it worked hard at challenging racism within the gay and lesbian communities. It organised a wide range of activities, from writing to the press, to picketing racist drag shows outside the Newtown Hotel, to entering a large contingent in the 1992 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, to holding a one-day workshop on racism, to organising a hugely successful concert celebrating Koori culture. It had a wide membership: Kooris, white Australians, and people from other ethnic backgrounds. The above by no means exhausts the extent of radical gay/lesbian organising, whether by the groups mentioned above or by others. I hope, however, that it establishes the fact that people who strongly and politically identified as gay men and lesbians and who were inspired by socialist, anarchist and Marxist critiques have put in three decades of hard work. It is heartening to see a resurgence of left-wing queer organising, just when some of us were starting to feel a bit demoralised from the almost complete demise of radical gay/lesbian politics. An added hope of mine is that the new movement looks at the gay/lesbian movement’s history. There was life before Year Zero. It was not all middle/upper class conservative. It laid the basis for the present. And there is much to learn from it.\
The AVP marked the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
(Sunday 21st March 2004) by calling for local GLBT action to address racism
and sexual racism which Co-Convenors Jilll Wood & Greg Adkins said "excludes people & forces some of our brothers & sisters to be invisible - almost like forcing them back into a closet all over again".
Over and out: anti-gay Malaysian culture sent doctor to Sydney - by Brigid Delaney, Sidney Morning Herald, March 6, 2004
He says Asian gay males face prejudices on a number of levels.
"Many gays in Asian countries lead a double life because there is no visibility
of a gay scene. And in Australia, there is prejudice in the gay scene itself
towards a lot of Asian men. They are treated as being submissive and there
is quite a bit of racism." Dr Mahat hopes to counter this through projects
run by the Asian Marching Boys. "It's not just dancing on a float," he
said. "We have fund-raising and social events to support Asian gays in
Sydney and promote their visibility. There are many of us. We no longer
want to be a hidden community."
Wayne King's book Black Hours
describes his life as a boy in Ipswich, one of 14 children, and his growth
into adulthood... "I was seventeen when Charles Perkins was doing
his freedom rides throughout the New South Wales outback towns. We had
always known there was racism, and when this was brought to the fore, all
these people were sitting behind their walls at home in total denial, saying
'isn't this bad, tut, tut. But it's not us." ...Wayne King encountered
as much racism in the gay community as in the general community, which
he describes as a "double whammy for me as a gay man and as an Aboriginal...
"Growing up gay was a dreadful time for me. The [gay] community was smaller,
but in some ways it was more nurturing. Your sexuality is a part of who
you are. To deny a part of you the whole cannot be healthy. It was easier
for me to come to terms with being gay than with being Aboriginal...
Responding to the needs of Maori gay men and transsexuals who live in Sydney. (Aspin C, International Conference on AIDS, 1998)
Those who reside in
Sydney tend to be intimately involved in the Sydney gay community but
their involvement is often at the expense of their cultural identity.
They are often required to suppress their cultural identity in order to
assimilate into the gay community. Many respondents reported racism,
verbal and physical abuse, police brutality and exclusion from gay
Within the gay community, stereotypical
thinking can be quite problematic such as the common belief that Asian
men are passive and feminine. Cultural ignorance and Anglocentrism are
problematic... Many NESB MSM also experience racism within the gay community:
"This man cornered me in the toilet and demanded I suck his dick, when
I said no he punched me in the face and told me to fuck off and go back
to my commie homeland where all you nips belonged." ...On occasion, the
racism may become overt with some men, particularly Asians, being the subject
of minor physical assaults and threats of physical intimidation... Objectification and exoticisation
are also concerns... 3. A power dynamic exists between Caucasian and non-Caucasian
men in the Australian gay community, which is detrimental to the social
and sexual situations many Asian gay men are in. 4. This leaves many Asian
gay men with fewer options regarding sexual partners and behaviours and/or
less able to be assertive than many Caucasian men.
Addressing issues of Aboriginal gayness
means challenging reductive framings of Aboriginality without co-opting
the struggles named from within. It means supporting Aboriginal gay men
across the site of the struggle. It means doing work on racism in the gay
community. These are challenges for educators at all levels of schooling
and in all aspects of adult education. These are challenges that must be
met by teacher educators... Gay Aboriginal men, Aboriginal men
who identify as homosexual, are beginning to tell their stories. Through
an analysis of the intersections of race and sexuality, and through the
personal stories, gay Aboriginal men are empowered to confront racism in
the gay community and homophobia in the Aboriginal community. There is
a challenge to confront the invisibility of Aboriginal men who are gay,
for as Black American Joseph Beam writes: "Very clearly, gay male means:
white, middle-class, youthful, and probably butch; there is no room for
Black gay men within the confines of this gay pentagon. There are many
reasons for such Black gay invisibility. Hard words come to mind: power,
racism, conspiracy, oppression, and privilege - each deserving a full-fledged
discussion in gay history books yet unwritten." (Beam 1986, pp. 14-15)
It remains a general fact that there is a racially exclusive image of gay reality... Michael and all the other Aboriginal and Tones Strait Islander interviewees and informants spoke about their experience of racism and sense of exclusion in the Sydney gay community... It would be nice to go to a gay dinner party without sitting there and explaining the fuckin' Aboriginal culture to them . . . you know . . . go and fucking find out yourself. They always put that Aboriginal thing first before you become a 'friend' or a 'person'. You know you're Aboriginal first and then you're whoever you are... ust because you are gay doesn't mean that you are not racist . . . it is something I learned about when it came to the crunch . . . I've come across a lot of racism within the gay community...
The racism in the Sydney gay community
was an issue with most of the Aboriginal interviewees. Although recently
some steps have been taken by gay community bodies to combat this, and
Aboriginal gays and lesbians themselves have increasingly raised their
profile in community events, it remains an issue that requires further
gay community response. Many interviewees felt that apart from the racism
they experienced 'on the ground', there was a general failure on the part
of gay community organisations to promote dialogue and confront their concerns.
Some felt that any initiatives had to start with an acceptance of a culturally
appropriate 'Aboriginal way' of doing things.
A special 1999 issue of the "Journal of Homosexuality" reports on GLBT people of colour in Australia. References to racism (in some cases, in the abstract) are made in many of the papers published in Volume 36(3/4) of the journal. All papers published are listed below. Also published as the book, Multicultural Queer: Australian Narratives - by Hawworth Press:
Dong TB (1999). Multicultural queer: Australian narratives. Foreword. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 1-28. (No Abstract)
Sullivan G, Jackson PA (1999). Introduction: ethnic minorities and the lesbian and gay community. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 1-28. (No Abstract)
Chuang K (1999). Using chopsticks to eat steak. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 29-41. (Abstract) ""Rice queens," "small dicks," and "Asian take-aways," are just a few of the stereotypes that Asian gay men are faced with in Sydney's gay culture. Even though the author grew up in and quickly assimilated to the general Australian society, he felt like an outsider when he came out and moved into the gay community, where race-based sexual perceptions appear to dominate. This article is a personal exploration of how one Asian gay man came to find a place for himself within the predominantly white-oriented gay community. For the benefit of linguistically challenged readers, a glossary of Australian terms is provided at the end of this very serious article."
Ridge D, Hee A, Minichiello V (1999). "Asian" men on the scene: challenges to "gay communities". Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 43-68. (Abstract) "This article examines common assumptions behind the notion of "gay community," contrasting these views with the experiences of homosexual men originating from Southeast Asia on the commercial gay scene in Melbourne, Australia... While all men who look for a place to belong on the scene generally feel pressure to assimilate to a predominantly white middle-class gay culture, Southeast Asian men generally had more cultural distance to cover. Men who are not well assimilated face exclusion, invisibility and discrimination.
Sanitioso R (1999). A social psychological perspective on HIV/AIDS and gay or homosexually active Asian men. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 69-85. (Abstract) "the existence of stereotypes of Asians in the gay communities and their consequences on individual Asians"
Ayres T (1999). China doll - the experience of being a gay Chinese Australian. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 87-97. (Abstract) "This article is a stylized blend of personal history and polemical essay which investigates the relationship between race and sexuality. What starts out as a history of the narrator's experience of being a "banana"-yellow (Chinese) on the outside and white (Caucasian) on the inside-becomes a complex exploration of the various ways in which male homosexual desire is constructed and how race is both included and excluded from western constructions of homosexuality."
Chua LY (1999). The cinematic representation of Asian homosexuality in The Wedding Banquet. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 99-112. (Abstract) "Over the last decade, there has been an increasing number of western films which represent both homosexuals and Asian people. However, the homosexuals depicted in these films are often white, and the Asians are almost always heterosexual."
Goldflam A (1999). Queerer than queer: reflections of a Kike dyke. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 113-34. (Abstract) "racist policies in queer venues"
Yue A (1999). Interface: reflections of an ethnic toygirl. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 135-42. (Abstract)
Burstin HE (1999). Looking out, looking in: anti-semitism and racism in lesbian communities. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 143-57. (Abstract) "This article is based on a speech which I gave at the "Sappho Was A Wog Grrrl" conference organized by the Interlesbian group in Melbourne in 1995. I discuss how racism and anti-Semitism are reflected in lesbian communities, examining issues of privilege, invisibility and exclusion from both personal and community perspectives." [Note: Reference to this conference were not avialable on the Internet.]
Kizinska R (1999). A love letter from NADIA (non-anglo dykes in Australia). Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 159-68. (Abstract) "This article is a revised version of a paper I presented at the "Sappho Was A Wog Grrrl" conference in Melbourne, 22 October 1995, which was organized by "Interlesbian," a Melbourne-based political and support group for lesbians from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB)."
Duruz A (1999). Sister outsider, or "just another thing I am": intersections of cultural and sexual identities in Australia. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 169-82. (Abstract)
Pallotta-Chiarolli M (1999). Diary entries from the "teachers' professional development playground": multiculturalism meets multisexualities in Australian education..Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 183-205. (Abstract)Offord B, Cantrell L (1999). Unfixed in a fixated world: identity, sexuality, race and culture. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 207-20. (Abstract)
Aspin, Clive; Maramatanga, Nga Pae o te (2005). The Place of Takatāpui Identity within Māori Society: Reinterpreting Māori Sexuality within a Contemporary Context. A paper presented at Competing Diversities: Traditional Sexualities and Modern Western Sexual Identity Constructions Conference, Mexico City. Word Download.
There is also evidence that takatāpui identity provides a mechanism for confronting the racism that Māori men encounter within gay communities. While this in itself does not diminish the amount of racism which is leveled at Māori men, it does provide strength to persevere and to claim one’s space within contemporary society. When efforts are made within the gay community to bring about change that would benefit Māori stakeholders of New Zealand’s community-based AIDS organisation, it is disturbing to read comments such as the following on gay community websites in New Zealand. “Leave the bullshit politics to Tama (sic) Iti and the old scrotum (Turia) down south. We have enough problems among our people with out that old bitch, confusing moko gender sexuality identities. … Bitch needs a reality pill.” Such comments are a salient reminder of the level of racism that exists within New Zealand society and are further reminder that the needs of Māori gay men may not be best met within mainstream organisations.
GayNZ.com - News - Published on: 11/17/2005
Aspin had selectively and misleadingly quoted a post from GayNZ.com's message board in the paper to illustrate a point about racism in the gay community toward Maori.
Aspin said he showed the post, which contained disparaging comments about various figures in the Maori community, to a colleague."I said, can you believe that a Maori person would write that?Is that a Maori or a Pakeha person writing that?She said, no Maori person would write that," said Aspin."So on the basis of that little conversation I just assumed that it was somebody making a negative comment about Maori people."
Is there racism in
predominantly white GLBT communities in New Zealand? Has is been
mentioned online? ... Given that it might exist if we are to judge from
the following evaluations of the greater society:
News reports of institutional
racism in Aotearoa New Zealand expose the attitudes and practices
characterize many organizations in both the private and public
As a consequence, neglect and marginalization of Indigenous customs and
beliefs has become endemic, particularly with regard to the contentious
issue of power-sharing between Maori and
as expressed in the Treaty of Waitangi. The reader is invited to read
these and other documents before making
his or her own assessment of the
experiences and events that are described reflect a larger global
of Pakeha oppression of
Understanding Prejudice, Racism, and Social Conflict (2003)
A professor at a major university in Auckland recently told my wife and I that prejudice is "just not a problem in Auckland." Sadly, for reasons I describe below, I'd say Auckland is awash with prejudice. In my own life here, I've routinely experienced racist comments around Auckland's far North Shore. It might be a lot different in Auckland's city centre (and elsewhere in New Zealand), but it's probably not reasonable to conclude that "prejudice just isn't a problem" here.
Understanding Prejudice, Racism, and Social Conflict (2003)
A professor at a major university in Auckland recently told my wife and I that prejudice is "just not a problem in Auckland." Sadly, for reasons I describe below, I'd say Auckland is awash with prejudice. In my own life here, I've routinely experienced racist comments around Auckland's far North Shore. It might be a lot different in Auckland's city centre (and elsewhere in New Zealand), but it's probably not reasonable to conclude that "prejudice just isn't a problem" here.
Is there a lot of racism towards black Americans in New Zealand? What is the best city to live in New Zealand?
Like pretty much everywhere, you'll find racism in NZ too. But here the main targets of most racist comments/actions are generally those of Asian, Muslim or Maori (NZ's indigenous people) ethnicities. There have been a few (generally isolated) cases of physical or other severe racist attacks... but these are generally few and far between.... Most racism in NZ I think stems from lack of understanding, rather than hatred... although, I must admit I am "white", so perhaps its different from a non-white perspective. That said, the North Island, and the cities of Auckland and Wellington in particular, are much more multi-cultural than the South Island. Auckland has a large Asian/Indian community as well as many Maori and Pacific Islanders... not too many black Americans, but definitely some. Christchurch (and the South Island as a whole) are very 'white' by comparison, so there is generally a much lesser understanding of other cultures. Big cities are generally more tolerant and understanding than rural areas, but as you've asked about nightlife & dancing, I would DEFINITELY avoid the rural areas!! Racism against Maori is probably similar to the racism in America against the native Americans... an early history of being considered a "lesser" people by the first white settlers, land & possessions 'bought' (for a few muskets) or just plain stolen off them, has resulted in many Maori being in a lower socio-economic situation than the general NZ population. Pacific Islanders (Samoans, Tongans, etc) are generally treated similar to Maori...
Information & Excerpts related to:
van der Meide, Wayne (2001). The Intersection of Sexual Orientation & Race: Considering the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBT) People of Colour & Two-Spirited People. (A Research Paper prepared for EGALE Canada) (Full Text) Excerpts.
van der Meide, Wayne (2001). Carrefour De L’orientation Sexuelle Et De L’Origine Ethnique. : Comprendre La Vie Des Personnes Gaies, Lesbiennes, Bisexuelles, Transsexuelles Et Transgenres (GLBTT) De Couleur Ainsi Que Bi-Spirituelles. (Document de recherche préparé pour ÉGALE Canada) Rapport complet.
van der Meide, Wayne (2001). La Intersección de la Orientación Sexual y la Raza: Considerando las Experiencias de Personas Gays, Lesbianas, Bisexuales y Transgénero (“GLBT”) de Color y de Personas de Doble Espíritu. (Documento de Investigación Preparado por EGALE Canadá.) Informe completo.
van der Meide, Wayne (2002). Carrefour de l’orientation sexuelle et de la race, de la religion, de l’origine ethnique et de la langue d’origine: etat de la recherche. PDF Download.
Out in Colour gay conference: The beat goes on. (Richard Burnett, 2004)
"I think compared to the rest of Canada, Quebec is way behind in terms of acknowledging the racism within its community," says Iranian-Canadian Amir Baradaran, founder of EGALE's Caucus for Two-Spirited People and Queer People of Colour, and one of the organizers of this weekend's Out in Colour gay conference. Baradaran continues, "The white mainstream gay movement externalizes the issues of race and colour, so they talk about homophobia outside of Canada. They never talk about their own racism towards people of colour here [in Quebec] - it's always about people of colour in other countries, and always about their homophobia." To short-circuit the growing Catch-22 of double discrimination, Baradaran and others working with EGALE and the Canadian Mental Health Association have organized three Out in Colour conferences in Montreal this year...
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identities, and the Activist Role of a Postmodern
Sensibility Grounded in Dialogism -
by Richard S. Telfer
University of Western Ontario (Canada) (50)
Conerly maintains that many 'African-American
lesbigays' experience conflict between their two identities because 'they
perceive racism among white lesbigays and homophobia among heterosexual
blacks' (1996: 136). (2) As a consequence,
many black gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals do not feel fully accepted
in either community. Moreover, the conflict between their identities is
often intensified by a lack of overlap - or sometimes by an overt antagonism
- between 'mostly white lesbigay cultures' and 'mostly heterosexual black
cultures' (1996: 137). Conerly explains that this separation leaves black
gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals in a dilemma: they may choose to
move between the two cultures (and thus between their identities) or to
choose a primary affiliation with either culture (thus emphasizing one
identity at the expense of the other). (3)
Andy Quan: A Collection of Reviews, Press, and Feature Articles. (92) Andy Quan Web Site.
Andy Quan: Inspiration comes in different forms and at different times. For many of the stories in Calendar Boy, they are simply about observing and understanding the world, finding my place in it, and telling my story since others weren't telling it. Many stories were written to tackle not only prejudice within the gay community, but to tackle simplicity. To counter all the ways that society expects individuals to either be all the same, or to remain with a particular identity or construct. So, I want to raise issues that people might not have thought about--racism in gay culture, sexual prejudice--in a way that makes people look at how we form communities, how we identify ourselves and how we value ourselves.
I also want to shape gay culture
so that it is not a uniformly gay white urban existence dripping in camp
and Bette Davis movies. I don't think being gay or straight is a particularly
"natural" thing. We learn how to act accord ing to the codes of the worlds
we line in. So, I want those elements too, not just a celebration of a
gay culture, but a challenge to it as well: how do we make it more diverse,
more accepting. I also want to show a particularly gay or gay Asian experience
and let people place that within universal stories--friendship, jealousy,
Minority homosexuals invisible to their world: Gay men and women in Canada's ethnic communities feel surrounded by homophobia, marginalized by gay culture - by Paulette Peirol (1997):
...Rahim Chunara is a Muslim who
was raised in East Africa and moved to Canada when he was in his teens...
"It wasn't until I moved to Canada that I was able to put it into a context,"
he said. Yet even then, he found that minorities were not represented in
the gay and lesbian press, and gays were not represented in the ethnic
It's your body, it's your call - by Peter Ho, Asian Community AIDS Services Newsletter, Summer, 1999:
Moreover, as people of colour in
Canada, ACMSM has to deal with the systematic racism in the general
society and gay community. For example, in North American gay media,
positive gay Asian images are usually under represented. However,
when it is presented, Asian men are portrayed in a stereotype, such as
subserviant and helpless. This myth is very harmful because if an
individual internalizes these messages, it will prevent him from
asking what he needs when negotiating safer sex with his partner...
Becoming Ourselves: Healing Erotic Prejudice (Alternate Link) - by Shawn Mooney (Times.10, Edmonton, Alberta)
This month's rant has four key premises:
(1) racism is a pernicious problem, (2) the voices of those affected by
prejudice need to be heard, (3) white folks must also participate honestly
in the healing dialogue, and (4) I can most helpfully elaborate on premise
number 3. Race prejudice is one of the greatest obstacles to a true community
of queer folk. Sadly, our collectivity can be as marred by discrimination,
stereotyping and outright hatred as society at large. Same-sex community
gets formed--or thwarted--largely on the basis of erotic desire; racism
needs to be tackled here,
on the level of our core libidinal scripts... Erotic disinterest in an entire race reveals the deep psychic imprint of prejudice; the good news is that sexual racism can be unlearned. The link between racialized eroticism and more blatant forms of racism have recently been brought home for me, in light of my young black friend's experience. "Damien" is 19 and Caribbean and looking for a boyfriend. He wasn't having much luck going out to the bars..
Being Asian and being Gay - by David Tsang (2001, Simon Fraser University, B.C.) 
What about support from the gay community? Now you would think that other gay people, being oppressed and all, would be open-minded and accepting, right? Wrong. Here's where it gets ugly. Although there are lots of wonderful queer people out there, I've probably experienced the most racism from the gay community. I've heard some of the most amazing things like Asian men were never meant to be fashionable, they are ugly, they're all too skinny, Asian women rule but Asian men suck, they all have bad breath, they should go back to their own country, they are too passive, their dicks are too small. They say this to my face, not meaning to hurt me, but to say "you're different." The last time I heard something like that it began with, "I'm not homophobic, but...."
I don't like the clubs, which really limits my options in terms of meeting other queer people. A friend of mine told me to try the Internet, and I did-for two days before I found out that the only way I could get any decent conversation was to describe myself as white and hung like a horse. If I mentioned the word "Asian" it was like, oops sorry gotta wash my hair. The worst thing is, it's never talked about because it's uncomfortable for gay people to admit that as oppressed people, they themselves can be oppressors.
It gets worse. Most of my gay Asian friends refuse to date anyone who is Asian; they have fallen into the same trap. When I was single, my friends attributed it to me being Asian. If you were white, you'd have men all over you. Asian gay men can literally be called a brotherhood, since nobody dates each other. When I asked for an image of a perfect man, I got all kinds of shapes and sizes, but only one colour-white. Having a white boyfriend, they don't have to look into a mirror, reminding them of what they are. They try to pull a Michael Jackson, but they do it to their minds. The Asian identity is being bleached. I myself have not been immune to this kind of thinking. When I first came out, I learned very quickly that being white was an advantage. The benefit to that advantage was just trying to find people to talk to, just for support. Everyone wants beautiful friends I guess, and I just wasn't it.
Bombarded by the ideal image of beauty, thanks to GQ and the plethora of other "fashion guides," I hated the way I looked, I hated my hair, my nose, my eyes, and my skin. It took years of deprogramming to get the "white was better" idea out of my head, and I had to do that by myself because there aren't a lot of people out there who are gay and Asian and proud.
As a result of all this, I never
felt like I fit in anywhere. I am a minority within a minority. But my
situation has allowed me to see more points of view than just one, to see
three-dimensionally. I can see that if we don't acknowledge the diversity
of the queer community, then the queer community will follow the pattern
of another much larger group that were once (and in some places still are)
oppressed themselves and now seek to homogenise their own following. I
cannot be homogenised. Acknowledging that humans are diverse is why we
need Queer Awareness Week.
Significant Other - by LilDragn (2001)"Then there's the notion that gay men are so much less racist because they "know what it's like to be oppressed." Yeah. Right. That's like assuming all people of colour are queer-friendly. There are plenty of gay men who think that racism's not so bad as homophobia. Whatever. Let's not compare the size of our oppressions, shall we? That's rather divisive. I'm not trying to say that all gay white men are racist or misogynist. What I am saying is that the community is fragmented, not because the marginalised want to fragment the community, but because they've been marginalised by it. All the major gay organisations are white and run events mostly for those who are white. All the advertising towards the queer community is directed at the men in that community. Women, disabled, people of colour, we're all invisible in our own community. And you're all thinking to yourself: "Why the hell is he on his high-horse?" Well, it's because I'm sick of people saying that the gay community is so tolerant and inclusive when it patently isn't. I say this not because I want to jump up and down and talk about the sky falling. I say this because something needs to change. Watch Queer as Folk sometime. Tell me I don't know what I'm talking about."
At this site section on racism, see: Diversity, Division, and Racism in Calgary's Gay and Lesbian Community - by Leland Hall - and - Liberating Ourselves by Kevin D'Souza.
Sonnekus, Theo (2009). Invisible Queers: Investigating the 'other' Other in gay visual cultures. Master or Arts Dissertation, University of Pretoria. PDF Download. Download Page. The apparent ‘invisibility’, or lack of representation of black men in contemporary mainstream gay visual cultures is the primary critical issue that the study engages with. The study presupposes that the frequency with which white men appear in popular representations of ‘gayness’ prevails over that of black men. In order to substantiate this assumption, this study analyses selected issues of the South African queer men’s lifestyle magazine Gay Pages. Gay visual cultures appear to simultaneously conflate ‘whiteness’ and normative homosexuality, while marginalising black gay men by means of positioning ‘blackness’ and ‘gayness’ as irreconcilable identity constructs. Images of the gay male ‘community’ disseminated by queer and mainstream media constantly offer stereotypical, distorted and race-biased notions of gay men, which ingrain the exclusive cultural equation of white men and ideal homomasculinity. The disclosure of racist and selectively homophobic ideologies, which seem to inform gay visual representation, is therefore the chief concern of the dissertation...
Unmasking our struggle - by Wendy Isaac
The aim of this article is to provide us with and opportunity to reflect on some of the issues we have since discarded and believed to have been dealt with and hence no longer a priority. Simply, to promote a healthy discussion of homophobia and racism... For many black lesbians and gay men, an article of this kind is long overdue. Black lesbians and gay men have been put in the position of challenging both homophobia and racism within communities that are meant to provide support, nurturing and love. All too often individual black lesbians and gay men have complained about particular examples of racism or homophobia and have been subjected to personal attack and ridicule. One should be praised for being brave, but instead black lesbians and gay men find themselves fighting on two fronts and being shot by both sides... There is a belief that "homosexuality is a white disease". It is not an overstatement to say that many members of the black community think that black lesbians and gay men have "caught" this disease from white people. Thinking that homosexuality is a "white thing" is partially based on the fact that most of the images of lesbians and gay men in the media are white...
Racism in the white lesbian and gay communities.. Despite frequent calls by black lesbians and gay men to have our issues recognised, too often they have been ignored, and if taken into consideration at all, they have been marginalised. This racism is all too apparent in both the political and cultural activities of the lesbian and gay community... When black lesbians and gay men turn to the lesbian and gay community, they are often met with racism from their white counterparts. They may be met with white lesbians and gay men who do not understand their cultural background, find them sexually "exotic", cannot be bothered to spell their names properly and have no understanding of how racism has affected their lives. In extreme cases, they are not made to feel welcome at cultural or political gatherings... This means that often black workers are put in the position of always having to prove that they are worthy of the job. They have to be better than their white counterparts. This is because racist attitudes in white people tell them that black people are stupid, lazy and generally inferior. Since the advent of equal opportunities and affirmative action, many white people assume that black people are only employed because they are black... Recommendations... Many lesbian and gay organisations and groups are not welcoming to black lesbians and gay men. These groups should look whether black lesbians and gay men are represented in all levels of the organisation, as users, volunteers, workers and management members. If black people are not there then they should find out why they are not participating.
"Gay Apartheid" in South Africa: by Mubarak Dahir (2003)
Almost ten years after South Africa adopted a constitution considered to be the most gay-friendly in the world, there is still a huge divide between official legal rights and the dangerous homophobia some people face daily, particularly in black African communities. Indeed, while white gay and lesbian South Africans have created burgeoning communities that rival gay life in Europe or America, black South Africans find that a mix of prejudice, tribalism, economics and geography continue to deprive them of being part of the new gay South Africa, and of seizing the benefits of their remarkable constitution... Now, she says, her family is quietly supportive, but never actually speaks about her being a lesbian. Kheswa is thankful even for that subdued support. The prevailing attitude, she says, "is that homosexuality is not African, that it is a white thing." Many men believe that raping a lesbian will "cure" her, says Kheswa. Male rape is also a danger, she reports, and says that Soweto's gay and lesbian community has suffered 5 rapes in the past two months. However, few gays or lesbians report rapes or beatings because "the attitude of the police is that we either provoked it or we deserve it."
While white gay and lesbian South Africans fight for things like parental rights and marriage rights, black gay and lesbian South Africans are still struggling for the basics. The top two issues for black gays and lesbians, says Kheswa, are physical safety and finding comfortable places to meet socially. While Johannesburg has a plethora of gay bars and gay-friendly restaurants, most of those venues are hard for black gays and lesbians to frequent. Just getting to them is a chore... She also said that many bars ask blacks for their "membership cards." When they can't produce these non-existent ID's, they are denied entrance. "There is still a lot of racism against blacks from whites," she says. "Black and white gays live in two different worlds. It's almost as if there is gay apartheid." Even white gay and lesbian activists acknowledge the divide. Evert Knoesen of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Project concedes that integrating whites and blacks in the community "remains a big issue."
And Nodi Murphy, the director of
Out in Africa, South Africa's gay and lesbian film festival, concedes that
the audience for the film festival is "largely male, and almost exclusively
white." She attributes that to economics and transportation issues, but
says she is "working on reaching out" to black gays and lesbians by packaging
groups of films and sending them to local communities where they might
be shown, even possibly without charge. A significant stumbling block,
she says, is that many local black gay and lesbian communities don't have
a place to show the films... Most gay and lesbian people socialize in their
homes at private parties, says Kheswa. In all of Soweto there is only one
"gay-friendly" establishment, a place called Wandee's... "For the first
few years after apartheid, there was a huge push forward," she says. "But
now, I worry that we [in the black gay and lesbian community] have stagnated.
We can't afford to be content with things. We still have so much more to
all SA's gays enjoy greater freedom - by Stuart Graham (2004).
Some SA's gays enjoy new freedom after apartheid - by Stuart Graham (2004).
South Africa's gays are enjoying
a new era of freedom in cities 10 years after the end of apartheid, but
black and coloured homosexuals in townships and villages are still victims
of discrimination and hate attacks... the lot of poorer homosexuals had
not changed much.... how gay rights in South Africa translate into real
life for people living in rural areas and townships. "Many black people
are accused of being un-African and are victimised when it is found out
they are gay. Life has not changed much for them in the past decade." ...However,
the new legislation does not translate into reality for many. Dawn Betteridge,
a member of the Triangle Project, which provides counselling to gays, said
most hate attacks take place in rural areas and townships and are never
reported... However, the well-heeled urbanites are basking in their new
freedom... In stark contrast to its neighbours, Namibia and Zimbabwe, whose
leaders have accused homosexuals of being "worse than pigs" and "un-African",
South Africa has actively tried try to attract gay tourists to its shores...
"About 10 percent of tourists who visit Cape Tours are gay and the city
actively encourages this," she said. "Gay people know they are welcome
here and that they can have a peaceful visit."
No light at the end of the tunnel of racism -by Ishmael Ngozo Mduduzi
February 17, 2003: The lightning of racism within the black and white LGBT community struck right to my heart this afternoon... The black and white LGBT community has successfully pretended to solve the problem of racism by convincing black LGBT people they are just the same as white people. Just because there are some mixed-race couples does not mean that blacks and whites are equal in the community. In social spaces black LGBT people still suffer today and are constantly working to assert themselves in the Apartland. Even though racism was made illegal, it still exists in the mouths and minds of people in our community. Black queer people are completely discriminated against, not only by whites but by other non-whites in social spaces, and on top of that we are hated by the straight black majority which rules the country...
In the absence of our own spaces, black queer, gay and lesbian people have to conform to white gay stereotypes or to go to straight clubs - either way they cannot express themselves as black and gay. We have only just begun to deal with the issue of racism and hatred but there are other issues in the black gay community too. Gay and lesbian people continue to be beaten, abused and stripped of their rights. Other gay and lesbian people who think they've "made it" support that abuse and champion hatred against black queers by spending their money with the racist clubs. Many of the laws have changed so that, legally, it is not permissible to discriminate against anyone on the basis of race in South Africa. Racism among LGBT people still exists however and despite what the law says, can I really make the police force them to let me in? ...
I am very tired of my so-called "rainbow community" deserting others in need. The moral of the story? There is no light at the end of the tunnel of racism. There is no "making it." So listen up you white snobbish queens, you Pink Agenda book editors, you religious mis-leader's, you safe sex educating campaigns, you elitists, you prudes, you traitors, you homophobic politicians and you white racist bar owners.
As long as one person is discriminated against because of the colour of his/her skin in this LGBT rainbow flying flag, that you carry on Pride, as long as a black young gay man is being turned away at Venom or any gay club for that matter; as long as lesbian women are being raped, beaten or oppressed in this so-called "new" South Africa, the struggle is not over.
As long as
we cling to our dompas club membership cards for affirmation, we have not
"made it" and we are not free, don't let history repeat itself and remember,
what goes around comes around.
Quantifying queer currency - Daily Mail & Guardian: June 2/22, '99: 
Nel completely disagrees. "Networking
is not happening," he says, and puts it down to "total racism in the gay
No light at the end of the tunnel of racism - by Ishmael Ngozo Mduduzi.
The black and white LGBT community
has successfully pretended to solve the problem of racism by convincing
black LGBT people they are just the same as white people. Just because
there are some mixed-race couples does not mean that blacks and whites
are equal in the community. In social spaces black LGBT people still suffer
today and are constantly working to assert themselves in the Apartland.
Even though racism was made illegal, it still exists in the mouths and
minds of people in our community. Black queer people are completely discriminated
against, not only by whites but by other non-whites in social spaces, and
on top of that we are hated by the straight black majority which rules
The gym-toned, coiffed gay cliche - Daily Mail & Guardian: June 2/22, '99: 
Networking is not happening not because of "total racism in the gay community" (that word again), but simply because there is little or no desire on the part of gay white South Africans to embrace (literally or metaphorically) their black brothers and sisters.
Sisters of any type, incidentally,
as the majority of gay men have little or nothing in common with gay women.
If this is racism and homophobia, then I suspect we are all more than a
little racist and homophobic. Sad, but nonetheless true, I fear. Incidentally,
I suspect that a majority of gay people take wholly for granted our constitutional
protection, for which so few fought so hard.
Johannesburg, Gauteng: Brief introduction 
Racism in the gay community is not a new problem and in the mid 1980s
South Africa was kicked out of the International Gay and Lesbian Organisation
(Ilga) for that reason. Simon Nkoli stepped forward as the mediator and
South Africa was allowed back into the global organisation in the early
1990s... It was however not until the forming of the National Coalition
for Gay and Lesbian Equality (NCGLE) in the early 1990s, however,
that a truly non-racial, non-sexist queer organisation was born. The NCGLE
still largely relies on foreign donors to survive and has found very little
support among the economically powerful white gay community. The local
white community remains deeply racist.
UTHINGO CHAT Volume 2 No 7 Nov/Dec 1999. 
The existence of racism, sexism and homophobia in society has meant that the experiences of black lesbians are rarely articulated. The 'herstory' of lesbians which has been uncovered, recorded and celebrated is predominantly about white middle class women. It is important for black lesbians to begin documenting their own contribution to the movement before it is lost. In South Africa it is an important one, albeit invisible at present due to an inherited past of racism and homophobia.
The lesbian community encompasses many minorities, complicating still further a question of identity. Many African lesbians have concluded that they must subordinate their lesbian identity to their racial or ethnic loyalty; other still feel unwelcome in white lesbian communities. Working class lesbians often do not identify with the ideological and feminist preoccupations of their middle class sisters...
Moreover, a problem for African lesbians is the issue of racism in the lesbian community itself. Black lesbians are oppressed on both an institutional and personal level. The racism which comes from other lesbians is often the hardest to deal with. White lesbians, regardless of whether or not they define themselves as feminists or socialists, often cling to the privileges they have due to being white. This racism is present everywhere: at political gatherings, nightclubs and even in the bedroom. White lesbians often have the same racist stereotypes of black women as the rest of the white population. In the gay community in Pretoria there have been incidents of racism at clubs and at conferences where white people tend to dominate discussion. Many organisations that are meant to represent lesbians essentially ignore black issues. In South Africa this is changing rapidly, although there are still a disproportionate number of white lesbians represented. This was evident in the focus group done for this research - with only 20% of the group being black. Often black lesbians do not feel comfortable speaking up in a predominantly white group, and often experience problems of language and translation as well. Because the focus group was held in English, black respondents were expected to express themselves in a second - or third - language. This definitely places restrictions on the degree to which black lesbians can participate.